A Brief Chronology Railways in and around Welwyn
last update 16-3-2003

1845 The Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Essex Junction Railway propose a route from Harlow to Luton. Traveling via Tewin -  Digswell Valley - Welwyn - Ayot St. Lawrence.  However the lack of financial support halted this plan
26th June 1846 Parliamentary assent was given for the building of a railway from London to York.  William Cubitt was appointed consulting engineer by Edmund Denison who was responsible for the scheme.
1848 Building commences on the line.  Joseph Cubitt, son of William Cubitt, is appointed as resident engineer.
5th August 1850 The first train crosses the viaduct a special from Maiden Lane (London's temporary terminus) to Peterborough.
7th August 1850 An all stations, parliamentary, train departs from the Maiden Lane  to York.
8th August 1850 Regular passenger train services commence to York.
1858 The first station at Welwyn allowing passengers on the Hertford - Luton railway to connect with main line trains.  This station was located where the current EMU storage sidings are located
January 1858 Cracks appear in the viaduct and tie rods are inserted to arrest their development and a speed limit of 15mph is placed across the viaduct.
1884 Knebworth Station is opened.
1898 Parliamentary Sanction is obtained for a line to avoid Welwyn.  The route is to be built from Wood Green to Stevenage.
1st July 1905 Attimore Hall halt closed
1910 The route from Wood Green to Cuffley is opened
1917 Halt platforms are built just to the north of Hunters Bridge, serving both the Dunstable and Hertford Branches.
1919 The land for the site of the new "Garden City" in Welwyn in purchased.  Resident engineer W.E. James plans a 2ft gauge system to transport building materials for construction of the houses.
1920 The Hertford loop is fully opened with the completion of the Cuffley to Stevenage Section.
26th April 1920 The first delivery of bricks arrives for the Hanside Lane Development.  The narrow gauge line is then extended to the brickworks.
1st January 1923 The Great Northern Railway becomes a part of the London and North Eastern Railway.
1924 The narrow gauge railway network is extended to the new gravel pit at Digswell Water.
5th October 1926 The current station, albeit in it's original guise, is officially opened by the Rt. Hon. Neville Chamberlin, however the station had actually been open since 20th September.
October 1935 Work is completed on an outer skin of blue facing bricks.  This work was required because the original red bricks proved to be to porous.
1936 The narrow gauge network is removed.  The foot bridge from Howardsgate to the Platforms is extended to the east to reach Hyde Way
18th June 1951 Services to Hertford cease
1958 Diesel Haulage commences
1966 Freight Services are withdrawn from Welwyn North Station
24th April 1965 Services to Luton and Dunstable cease,  freight continues
1970 Luton and Dunstable freight services cease,  
Electrification commences
26th September 1971 York road power box is opened and colour light signaling is phased in.
16th September 1973 Welwyn North signal box closed and subsequently demolished in December
Autumn 1974 Welwyn Viaduct is electrified.
1976 The track layout is revised for the new inner suburban electric services with the addition of a flyover at the end of the station
6th February 1976 Electric services commence between Kings Cross and Royston
7th June 1977 313 029 becomes the first electric train to call at Welwyn North (1G03)  with "The Silver Jubilee Special".
18th October 1984 The west side car park extension begins.
February 1985 Planning application C6/108/85 is placed to "create a new shopping area and railway travel center."
1985 The first goods station in Welwyn Garden City is closed  and the site is let to UMB Freight (Welwyn)
April 1986 60% of members at a parish meeting vote against changing the name of Welwyn North  to Digswell.
May 1986 The brick goods shed is demolished.
28th January 1986 UMB Freight officially open there Freight terminal, The ceremony is performed by Cllr. J. McDonald
October 1997 Ove Arup are appointed consultant engineers to plan a method to alleviate the bottleneck between Digswell Junction and Woolmer Green
9th November 1999 Letters are sent out to residents along the East Coast Main Line about the planned project to build a new set of viaducts and tunnels.
February 2003 Line side vegetation clearing works are carried out between Woolmer Green and Digswell in preparation for 4 tracking this section

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