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TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
Knighton Wood's Train Track
Knighton Wood's long forgotten steam engine test.
Location: Knighton Wood, Monkhams Lane, Buckhurst Hill
Description: Monkhams Lane is a road to the South of Knighton Wood and which then becomes a path ineffectually separating Knighton Wood and Lord's Bushes. It's along this path that in 1873 a test of a new type of railway tracks was made. (note, some say 1872).
600 yards of single track were laid along this 1 in 20 incline to test the power of a steam tram, named Cintra. The locomotive successfully pulled 2 carriages each holding 18 people reaching speeds of up to 20mph.
The track was also an experimental design based on flat timbers laid end to end, and
the steering was by a central steel rail on either side of which guide wheels attached to the locomotive kept the
train on its tracks.
The experiment was a success and the engine was due to be shipped to Lisbon Steam Tramways Co. Ltd. in Portugal, but the steamship sank after a collision on it's way up the Thames delaying it's emigration.