A Railway Service on the Dome site
Review of ‘East Greenwich gasworks’ by Malcolm Millichip
Most local people know that the site of the gasworks that is now to house the Millennium Dome once had a very efficient internal railway system - and that it was connected to the outside world by the still functioning Angerstein line. It has taken an article on the East Greenwich Gas Works Railway to give us the details on this. The article is by Malcolm Millichip who wrote an excellent book on the gasworks railways of north London and has now turned his eyes to the south. He’s been helped on the details by local expert, Brian Sturt. The article appears in the November issue of ‘Railway Bylines’.
East Greenwich gasworks was a large and complicated site which included two separate chemical works in addition to other specialist sections. The article outlines details of the two narrow gauge and one standard gauge railway on site. It gives a brief background to the works and its development showing how the railway was built as the works itself grew and expanded. Initially the railway system was internal only but from 1900 and it was joined by the Angerstein railway via a mile spur from the main part of the line running from the Angerstein Junction near Charlton Station. At first it was a single-track connection only but was eventually doubled. The article comments on the 'proliferation' of signaling equipment and the two signal boxes - one of which survived for many years adjacent to the recently demolished bridge over Riverway.
The article also outlines the enormous variety of locomotives used at East Greenwich - steam, petrol and diesel. It is fascinating to learn that this railway was still in operation only 30 years ago and as most locals know the track into the works survived until earlier this year
This article appeared in the December 19th 1998 edition of the GIHS newsletter