A third new narrow gauge line for the capital is also on the way

PLANS to create a heritage railway at London’s Crossness Pumping Station have been given the green light.

The idea of a light railway being built near Abbey Wood has been lurking around since 2011, when the Royal Gunpowder Mills at Waltham Abbey loaned Avonside oil-fired 0-4-0T No. 1748
of 1916 Woolwich to the Crossness Engines Trust under an agreement to restore it.

Avonside 0-4-0T Woolwich, now under overhaul at Crossness, where it may work on a new heritage railway. ROBIN JONES

Bexley Council has now approved the trust’s plans for an 18in line to take visitors over the half-mile from the entrance to the pumping station, subject to a survey on managing road traffic from visitors to the site.

The group’s base is located inside one of the world’s largest sewage treatment works. Crossness Sewage Treatment Works purifies almost all of South London’s liquid effluent at the rate of 14 tons per second. It has not been possible to allow general public access and so the opportunities for open days have been limited.

For several years Thames Water and the trust have been looking at ways of allowing paying visitors into the preserved pumping station, considered to be a marvel of Victorian engineering, on a more frequent basis.

The Crossness Pumping Station was designed by the Metropolitan Board of Works’ chief engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette and architect Charles Henry Driver for the eastern end of the Southern Outfall Sewer in the London Borough of Bexley.

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