For many years, Hemel Hempstead station was almost a junction - a railway embankment on the south (down) side of the station led to the end of the "Nicky Line", a branch line through the town centre to Harpenden. However, due to arguments between the Midland Railway and the London & North Western Railway, no direct connection was made between the two lines. Nicky Line trains terminated in the town centre, at Heath Park Halt, with only occasional freight trains running down to Boxmoor. Only in the last months of the Nicky Line's operations did regular (goods) trains run along the connection. No passenger service was ever provided.
The nearby crossover at Bourne End was the site of a serious accident on 30 September 1945, when a Scottish express derailed after passing over the junction at excessive speed. The coaches rolled down a high embankment, and forty-three lives were lost.
Read more about this topic: Hemel Hempstead Railway Station
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