The Builders' Railway

They built a railway from Mitcham Station ....

Erecting 9.000 houses needed a lot of materials.  In common with previous LCC building projects, the builders (C.J. Wills and Sons) decided that the most economic way of getting what was required to the site was by private railway.  This joined the estate to Mitcham Junction Station, crossing The Wandle by a bridge of around 30 feet span. The track was flat-bottomed and ballasted by cinders. Other than the portion which led to the station itself, the tracks were continually moved to reach whichever part of the estate was being developed.  They crossed the main roads by level crossings. (A large map at Morden Library shows the position of some of these lines.)

Six locomotives were used, all of the 0-6-0 saddle tank variety with inside cylinders.  The oldest had been built in 1888 and the newest in 1926.  They pulled both open wagons and covered vans.*

* The Railway Magazine, Vol. LXII (April 1933)

Image accompanying MP3 audio clip: The Mermaid built 1894 (Sutton Local Studies and Archives) ( KB)

The Mermaid built 1894 (Sutton Local Studies and Archives)

David Fenn remembers

Health and safety not an issue!

Edna Smith remembers

This page was added by Cheryl Bailey on 14/06/2010.
Comments about this page

A couple of early maps 1932 before the building of the estate and after in 1938. Interesting to see the farm lands before all the houses. Go to the website:

By Tim Gillard-Stapleton
On 23/06/2013

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