AGM and talk entitled “The history of the Henley Branch Railway line”

Speaker: John Whiting - our Chair

Tue, 2 Mar 2021

About the lecture:

Join Zoom Meeting from 7:30 pm for 7:45 pm start


Meeting ID: 842 4911 7824      Passcode: henley

The AGM will be followed by a short talk by John Whiting entitled “The history of the Henley Branch Railway line”.

The Henley Branch line was built in 1857 to connect the town to the new mainline Great Western Railway at Twyford at the time when Isambard Brunel was their Chief Engineer.

The track was initially laid down as broad gauge (7′ 0¼” )  (the extra ¼” making all the difference to the ride), but was later changed to (4′ 8½”) when it became the nationally standard gauge.*

At the time, Henley’s fortunes were on the decline because of the loss of river trade and the decrease in road transport through the town.

The railway gave much easier accessibility to London and was one reason why the Henley Regatta blossomed.

*For the younger reader, this means that the width between rails was reduced from 2140 mm to 1435 mm.


Our lecturer: John Whiting – our Chair