Dr. Beeching and the Closure of the Branchline
After railway nationalisation in 1948
British Railways began to make heavy losses, and by the mid 1950's
there were plans for many line closures and much modernisation.
During the railway strike of 1955 all
services stopped on the branchline. This seriously affected the
freight traffic on the line, which never recovered and the line
started losing money.
Timetabling also didn't help. Guildford
bound trains were leaving Horsham a few minutes before trains
with potential passengers arrived there, yet these trains then
waited for 15 minutes at Cranleigh because Guildford couldn't
accommodate them at "busy times" which meant that there were no
connections of any use when the train did arrive at Guildford.
The HGDR was the only line in the whole
of the county of Surrey to be closed during the reign of BR.
In the Beeching Report of 1963 all the
five stations on the line were listed for closure. The report
showed that it had less than 5,000 passengers per week, less than
5,000 tons of freight per week. Cranleigh & Bramley ticket offices
received between £5,000 & £25,000 per year, where as the other
3 stations received less than £5,000 per year. At this time the
line was loosing about £46,000 a year, and the intention to close
the line was posted at all the stations and reported in local
papers in September 1963. The date for closure was set for 11th
November 1963 unless any objections were made.
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