The Harpenden to Hemel Hempstead Railway (1996 Edition)
The Nickey Line’s fame seems to extend much further than most branch lines of similar importance. There are a number of factors which could contribute to this. It has seen some most unusual train formations/locomotives over the years. Amongst these were the use of Pullman cars on normal branch line trains, hauled by the 4-4-0Ts imported for the task from the Midland & Great Northern Railway in their attractive ‘Yellow’ livery, or the use of steam railmotors, or in the 1970s, the use of one of the last class ’17’ ‘Clayton’ types. These interesting workings elevate it above many otherwise similar Midland Railway branches. The principal stations served on the line were Redbourn and Hemel Hempstead itself. The line formed a junction with the Midland main line at Harpenden, and for all but a very brief period in the line’s history stopped just short of the LNWR main line at Boxmoor.
The line was also used for demonstrating the Karrier Ro-Railer vehicles. These could be converted to run on road or rails. Passenger trains ceased in 1947 although the last excursion train ran in 1960. However part of the line was to remain in use for freight from Claydale Sidings until 1979. The Nickey Line lives on however, as a footpath and cycleway which is now known as the ‘Nicky Way’.
Softback, 160 pages, black & white photographs, track layout diagrams
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Updated: 29 December 2021