Rowfant Railway Station Is Opened
Rowfant was a railway station on the Three Bridges to Tunbridge Wells Central Line which closed in 1967, a casualty of the Beeching Axe.
The route of the railway line cut a path through the estate of Curtis Miranda Lampson, a wealthy American fur trader and vice-chairman of the Atlantic Telegraph Company, who agreed to sell his land cheaply to the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) on condition that a station be provided, together with the right to stop trains on request. Apart from Lampson's Rowfant House the only other nearby residence was Worth Hall owned by John Nix, an LBSCR director. At Lampson's request a shelter was provided for his coachmen.
The Beeching Axe is an informal name for the British Government's attempt in the 1960s to reduce the cost of running British Railways, the nationalised railway system in the United Kingdom. The name is that of the main author of The Reshaping of British Railways, Dr Richard Beeching. Although this report also proposed new modes of freight service and the modernisation of trunk passenger routes, it is remembered for recommending wholesale closure of what it considered little-used and unprofitable railway lines, the removal of stopping passenger trains and closure of local stations on other lines which remained open.
The report was a reaction to significant losses which had begun in the 1950s as the expansion in road transport began to attract passengers and goods from the railways; losses which continued to bedevil British Railways despite the introduction of the railway Modernisation Plan of 1955. Beeching proposed that only drastic action would save the railways from increasing losses in the future.