The Woodside & South Croydon Railway, known locally as Croydon’s 'Back Garden Railway' had a chequered existence from nearly not opening at all to becoming part of Croydon's tramway system. The line was authorised in October 1880 to link the Mid-Kent branch to Addiscombe at Woodside with the London Brighton & South Coast and South Eastern joint line at Selsdon. The contract to build the line awarded to Joseph Firbank in 1881. Progress was slow and the opening date of 1st November 1882 had to be put back a year due to non-availability of land. The first track to be laid was the junction at Woodside which was completed with a three hundred length of track in February 1883. Two tunnels were built where the line crossed land owned by Lady Ashburton and in the space between the tunnels a station was planned at the request of the Ashburton Estate. However, the cutting sides in this area were very muddy and unstable so eventually the idea of station was abandoned and a flat topped third tunnel was built between the two existing ones. The two original tunnels had ornate mouths but the infill tunnel was undecorated and due to its flat top was later adopted as a miniature rifle range, which was still operational after the start of tramway operations through the tunnels. Opening was now delayed to late 1884.
The gap between two of the tunnels L.B.& S.C.R Terrier 'Poplar' from West Croydon shows the plain face on the right hand Shed posed by Selsdon North Box
tunnel and also the emergency stairs
that lead to the Miniature Rifle Range.