Sandhurst’s local level crossing has been closed. It’s quite likely that a majority of local residents didn’t even know that there was a level crossing being that it was on a footpath in the woods. Indeed until last year neither did I until I spotted on a map that a footpath crossed the railway near Ambarrow Wood and went to take a look. I found that it was fenced off and temporary closure notices were in place. A walk up that way yesterday evening to see if it had reopened revealed that the closure was made permanent in January 2020
Harveys Public Level Crossing crosses (or rather crossed) the Reading to Guildford railway line south of Crowthorne Station on the West side of Ambarrow Court.
Map copyright OpenStreetMap contributors
The crossing carried Sandhurst Footpath 9A across the two railway tracks on wooden boards and was protected only by iron “kissing gates” and signage warning to stop look and listen for trains. Around 80 trains pass this point each day at up to 70mph, although most will be going slower due to the closeness of Crowthorne Station. There is good visibility up and down the line in both directions.
I can’t find any record online of any incidents at the location but Network Rail seem to have a policy of seeking to close as many level crossings as they can anyway.
Footpath 9A and its crossing also formed part of the long distance Three Castles Path between Windsor Castle and Winchester Castle (the third being Odiham).
As a result this path is now half a mile longer, it being necessary to walk up one side of the line, cross over on Kiln Bridge, and walk back down the other side to regain the route. It’s not an unpleasant diversion but probably not as interesting as a pedestrian level crossing.
The crossing from Kiln Bridge to the north.
The crossing from the Ambarrow Court side.
Official closure notice.
Footpath diversion route.
So now we no longer have a level crossing. Few will miss it I suppose.
I wonder how long it will take the council to remove the Public Footpath fingerpost sign that still points through the chainlink fence across the railway tracks on the eastern side?