Plans to Join the Two Towns
Two different companies initially had
plans to join, or at least, "part-join" the two towns by rail.
The first was the Horsham and Guildford Direct Railway Company
(HGDR), which was formed specifically for the task. The other
was the Wey and Arun Junction Canal Company, which wanted to convert
16 miles of its canal between Guildford and Pulborough to railway.
The HGDR informed the LBSCR of their plans on 28th July 1859.
On 4th August the same year, the Wey and Arun Canal Company informed
them of their plans. There is no other mention of the Wey and
Arun's plans in the LBSCR Directors' minutes, so it is unclear
on when they gave the scheme up .
A bill to incorporate the HGDR was put
before Parliament, and on 16th February 1860, LBSCR instructed
their solicitor to petition against it. However, by 1st May that
year, LBSCR had received a letter from HGDR to inquire if they
would be interested in running the line when it was completed.
This changed things, and an agreement between the two companies
was drawn up on 3rd May 1860, and was finalised on 21st June.
Meanwhile, Parliament had received objections
from 31 of the 84 landowners that the railway would pass, but
only four of them presented petitions. Most of these may well
have been persuaded by the railway company paying higher than
normal prices for their land, because during the four day select
committee hearing, the only main objector was Lord Grantley, who
believed that the view from his property in Wonersh would be ruined,
even though the line would be hardly visible being 600 yards away.
The Horsham and Guildford Direct Railway
Act was passed on 6th August 1860, with various clauses, including
LBSCR being permitted to contribute financially, but not in excess
of £75,000, HGDR were permitted to use the 1½ miles of LSWR line
between Peasmarsh and Guildford and the company had to complete
the line within four years (by August 1864) or they would lose
their deposit of £12,000 that they had paid for the Act, unless
the Board of Trade considered that there was a valid reason for
Click here to continue to: 'Delays & Problems'