History of the Primrose Line 

 

Southern Railway, Primrose Line Wych Cross Chelwood Ludwell Newbridge Mill
The Primrose Line is an imaginary 11 mile long line running through the High Weald from south of Horsted Keynes Station on the Bluebell Line to west of Withyham Station on the now closed Groombridge-East Grinstead Line. The Primrose Line would have separated from the Bluebell Line 600 yards south of Horsted Keynes Station at Goddenwick Junction, followed the Valley of the Birch Brook to a tunnel under Wych Cross after emerging in to the Lodge Brook Valley the Line would follow the Brook to Summerford Junction 700 yards west of Withyham Station. En-route the Primrose Line would pass Ludwell (actually the village of Horsted Keynes), Chelwood, Wych Cross, Newbridge Mill, and Hewkins Bridge (actually the village of Withyham).

Passenger traffic is light the only villages of size are Horsted Keynes and Withyham with populations of 1,500 and 2,500 respectively. A valuable source of income are a limited number of first class commuters. Day trippers especially fishermen are an important source of passenger traffic. Fishing developed because the medieval iron industry heavily ponded the Birch Brook and significantly ponded the Lodge Brook. Down passenger trains would start at Horsted Keynes possibly with through coach(es) from London and terminate at Tunbridge Wells West and Eridge. Up passenger trains would mirror down passenger trains.

Goods traffic would be mixed. Agriculture is mostly husbandry with feed crops and the grazing of beef & milk cattle, pigs, and sheep. Milk was moved by rail till the 1930’s. The area is wooded leading to logging and coppicing with some secondary industries including furniture and charcoal making. The High Weald’s brickworks continue to quarry for clay and sandstone was quarried for building stone and aggregates. In bound goods traffic would include coal, agricultural, and general traffic.
 

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