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1864: Station near Wheatsheaf for Horsham line proposed

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Proposed Horsham, Cuckfield and Heyward’s Heath railway

To the editor.

Sir, the meeting held at Horsham on Saturday the 16th inst,, convened for the purposes of considering the desirability of constructing a line of railway from that town, via Slaugham and Cuckfield, to the main Brighton in Hayward’s Heath, was not so unanimous as could have been wished.

Although strongly supported by all those residents in the town, and the neighbourhood of Horsham, nevertheless, a small party from Cuckfield, headed by Mr Walter Burrell, came with the evident intention of opposing the scheme. This opposition is easily accounted for when I tell you that the these gentlemen are the promoters of a line from Hayward’s Heath through Cuckfield to West Grinstead.

Such a line can never be used as a through or main line of communication, but would be worked simply as a branch, and passengers would have to submit to the inconvenience of changing carriages, and the delays which are always incident to branch traffic.

I will now, with your permission, lay the advantages of the proposed railway, via Slaugham, before your readers. The line is to commence immediately below, or south of the Horsham station, and to pass in a very direct line for Haywards Heath,; the gradients, we are told are to be good, better than many of the line is now work by the Brighton company; to be cheaply constructed, and to give good station accommodation to the particular district through which the line is proposed to pass, giving Cuckfield station near the gasworks, and within half a mile of the town. The line is to effect a junction at Hayward’s Heath with the mainline to Brighton. If such a line were carried out it would supply a very important link in the means of good communication between eastern and western portions of the county.

In addition to this, it is fair to assume that when the Ouse Valley line is constructed the London and Hastings traffic proper will pass over that line, and a system of trains would no doubt be worked via Dorking and Horsham, over the new proposed line through Cuckfield to Lewes, Eastbourne and Hastings, placing Cuckfield on a main trunk line, instead of an unimportant branch.

It is admitted that a considerable trade connection exists between the east and west divisions of the county. When such is the case, why should passengers and goods be compelled to go seven miles due south out to West Grinstead before they advance one inch to the east, and when there now proposed line would, place, Horsham, andCuckfield

seven miles nearer by rail than the one via West Grinstead. If the West Grinstead line is made, I for one should certainly prefer the old route via Three Bridges, where I join the mainline trains.

I'm satisfied the people of Horsham, and no doubt Cuckfield also, have the interests of the respective towns at heart, I do hope that the next general meeting, which may be held either at Horsham or Cuckfield, they will bestir themselves,

and not a allow a line of railway that must be so beneficial to their interests to be set aside in preference is to a scheme which at any rate can be of no service to the inhabitants of Horsham, and a very doubtful advantage to those in Cuckfield.

I trust Mr Water Burrell and his friends will abandon for this session their project, and let a comprehensive scheme to be laid out that will not only give the best local accommodation, but also the most direct communication between East and West Sussex. In such a case I think it is only reasonable and fair that say expenses the promoters of the West Grinstead line may have incurred should be repaid over the funds of the newly Incorporated company. Apologising for thus occupying so much of your valuable space,

I am, sir, yours, etc


Horsham, Petworth, Midhurst and Steyning Express, 26 January 1864

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

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