The Lost Rails Project

Celebrating Hertfordshire's former railway branch lines

A former cleaner and fireman describes how the trains typically started the journey in the 1940s.
A common practice in the days of steam trains was to fry eggs and bacon on the coal shovel
James Remington describes the trains he used to use as a child

Lost Rails, a partnership between Groundwork Hertfordshire and St Albans Museum Service, and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire Highways, is a project to celebrate the heritage of Hertfordshire’s former railway branch lines.

The project enabled local people to share memories of, and learn about, the social history of the branch lines that operated across the country: from Watford to Rickmansworth; Hemel Hempstead to Harpenden; Wheathampstead to Welwyn Garden City; Hatfield to St Albans; Welwyn Garden City to Hertford; and St Margarets to Buntingford.

Significant parts of the first five of these routes are now used for walking and cycling – better known as the Ebury Way, Nickey Line, Ayot Greenway, Alban Way and Cole Green Way respectively.

An exhibition was held at the museum of St Albans and October 2010 and February 2011 – these web pages are an online archive of that exhibition, incorporating photo galleries and memories recorded by local people in 2010.

Audio memories

Below you can listen to a selection of clips taken from interviews with people who worked on or lived near the line. There are more clips on the pages for each Lost Rails route.

This page was added on 07/03/2011.

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