Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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
LocaleBuckinghamshire and
Oxfordshire, England
TerminusChinnor and
Princes Risborough
ConnectionsChiltern Main Line at Princes Risborough
Commercial operations
NameWatlington and Princes Risborough Railway Company
Original gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Preserved operations
Operated byChinnor and Princes Risborough Railway
Length4 miles (6.4 km)
Preserved gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Commercial history
Opened15 August 1872
Closed1 July 1957 (passenger)
20 Dec 1989 (goods)
Preservation history
August 1989C&PRR formed
26 July 1994Transport and Works Order active
20 August 1994First public service
1996Extended to Thame Junction
July 2016First train into Princes Risborough
March 2017Lease Agreement signed with Network Rail for Princes Risborough Platform 4
August 2018Opening of rebuilt Platform 4
Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway
Thame Jct. (Wycombe Railway to Oxford )
Princes Risborough
Horsenden Lane Crossing
Perry Lane Bridge
West Lane Bridge
Wainhill Crossing
Station Road Bridge
Chinnor Yard
Kingston Crossing
Aston Rowant (proposed)
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 standard gauge heritage railway with its headquarters and main station at Chinnor in South Oxfordshire, England. It runs along the foot of the Chilterns escarpment. Although a few fields away it has since been given the nickname 'The Icknield Line' for its connection to the Lower Icknield Way.


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 the old rail connection that led trains to Oxford now known as Thame Junction in 1996.[1] On 21 February 2016, the railway was connected to the main line at Princes Risborough, with services commencing later that year running in to a siding adjacent to Platform 4 at Princes Risborough while works were being undertaken to rebuild the platform there. Some service trains were not always able to run that far either due to Network Rail / Chiltern Railways requirements or other works related to platform reinstatement and continued to terminate at Thame Junction.

The railway now operates between Chinnor and platform 4 at Princes Risborough, although some services may continue to terminate and turn around at Thame Junction for operational reasons. There is no platform at Thame Junction. Work to reinstate platform 4 at Princes Risborough was completed in August 2018.

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 was undertaken, 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 at a point just yards from the headshunt at Thame Junction 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 diesel 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]

Bay platform 4 of the original Watlington branch has been reconstructed at Princes Risborough by the preserved railway using, where possible materials recovered from the site; with that work completed, Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway passengers are now able to join or leave trains at Princes Risborough on certain services. [10] The Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway held an official opening ceremony of the Platform on 15 August 2018. [11]

Future projects[edit]

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).[12][13]

A purpose built Maintenance and Education centre at a site some 200 yards south of Chinnor station has been opened.[14]

On-screen appearances[edit]

Chinnor station has been used for the filming of various TV series including Miss Marple and Midsomer Murders.[15]

Motive power[edit]

Steam locomotives[edit]

Diesel locomotives[edit]

Diesel multiple units[edit]

  • BR Class 121 'bubble car' No. W55023. In BR Green with yellow warning panel. Under restoration.
  • BR Class 121 'bubble car' No. W55024. Returned from overhaul in 2019 in BR Maroon livery with yellow warning panel. Operational.

Electric multiple units[edit]

  • BR Class 411 '3CEP' No. 1198. 'Linda the Lymington Flyer' BR Blue. Built in 1960. In Operation


  1. ^ a b "History". Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  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. Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Haversham and Friends". Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway. 28 August 2013. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  5. ^ Johnston, Howard (30 October – 12 November 2013). "Regional News". RAIL (734): 24.
  6. ^ "Haversham and Friends, day 1". Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway. 23 August 2013. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  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. ^ "Opening date announced for the new Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway heritage and main line rail interchange Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway". Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  12. ^ Oppitz, Leslie (2000). Lost Railways of the Chilterns. Lost Railways. Newbury: Countryside Books. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-85306-643-6.
  13. ^ "Travel: Reopened rail line could relieve M40". The Independent. 22 December 1997. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  14. ^ "Restoration and Education Centre Appeal". 8 April 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  15. ^ Street, Joan. "Midsomer Murders Locations - Chinnor, Buckinghamshire". Archived from the original on 4 August 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2008.

External links[edit]

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