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South Eastern Railway Mile Posts

Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:59 am
by SRS Webmaster
In common with the LBSCR, the SER erected mile posts based on a zero point (datum) of London Bridge. This is clearly demonstrable by looking at OS 1:10,560 maps from the 1870s and 1880s. The SER's mile post mileages went via the original route (Redhill) and the OS maps show this to be still the case at Merstham, Dover, Rye and Winnersh in the 1870s.

When the line through Polhill and Sevenoaks tunnels was opened in 1868 it, too, was mile posted from London Bridge and there was a 'change of mileage' at Tonbridge with the 'old route' prevailing for mileages onward to Ashford etc. Again, this is evident from the OS maps.

Remiling long stretches of railway is an expense that many railways avoided but at some point in time the SER changed their datum to Charing Cross, line opened 1864, but the map evidence indicates that neither this opening nor that of the more direct route through Chelsfield triggered the change, at least not immediately.

So -
1. When was the change of datum from London Bridge to Charing Cross made.
2. Why was it changed.
3. What mile post mileages applied between Charing Cross, Cannon Street and London Bridge prior to the general adoption of Charing Cross as the datum point.

Re: South Eastern Railway Mile Posts

Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 3, 2013 9:29 pm
by davidwoodcock
I came upon this post by chance, 3 years later.

While I don't know actual answers to any of your questions - and sadly a friend who almost certainly could have done died several years ago - I would suggest that, until the SER "bit the bullet", there may well have been no mileposts west of London Bridge. There was, most unusually, no common carrier obligation over these lines, and, therefore, I suspect that there was no regulatory obligation to erect mileposts.

Re: South Eastern Railway Mile Posts

Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 4, 2013 10:41 am
by SRS Webmaster

Thank you for the information. However, the provision of mileposts is not linked to common carrier status. The Railway Clauses Consolidation Act of 1845 would have required the erection of mile posts - or the railway would have been legally unable to charge any fares or for carriage of goods over the line at all.