Railway Club of the New Forest

  Railway Club of the New Forest 

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May 27th  2022                        (this meeting will be held online via Zoom**)          

Phil Benstead presents “The Man Behind the ‘Direct Line’    AKA    ‘Castleman’s Corkscrew'  ”



Rural Dorset in the 1840’s, a period of ‘Railway Mania’, was sparsely populated and unlikely to attract a railway. There were huge financial crashes so it was unlikely to get financed and built. Step forward local solicitor, Charles Castleman.

It proved necessary to deliberately meander via quiet market towns and follow valleys to minimise costs; hence the popular name ‘Castleman’s Corkscrew’. To railway folk it is ‘The Direct Line’.  

The presentation includes a tour of the line, the political and economic scene, Charles Castleman’s quiet passion and a major force in the southern railway, reasons for closure and how it looks now.

 (** Members will be  circulated with Zoom invitations a week in advance. Visitors please contact the Club via this website)

  A club trip is being organised for  August   - details to be circulated - booking fees needed soon.

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