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Maidenhead to Marlow Line
 
The line leaves the GWR line at the present Maidenhead station. The first stop was Maidenhead, Boyne Hill and the station was on Castle Hill (Bath Road) and closed in 1871 when the present Maidenhead station was opened. The image to the left, taken from Google Earth, shows the walkway over the station. The entrance to the old station is still visible and the picture below left shows the 2 doorways that have been bricked up, and also shows how the road has since been graded up the hill and partially obscures one of them. There wasn't much to the station, through the door there was a ticket office and then stairs down to the platform. The other picture shows the underside of the bridge on the side of the old station and there isn't much room for anything much to have been there. The new station location was far better than this one. It must have been hard on the horses getting the carraiges up the hill to the station.
Further down there is a footbridge and further still, there is the first underline road bridge which went over the infamous 6 crossroads. This junction had 6 roads leading into it with no appreciable right of way, more "he who dares, goes". Alterations have since made it a bit safer. Continuing on, we come to what would be the first level crossing, over Harrow Lane at Furze Platt. There is now a halt here but this wasn't built until the 1930's. A few hundred yards down the track and we have another overline bridge for Gardner Road and the line runs pretty straight towards Cookham. Before the underline bridge for the B4447 Maidenhead Road, there used to be 2 level crossings, one barely used and Strande Castle level crossing. The latter was removed in the early 60's after a fatal accident that occured there. The full report, as pdf file, can be viewed by clicking on the map to the right. I find these reports fascinating and they give a good insight into how the railways worked in the days of steam power.
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From here, the line continues with an overline bridge for Terry's Lane and another footbridge for the golf club, and then meanders across Cock Marsh before crossing the Thames and running into Bourne End station. From here, the line travels back towards the Thames, veers right and heads towards Marlow. There are a few more crossings and eventually the line arrives at Marlow's now single platform. Marlow was once a busy station which the old map below shows. The present track is most likely the one running into the goods yard, if my Google Earth comparisons are correct!
The pics below are courtesy of Bucks County Council, from their SWOP website which shares old photographs. It's a great place to look for old images of the Wycombe area and has helped me immensely in this feature.  I'll finish off this page with pics from Marlow and you can compare the tracks in the pics to the layout in the above map, taken from an Ordnance Survey map from 1897. Try comparing the map to Google Earth to see what is still there. If you look carefully enough, you will see that between 1897 and 1910 another siding has built. A link to SWOP can be found on the feature home page.
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I like the picture above. It's a nice clear picture that shows the goods shed with the through line. This picture is believed to be from around 1890.
Quite a sad picture above of the demolition of the station in 1967. After this, travellers were reduced to using an old siding as their terminus.
These two pictures show the "Marlow Donkey" in the platform. The one on the left is from around 1910. The one above looks to be around the same time, maybe a bit later.
Once over the B4447, the line approaches Cookham station. The picture below shows the station in 1965 and a present day picture to the right of it shows how much has changed. As you can see, the station used to have 2 platforms and a connecting bridge but has since been reduced to a single platform. The signal cabin has also gone, which is sadly happening everywhere now, being replaced by central ones.  In the car park pic on the lower right, between the barrier and the fence, you can see all that remains of the 2nd platform. In the lower left pic, just further back, towards Maidenhead, there is part of the platform still intact and some old station buildings that now form part of an office. The track looks a little bit neglected and overgrown.
The 2 pictures to the left show both sides of the location of Strande Castle crossing. as seen today. The left picture shows the gate, now used by P-Way gangs, and the right picture shows the Lightlands Lane side. If you look at the track bed here, it's raised up quite a bit, as it mentions in the report. It must have been a hard crossing to get across, particularly in less powerful vehicles. It was a good decision to close it down.
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