I have been researching the history of the local branch lines and the effect of the Beeching cuts. I had already identified that the branch line from Ash Junction to Farnham Junction, was closed following the Beeching report. This branch line encompassed two stations, Ash Green Halt and Tongham Halt.
Ash Green Halt
Looking at the old OS maps I had assumed that the North Hants railway known as the Watercress line was also closed as a result of Beeching, but according to their history page, it actually survived the cuts and was closed ten years later by British Rail. The contrast between the two lines is stark, the Tongham – Ash Green line was stripped and in some parts removed completely. The Watercress Line has been preserved and turned into something of a theme park.
From the point of view of this assignment of a journey I need to decide if I want to use one or both of the two lines, the Watercress line would allow a peek into the past as the infrastructure looks as it did in the past where the Tongham line provides the opportunity to explore the marks we leave on the landscape. There is also a chance to explore the contrast between the two and our obsession with turning the past into a weekend visit or theme park.