Watlington and Princes Risborough Railway

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Watlington and Princes Risborough Railway
Bicester cut-off to Banbury
Princes Risborough to Aylesbury Line
Thame Jct. (Wycombe Railway to Oxford )
Princes Risborough
Bledlow Bridge Halt
Wycombe Railway to High Wycombe
Wainhill Crossing
Wainhill Crossing Halt
Chinnor Cement Works
Kingston Crossing Halt
Kingston Crossing
Aston Rowant
A40 road
M40 motorway
Lewknor Bridge Halt

The Watlington and Princes Risborough Railway was a railway branch line between Watlington and Princes Risborough which remained operational for over 88 years between 1872 and 1961.


In the 1860s the Wallingford and Watlington Railway had been planned to link the Great Western Main Line at Cholsey and the Wycombe Railway at Princes Risborough, serving the towns of Wallingford and Watlington en route. The W&WR had opened between Cholsey and Wallingford in 1866, but had then failed to raise enough capital to complete the remainder of its intended route.[1]

In 1869 the Watlington & Princes Risborough Railway Company was founded independently of the W&WR. It opened between Thame Junction on the Wycombe Railway and Watlington on 15 August 1872. The line was not commercially successful as an independent company, and the Great Western Railway took it over on 1 July 1883. In 1927 several sidings were added south of Chinnor railway station to serve Chinnor cement works.[2]


Under the nationalisation of Britain's railways in 1948 the Watlington and Princes Risborough line became part of the Western Region of British Railways. On 29 June 1957 British Railways closed the line to passenger traffic.[3] Thereafter the section between Chinnor and Princes Risborough remained open for freight traffic from the cement works until 1989.[4]

Heritage railway[edit]

The Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway Association was formed in 1990 and began operating a heritage railway passenger service between Wainhill Halt and Chinnor in 1994. The C&PRR extended its service to Horsenden Lane in 1995 and Thame Junction in 1996.[4]


  • Karau, Paul; Turner, Chris (1998). Country branch line: An intimate portrait of the Watlington branch. Vol 1: The story of the line from 1872-1961. Didcot: Wild Swan. ISBN 1-874103-43-7. 
  • Karau, Paul; Turner, Chris (1998). Country branch line: An intimate portrait of the Watlington branch. Vol 2: The stations. Didcot: Wild Swan. ISBN 1-874103-46-1. 
  • Holden, J S (1974). The Watlington Branch. Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 0-902888-41-2. 
  • Oppitz, Leslie (2000). Lost Railways of the Chilterns. Newbury: Countryside Books. pp. 20–26. ISBN 1-85306-643-5. 
  • Waters, Laurence (1991). Oxfordshire Railways in Old Photographs A Second Selection. Stroud: Alan Sutton. pp. 106–108. ISBN 0-86299-852-2. 

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Oppitz, 2000, p.20
  2. ^ Oppitz, 2000, p.21
  3. ^ Oppitz, 2000, p.22
  4. ^ a b Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway: History