Marton & Warwickshire Railways Monday 29 March 2010
Yet another packed meeting attended the Village Hall to hear Marton railway enthusiast Roger Johnston share his impressive knowledge of the history of railways in Warwickshire.
Although the earliest line from London to Birmingham was operational as early as 1838 it was not until 1851 that the Rugby to Leamington line was opened. At the same time the construction of the station at Marton became the best access point for miles around to get onto the railway system. Roger explained about the importance of the many competing railway companies that were created during the Victorian period and lines were built even though they had little chance of making money. The line running through Marton Station was owned by the LNWR (London & North Western Railway) until nationalisation after the war. The last passengers were carried in 1959 and Marton Station itself closed in 1961. Normal goods traffic finished in 1966, though, cement trains still used it up until 1985.
At the end of Roger's well illustrated talk a number of useful contributions were made by local residents who made use of the station for travel, but it was also interesting to find how valuable it was to the local farmers including the transport of beef cattle form Ireland each year. Also a visitor from Leamington informed the audience of various fatal accidents on the line during the first fifty years of the line's existence! As well as being dressed in authentic steam engine driver's uniform Roger brought a number of his paintings of local railway scenes and a large scale working steam engine, made by his father-in-law - also a train driver.