Ok ok, we know that the Peckham Coal Line is still a way from being a reality (although we’re a bit closer thanks to all of the amazing crowdfunding support!), but that hasn’t stopped us dreaming and exploring other ideas for a potential Coal Line part two. A path along the railway line from Peckham up to Nunhead.
Here’s what Clyde Watson, local resident architect and member of the Peckham Vision & Peckham Coal Line teams has discovered:
“The idea of the Nunhead link occurred to me when I consulted one of the early O.S. maps of the area, and noted that this section of the railway line appeared to have been built to take at least three tracks. Only two were ever built and so the track bed is very wide, and I thought it would be straightforward to incorporate a path along the line extending from where the line leaves Peckham at Copeland Road all the way to Evelina Road near Nunhead station.
Here’s a map from 1871 where the widened line is clearly visible (see the railway line at the bottom of the image - the other railway line at the top is where the plans for the current Peckham Coal Line run):
Of course – this is still just an idea and there are many reasons why a path may not be possible, but it would seem an 'easy win' if it were. All that would be needed are stairs or a ramp to get access to the line at each end, and widened bridges to cross Brayards Road and Kirkwood Road where the original supports are still visible. The original bridges appear to have been taken out not long after the line was built. The existing structure is part embankment and part viaduct, but could be incorporated into any future link.
The other good reason is the route follows a natural direct line from central Rye Lane to Nunhead. It is not a straightforward journey by foot otherwise. Imagine having a walking or cycling route that could connect Nunhead to the wider South London greenway network too.
And course there are great London views from the train too, here’s a video taken this summer, it’s quite likely a new path would have the same great vistas too”
So Nunhead folks, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Are there are any local residents who might be keen to work up or explore these ideas in more detail, we’d love to hear from you if so.
But of course, before we get too carried away – you can help us make sure the Coal Line part 1 gets a step closer to reality by supporting crowdfunding campaign today. The deadline for funding is just round the corner on the 31st October 2015.