Sir Richard Moon

The first general manager of the L&NWR was Captain Mark Huish who has to be credited with laying the ground for the effective railways that it proved to be. When Huish retired in 1861 he was succeeded by Sir Richard Moon who for the next 30 years steered the company into its premier status. He was acknowledged as one of the most able managers of his age and was apparently a tough, austere character, described by Hamilton Ellis as “incorruptible and one of the most terrifying personages in Victorian private business”. Hamilton Ellis further characterizes his achievement as transforming a loose amalgam of railways into “a totalitarian corporate state in nineteenth century capitalism”.
He kept a gimlet eye on costs and while the railway was run with efficiency it meant that trains were not especially fast. Speed was expensive and Moon decreed that trains should not exceed an average speed 40mph. Since no other means of transport could go faster in the 19th century this may not have seemed to matter much but when rival companies began to publish faster timetables this began to matter, and in the 1880s passengers were beginning to desert the L&NWR on duplicate routes. So a speed war broke out for a few years, eventually settling down with no clear winners but a general increase in average speeds on the main line routes.
Moon left his mark on Wolverton in two ways – firstly there is the short street of fairly substantial houses leading to the school that was named after him; second his scheme to bypass Wolverton works and build a third station.
The original line followed what is now McConnell Drive and the second station was located near Glyn Square. Moon wanted the works to be integrated and separate from passenger traffic and the loop line, complete with new embankment was built at considerable expense and somewhat at odds with his known parsimony.
Local Wolverton folk did not think much of the idea and the venture was nicknamed “Moon’s Folly”.