Notes: A private station was opened at Black Dog Siding on
about 3rd November 1863 for Lord Lansdowne. There were no
restrictions on the use of the station by the public but it
did not appear in a public timetable until 15th September
1952 and until that date anyone wishing to travel to the station
had to buy a ticket to Calne. In 1898 the GWR requested that
Lord Lansdowne should allow a nameboard showing Black Dog
Station to be mounted on the platform but permission was refused.
The station was provided with a long goods platform served
by a single siding and ground frame. This was often used by
Lord Lansdown for the temporary transfer of valuables to his
During WW1 a top level war cabinet meeting took place in
a carriage berthed in the siding. At the time a military unit
was stationed in outbuildings opposite the station.
In 1950 the station house was sold and was later converted
into a modern bungalow. On 1st February 1960 Black Dog became
an unstaffed halt; the siding was last used by a local coal
merchant on 1st November 1963 and was lifted shortly afterwards.
The short passenger platform was on the west side of the
line, it was provided with a substantial timber building incorporating
several rooms and a waiting shelter, this survived until 1967
when the track was lifted.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CALNE
||The railway was originally brought to Calne
by the inability of the once-prosperous Calne branch of
and Berks Canal to cope efficiently with the requirements
of local industry. As demand grew across the country for
products from the Harris
Bacon Factory, Calne's main employer at the time,
it became clear that a modern transport system was needed.
On 8th November 1859, the first meeting to discuss opening
a branch line from the GWR at Chippenham to Calne was
held. The Calne Railway Company was formed and Parliament
granted the necessary Act on 15th May 1860.
With no tunnels required, the construction of the line
was simple and was built in the broad gauge of 7' 0½"
opening to freight traffic on 29th October 1863.
The line was then opened to passengers from 3rd November,
1863, an unofficial holiday in Calne. From the start the service
was operated by the Great Western Railway on behalf of the
Calne Railway Company.
Initially there were no intermediate stations on the line
but a private station was opened at Black Dog Siding for Lord
Lansdowne in 1863 and a halt was opened at Stanley Bridge
in 1905 with the introduction of steam railcars onto the branch.
In August 1874 the line was converted to standard gauge. The
independent Calne Railway Company was absorbed into the GWR
Both fright and passenger traffic was good and continued to
improve through the later years of the 19th century and in
1895 the terminus at Calne underwent extensive renovations
and enlargement. The steam railcars were withdrawn from the
branch in the mid 1930's.
World War, when bombs fell close to the station and the tracks.
|The passenger station was used during WW2 to transport both
servicemen and equipment to the Royal Air Force bases at Compton
Bassett and Yatesbury and the goods station also saw increased
trade with an increase in coal traffic, fuel for the RAF stations
and animal feeds and grain for the local millers. The line
had two near misses during German bombing raids in
The line was still producing a good profit in the 1950s. Figures
for the year ending September 1952, showed an income of more
than £150,000, with 300,000 passengers. However, as
the Harris factory began to use the roads to transport more
of its products, the railway began to see a drop in revenue.
DMU's were brought onto the line in September 1958.
Following the closures of the RAF stations at Yatesbury and
Compton Bassett, passenger numbers diminished rapidly and
by late 1963, freight services had been cut to one a weekday,
while Sunday passenger services had been withdrawn. Freight
services were withdrawn on 2nd November 1964 and the end was
inevitable with Calne finally losing its passenger service
during the Beeching cuts closing on 18th September 1965.
Most of track was lifted between Easter and June 1967 leaving
just a short section near the junction which was used as a
siding. By 1972 a section of the track had been opened up
to the public as the Marden Nature Trail and today most of
the 6 mile route between Chippenham and Calne is part of the
National Cycle Network and known as the Chippenham/Calne Railway
Advertiser and 'The
Calne Branch" by G Tanner published by Oxford Publishing
Company 1972 ISBN 902088 0 72
To see the
other stations on the Calne Railway click on the station name: