The Newport Pagnell Branch Line

The four mile branch line from Wolverton to Newport Pagnell was never a commercial success but it had its place and operated for 100 years. It opened in 1866 and for passengers in 1867 with stations at New Bradwell and Great Linford. the original intention had been to extend the line to Olney but this plan was abandoned and the L&NWR took over the line in 1875. Passenger traffic ceased in 1964 and closed in 1967. The trains were usually full in the morning as they carried workers to Wolverton and students to the Grammar School and Technical School and again in the evening on their return. Otherwise there were only a handful of passengers as the train shuttled back and forth. I can only remember travelling on the train once and that was to go to Newport Pagnell’s open air swimming pool one summer. The first photograph shows the engine at Bradwell Station in the 1960s.

Here is the same view of Bradwell Station in 1910.
My own family had some working associations with the line. My great grandfather’s younger brother, William Dunleavy, spent his last years as Station Master at Great Linford. He died there is 1908 having moved from Coalville a few years earlier. My great great grandfather Andrew Dunleavy ended his career as Station Master at Newport Pagnell in the 1880s. His previous posting was at St Albans and the reasons for the move are unknown. Perhaps he was seeking a lighter assignment in his late 60s. My great great grandmother is buried in Newport Pagnell and he took a pension in 1888.

The end of the line at Newport Pagnell.