Concept

Nickey line

Summary
The Nickey line (also known as the Harpenden to Hemel Hempstead branch railway) is a disused railway that once linked the towns of Hemel Hempstead and, initially, Luton but later Harpenden via Redbourn, in Hertfordshire, England. The course of most of the railway has been redeveloped as a cycle and walking path, and is part of the Oxford to Welwyn Garden City route of the National Cycle Network. It is approximately nine miles (14 km) long. Origin of the name The origin of the nickname the "Nickey line" is shrouded in obscurity. Suggestions include being named after the parish of St. Nicholas in Harpenden, through which it runs; Hemel's connection with Nicholas Breakspear; the knickerbockers worn by the navvies who constructed the line; or "down the nick", a slang term of engine drivers which meant "to run out of steam" and may have been applicable on the line's difficult inclines. The spelling of the line's name is recorded as appearing as "Nickey" on signs and tick
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