LMS Route: Warwick (Milverton) to Weedon
The Daventry to Marton Junction line was an extension of the
LNWR's line from Weedon to Daventry and opened on 1st August 1895. The little
branch's single line signalling represented a first for the LNWR as it had
introduced the electric staff system in lieu of the train staff and ticket
system employed by the company previously. Colin Maggs notes in his book
'Branch Lines of Warwickshire' that traffic originally consisted of four trains
each way and in 1901-2 the 5.35 pm Euston to Liverpool express slipped a coach
at Weedon for Warwick via Leamington. This was forwarded by the 7.38 pm mixed
train, comprised of both passenger and goods stock. A shorter service
originating from Leamington to and from Flecknoe was introduced by 1910.
Whether this was the same service or not is unknown but a morning and afternoon
service remained, primarily for the benefit of schoolchildren, to the closure
of the line.
The 1920s and 30s saw the line at its zenith with eleven
trains each way per weekday (including a slip coach) in July 1922 and ten down
and eleven up trains in the week and seven on Sundays in July 1938. By closure
the service had fallen to two trains each way plus the previously mentioned
short service from Napton. Having built the line as economically as possible,
resulting in a number of 1:80 gradients to avoid deep cuttings and high
embankments, the LNWR's experiment in using a steam railcar proved a failure.
Initially services were provided by two-coach Motor trains, later of the
push-pull variety, utlising LNWR Webb 2-4-2T's shedded at Warwick (Milverton),
subsequently these were replaced by motor fitted ex-LMS Ivatt 2-6-2Ts. The
withdrawal of services in 1958 meant that the introduction of DMUs on passenger
services seen elsewhere on other branch lines never occurred on the Weedon
branch. Goods trains, primarily carrying chalk to the cement works, were LNWR
0-8-0 powered for most of the lines life although in later years ex-LMS Stanier
2-8-0 locomotives were used.
Route continues on to Weedon