The Crystal Palace High Level Railway by John Gale (Paperback, 2011)
The three mile long Crystal Palace High Level Railway, running from Nunhead Junction to Edward Barry’s magnificent £100,000 terminus station alongside the Crystal Palace, was opened in 1865. Promoted by the Crystal Palace & South London Junction Railway, a company backed by the London, Chatham & Dover Railway, the ownership of the line was transferred to the LC&DR in 1875. Although the original intention was to extend the railway southwards, traffic levels never really justified the initial optimism and such plans were not to be realised. Difficult to construct – there were two lengthy tunnels and most of the route was either in cutting or on embankment – the railway never made a profit, was closed temporarily during both world wars and even electrification by the Southern Railway in 1925 failed to lift passenger numbers enough to save it, with final closure occurring in 1954. Little is left of the line’s stations today, although much of the route survives as a footpath. Within these pages, John Gale documents the history of this forgotten railway backwater, the text being illuminated with numerous historic photographs, maps and other illustrations. This book has 116 pages and has been re-printed in 2015.