Buckinghamshire Railway Centre

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Buckinghamshire Railway Centre
The 2 halves of Buckinghamshire Railway Centre - geograph.org.uk - 934865.jpg
View along the main line towards Quainton Road, showing the two sides of the centre, taken from the footbridge. Main buildings, from left-right: Ministry of Food Buffer-Depot; Brill Tramway platform; Quainton Road; the former building of Oxford Rewley Road
Established 1969
Coordinates 51°51′54″N 0°55′44″W / 51.865°N 0.929°W / 51.865; -0.929Coordinates: 51°51′54″N 0°55′44″W / 51.865°N 0.929°W / 51.865; -0.929
Type Operational railway museum
Key holdings Metropolitan Railway E Class No.1
GWR 4073 Class No.5080 Defiant
GWR 6959 Class No.6989 Wightwick Hall
South African Class 25NC 4-8-4 No.3405
Owner Quainton Railway Society (Some land leased from Network Rail)
Public transit access Quainton Road or Aylesbury
Website BucksRailCentre.org

Buckinghamshire Railway Centre is a railway museum operated by the Quainton Railway Society Ltd. at Quainton Road railway station, about 5 miles (8.0 km) west of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. The site is divided into two halves which are joined by two foot-bridges, one of which provides wheelchair access. Each side has a demonstration line with various workshop buildings as well as museum buildings.

History[edit]

Curving concrete station platform. There is a small wooden hut on the platform.
The curved Brill platform at Quainton Road. The short stretch of rail from this platform is the only surviving part of the Brill Tramway.

In 1962, the London Railway Preservation Society was formed, buying up a series of former London Underground vehicles and collectables, as well as holding the largest collection of London and North Western Railway memorabilia.[1] These were held at various sites around London, mainly two government depots at Luton and Bishop's Stortford,[2] making both access, restoration and preservation difficult.[1]

While other closed stations on the former MR lines north of Aylesbury were generally demolished or sold,[3] in 1969 the Quainton Railway Society was formed to operate a working museum at the station.[4] On 24 April 1971 the society absorbed the London Railway Preservation Society, taking custody of its collection of historic railway equipment.[5]

Restoration[edit]

The station was maintained in working order, used as a bookshop and ticket office.[6] The extensive sidings were still intact, and although disconnected from the mainline in 1967,[7] were used for locomotive restoration work.[4] The Society eventually restored the main station building to its 1900 appearance, renaming the site the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre.[8] A smaller building on the former Brill platform, once a shelter for passengers waiting for Brill and down trains, was used first as a store then as a shop for a number of years before its current use to house an exhibit on the history of the Brill Tramway. A former London Transport building from Wembley Park was dismantled and re-erected at Quainton Road to serve as a maintenance shed.[9]

Mainline services[edit]

Chiltern Railways Class 121 'Bubble Car' diesel unit at Buckinghamshire Railway Centre on a shuttle service from Aylesbury on 3 May 2010

Although the BRC's trains are run on the former station sidings, the station still has a working Network Rail line passing through it. This connects Aylesbury with the Bletchley to Oxford cross-country route at Claydon (LNE) Junction. Regular landfill freight trains traverse the line from waste transfer depots in Greater London to the former brick pits at Calvert.[10]

From 1984 until 1990, the station briefly came back into passenger use, when special Christmas shopping services between Aylesbury and Bletchley were operated by British Rail Network SouthEast on Saturdays only, and stopped at Quainton Road.[11]. From April 1976 the station has had special passenger trains from Aylesbury in connection with events at the Centre [12] - these are now regularly at each Spring and August Bank Holiday weekend.

Present[edit]

Today, with an extensively redeveloped site on both sides of the working mainline, BRC houses around 170 items of locomotives and rolling stock, in buildings dating from 1874 to the 1960s. The adjacent World War 2 warehouses of the Ministry of Food Buffer Depot in the former downside yard have been taken over to display many items awaiting restoration, whilst the Society have added a member's reference library.

Rewley Road[edit]

Large white wooden building with a large glass canopy
The former Oxford Rewley Road station building following its reconstruction at Quainton Road

Rewley Road, the Oxford terminus of Harry Verney's Buckinghamshire Railway and of the Oxford to Cambridge Line, closed to passengers on 1 October 1951 with trains diverted to the former GWR Oxford General, the current Oxford station. In co-operation with the Science Museum, Rewley Road was dismantled in 1999. The main station building and part of the platform canopy were then moved to BRC and re-erected in 2002 at the north-west corner of the site, now providing improved visitor facilities and the main offices of the QRS.[13]

Media[edit]

As one of the best-preserved period railway stations in England, Quainton Road is regularly used as a filming location for period drama, and programmes such as The Jewel in the Crown, the Doctor Who serial Black Orchid and Midsomer Murders have been filmed there.[7]

Future developments[edit]

As of 2010 the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre are negotiating for a reconnection of the link between their sidings and the main line to allow their locomotives to run to Aylesbury when the line is not in use by freight trains, and to rebuild part of the Brill Tramway between Quainton Road and Waddesdon Road.[14][15]

High Speed 2's proposed route passes immediately to the west of the site, which would permanently sever the route of the Brill Tramway.

Collection[edit]

The collection includes locomotives, carriages, and assorted rolling stock, plus a large amount of memorobilia and documents.[16]

Locomotives[edit]

Sortable table
Class Number (&Name) Chassis Image Status Notes
Metropolitan Railway
E Class
No.1
(London Transport L44)
0-4-4T Metropolitan Railway E Class No 1.JPG Operational Built 1898. Operational and a regular on passenger trains
LSWR
0298 Class
314
(British Railways 30585)
2-4-0WT LSWR 0298 Class Beattie Well Tank 2.jpg Operational Built 1874
Peckett and Sons No.2105
Rokeby
0-4-0ST Operational Built 1951. Mainly used on goods/vintage trains
Peckett and Sons No.2087 0-4-0ST Operational Built 1948. Mainly used on goods/vintage trains
North British Locomotive Company Coventry
No.1
0-6-0T Operational Built 1939. Acts as Thomas the Tank Engine on "Thomas" days
Hudswell Clarke No.1742
Millom
0-4-0ST Operational Built 1946. Used on goods and vintage trains. Boiler ticket expires 2018
GWR 9400 Class 9466 0-6-0PT Under Overhaul Built 1952, mainline certified
Aveling and Porter No.3587
Sydenham
0-4-0WT Operational Built 1895. On loan to Chatham Dockyard
GWR 6959 Class 6989
Wightwick Hall
4-6-0 Under Overhaul Built 1948
GWR 7200 Class 7200 2-8-2T Under Overhaul Built in 1934
Hunslet 50550 class No.3890 0-6-0ST Under Overhaul
Peckett and Sons No.1900 0-4-0ST Under Overhaul Built 1936. Britain's smallest standard-gauge steam locomotive
Andrew Barclay No.699
Swanscombe
0-4-0ST Operational Built 1891. The oldest surviving Barclay. Repainted in July 2013 into pseudo-Metropolitan Railway livery as Brill No. 1.
Bagnall No.2469
Scott
0-4-0ST Bagnall 040ST 2469 a.jpg Operational Built 1932
Andrew Barclay No.1477 0-4-0F Static Display Built 1916. Fireless
Andrew Barclay No.2243 0-4-0F Static Display Built 1948
Aveling and Porter No.807
Brill
0-4-0T Brill Tramway.JPG Static Display Built 1872. Brill Tramway No.1
GWR 4073 Class 5080
Defiant
4-6-0 GWR Castle Class 5080 Defiant.jpg Static Display Built 1939. On long term loan from Birmingham Railway Museum
GWR 5700 Class 7715
(London Transport L99)
0-6-0PT London Transport L99 & City of Truro at Sheringham.jpg Static Display Built 1930. Bought by London Transport in 1963, their L.99 until 1969. Out of service from December 2011 with a cracked boiler foundation ring
Hawthorn Leslie No.3717 0-4-0ST Static Display Built 1928
Hudswell Clarke No.1334
Sir Thomas
0-6-0T Static Display Built 1918
Hunslet No.3782
Arthur
0-6-0ST Static Display Built 1953
Hunslet "Austerity" No.3580
Juno
0-6-0ST Static Display Built 1958
South African Class 25NC 3405 4-8-4 South African Railways 25NC Class No 3405 B.jpg Static Display Built 1953. 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge
Sentinel Waggon Works No.6515
Isebrook
0-4-0 Sentinel 040 No 6515 Isebrook.jpg Under Overhaul Built 1945
Sentinel Waggon Works No.9537
Susan
0-4-0 Sentinel 040 No 9537 Susan.jpg Static Display Built 1952
Yorkshire Engine Company No.2498
Chislet
0-6-0ST Static Display Built 1951
British Rail Class 04 D2298 0-6-0DM D2298 at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre 3.jpg Operational
John Fowler No.20067
Osram
0-4-0DM Fowler Shunter - geograph.org.uk - 389916.jpg Static Display
F.C. Hibberd "Planet" No.3765 0-4-0DM Operational
F.C. Hibberd No.2102 0-4-0DM Hibberd 040DM 2102.jpg Static Display
F.C. Hibberd No.3271
Walrus
0-4-0DM Static Display
Hunslet K4428
Redland
0-4-0DM Static Display
Hunslet No.2067 0-4-0DM Operational
Ruston & Hornsby No.425477 0-4-0DM Operational
Ruston & Hornsby No.463153
Hilsea
0-4-0DM Ruston & Hornsby No 463153 Hilsea.jpg Under Overhaul Ex-British Gas

Diesel multiple units[edit]

Electric Multiple Units[edit]

1930 Stock Car No. 803 at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre

Carriages & Vans[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Simpson 1985, p. 110.
  2. ^ Oppitz 2000, p. 70.
  3. ^ Simpson 2005, p. 35.
  4. ^ a b Mitchell & Smith 2006, §16.
  5. ^ Oppitz 2000, pp. 70–71.
  6. ^ Jones 1974, p. 58.
  7. ^ a b Perfitt, Geoff (1994-04-07). "Those silver days of steam at Quainton". Bucks Herald (Aylesbury). p. 12. 
  8. ^ Mitchell & Smith 2006, §18.
  9. ^ Oppitz 2000, p. 71.
  10. ^ Oppitz 2000, p. 66.
  11. ^ Quick: Railway Passenger Stations and Chiltern Lines News.
  12. ^ Branch Line News no. 295.
  13. ^ QRS publication "Quainton News", Annual Report of the Quainton Railway Society (various years)
  14. ^ Oppitz 2000, p. 72.
  15. ^ Jones 2010, p. 45.
  16. ^ Quainton Railway Society. "Quainton Virtual Stockbook Home". Retrieved 2008-06-08. 

External links[edit]