Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway

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Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway
Chinnor railway1.jpg
Pannier Tank at Chinnor Station. 5700 class Pannier tank 9682 waits while passengers board at Chinnor Station on the preserved Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway
Locale Buckinghamshire and
Oxfordshire, England
Terminus Chinnor and
Thame Junction or Princes Risborough
Connections Chiltern Main Line at Princes Risborough
Commercial operations
Name Watlington and Princes Risborough Railway Company
Original gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Preserved operations
Operated by Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway
Stations 1
Length 3.5 miles (5.6 km)
Preserved gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Commercial history
Opened 15 August 1872
Closed 1 July 1957 (passenger)
20 Dec 1989 (goods)
Preservation history
August 1989 C&PRR formed
26 July 1994 Transport and Works Order active
20 August 1994 First public service
1996 Extended to Thame Junction
July 2016 First train into Princes Risborough
March 2017 Lease Agreement signed with Network Rail for Princes Risborough Platform 4 and Sidings
Headquarters Chinnor
Chinnor & 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
Watlington and Princes Risborough Railway
Chinnor station is the headquarters of the preserved Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway
The run round loop and sidings

The Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway is a preserved heritage railway with its headquarters and only station at Chinnor in South Oxfordshire, England. It runs along the foot of the Chilterns escarpment.


The line was part of the former Great Western Railway branch line between Watlington and Princes Risborough. British Railways closed the line to passenger traffic in 1957. The section between Chinnor and Princes Risborough thereafter carried a freight-only cement service until 1989.[1]



The Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway Association was formed around August 1989. On 19 May 1991, the first train - a works train headed by a 0-4-0 Baguley diesel - ran from Chinnor.[2] It began to operate passenger trains between Chinnor and the site of the former Wainhill Halt (about 1 km NE of Chinnor) in August 1994. In 1995, the route was extended by about 3 km to Horsenden Lane, and then to Thame Junction in 1996.[1] On 21 February 2016, the railway was connected to the mainline at Princes Risborough, with services commencing later that year running in to Risborough. While works are being undertaken there, service trains will not always run in to Princes Risborough Platform 4.

The railway operates on standard gauge between Chinnor and Platform 4 at Princes Risborough, although some services terminate and turn around at Thame Junction. As of 2017, there is no platform at Thame Junction, and work is underway to construct a platform at Princes Risborough.

Princes Risborough extension[edit]

Following discussions with Network Rail, an extension of about a mile (1.5 km) to Princes Risborough main line railway station is in progress, with a view to running into Princes Risborough station.[3] This would allow passengers to connect from Chiltern Railways services on the Chiltern Main Line. Previously, the line was reconnected for special events to allow trains to run into Princes Risborough station: in October 2013, the line was reconnected for the first 3 weekends for the Railway's "Haversham & Friends" celebrations,[4] and the first through-train for 57 years, a rail tour from Aylesbury via Princes Risborough, ran on 5 October 2013.[5][6]

On 21 February 2016, a small team of volunteers used a road-rail vehicle to install a track panel in place of a Network Rail buffer stop to reinstate the physical connection to Princes Risborough; the following day, official boundary gates and safety signage were installed, making the line operational.[7] With the extension in place, the line is 4 miles (6.4 km) in length.[citation needed] The link was used for the first time by a visiting locomotive as part of the gala held on 4/5 June 2016; DB Cargo Class 66 66185 hauled 3-CEP 411198 on the 0950 from Chinnor.[8] A test run with a single-car DMU was operated on 25 June with the train running into Princes Risborough's temporary platform 4, followed a week later by a Class 17 working and then a steam-run on 10 July.[9] The first full public service carrying VIP guests to Risborough ran on 23 July, hauled by D3018 Haversham with the return journey worked by GWR 0-6-0PT 5786 (L.92).[9]

A platform has still to be built at Princes Risborough by the preserved railway and, until that work is completed, Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway passengers will not be able to join or leave trains at Princes Risborough.[10]

Future projects[edit]

Consideration has been given to extending the line to the south-west from Chinnor towards Aston Rowant near the A40, taking its total length to 6 miles (9.7 km).[11][12]

A purpose built Maintenance and Education centre at Chinnor station is also planned,[13] with construction expected to commence in 2014.

On-screen appearances[edit]

Chinnor station has been used for the filming of various TV series including Miss Marple and Midsomer Murders.[14]

Motive power[edit]

Steam locomotives[edit]

  • No. 6412 Visiting for 2017 from the South Devon Railway Trust.

Diesel locomotives[edit]

Diesel multiple units[edit]

  • BR Class 121 'bubble car' No. W55023. Operational and mainly used on summer Saturdays.
  • BR Class 121 'bubble car' No. W55024. Under repair.

Electric multiple units[edit]

  • BR Class 411 '3CEP' No. 1198. 'Linda the Lymington Flyer' BR Blue. Built in 1960. In Operation (Hauled by 08825 and will be hauled by 31163 once repaired)


  1. ^ a b "History". Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  2. ^ Leigh, Chris, ed. (August 1991). "Preservation review: Chinnor's first train". Railway World. 52 (616): 456. 
  3. ^ Fagg, Roger (May 2012). "Princes Risborough Extension, Progress at May 2012:". Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  4. ^ "Haversham and Friends". Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway. 2013-08-28. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  5. ^ Johnston, Howard (30 October – 12 November 2013). "Regional News". RAIL (734): 24. 
  6. ^ "Haversham and Friends, day 1.". Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway. 2013-08-23. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  7. ^ Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway. Retrieved 7 August 2016
  8. ^ Clinnick, Richard (22 June – 5 July 2016). "Chinnor & Princes Risborough link restored". RAIL (803): 25. 
  9. ^ a b Milner, Chris, ed. (August 2016). "Chinnor takes big stride into Princes Risborough". The Railway Magazine: 11. 
  10. ^ Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway to operate into Princes Risborough. Retrieved 7 August 2016
  11. ^ Oppitz, Leslie (2000). Lost Railways of the Chilterns. Lost Railways. Newbury: Countryside Books. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-85306-643-6. 
  12. ^ "Travel: Reopened rail line could relieve M40". The Independent. 1997-12-22. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  13. ^ "Restoration and Education Centre Appeal". 8 April 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  14. ^ Street, Joan. "Midsomer Murders Locations - Chinnor, Buckinghamshire". Archived from the original on 2009-08-04. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°41′53″N 0°54′23″W / 51.6980°N 0.9063°W / 51.6980; -0.9063