Historic stone with railway connections has new home at museum, thanks to RAF team

RAF Halton team move stone to Tring Local History Museum.
RAF Halton team move stone to Tring Local History Museum.

A historic piece of stone found on an allotment and connected to Tring’s railway history has a new home.

A team from RAF Halton helped move the heavy piece of stone to Tring Local History Museum.

The stone was originally part of Tring Railway Station which, in the 1830s, was part of the first long distance intercity railway in the world which ran between London and Birmingham.

The station, when built, had 165,000 tonnes of stones laid three feet apart as a platform for the railway to sit on.

These stones were laid as engineers believed the track needed to be solid, but the services of these stones were short lived as the newly introduced steam locomotives were too heavy and the stones had no flexibility.

By comparing previous railway lines, the engineers realised wood was a better alternative, being more flexible and requiring less maintenance.

The original stones were replaced with wooden sleepers and it was believed the stones were used for reconstruction work - but one of them was recently found on an allotment.

The RAF team of Servicemen Awaiting Trade Training, (SATT), ACs Wilkinson, Simmons, Wellings, McDonald and O’Sullivan stepped in to help and, led by Sgt Davies, stepped into help with the move.

Sgt Davies said: “The stone was bigger and heavier than we thought. It took six of us to lift it on to a pallet and on to the low loader vehicle supplied by the museum.

“When we got to the museum we lifted it back off and slid it into place. When the task was complete the volunteers deemed it necessary that the stone was placed outside the museum for all to see. A job very well done.”

The volunteers were extremely grateful with the support they had received from RAF Halton and as a result of the help the community can now appreciate the history of Tring Railway Station.