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BUCKINGHAMSHIRE RAILWAY CENTRE 2010
The Buckinghamshire Railway Centre is based at Quainton Road Railway Station. A station was originally opened here in 1868 as an intermediate stop on the Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway's (A&BR) single-track line to Aylesbury from Verney Junction on the London and North Western Railway's Oxford to Cambridge cross-country route. The A&BR's line was worked by the Great Western Railway, but was eventually absorbed by the Metropolitan Railway in 1891, who doubled the track in 1897. Quainton Road had also become the terminus of the Brill Tramway from 1871.
1899 saw a new north-south main line opened by the Great Central Railway. This joined the Metropolitan's line about a quarter of a mile north of Quainton Road, and by agreement used the Metropolitan rails into London, deviating just before Baker Street to new new terminus at Marylebone. Thus Quainton Road witnessed numerous express trains thundering through between London and Sheffield. Upon grouping in 1923, the GCR become part of the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER). The Metropolitan remained independent until 1933, when it became part London Transport (LPTB). The LPTB closed the Brill Tramway in 1935, and LNER and London Transport withdrew passenger services between Aylesbury and Verney Junction in 1936. From then on Quainton Road was only normally used for goods traffic. The line through Quainton Road remains open and active for goods trains between London, Calvert and points north.
The Buckinghamshire Railway Centre was started by the London Railway Preservation Society (LRPS) in 1969. The LRPS had collected a variety of different items of railway equipment which were temporarily stored at depots elsewhere, whilst the society looked for a permanent home. Quainton Road, with its two large goods yards, was seen as an ideal location. The Quainton Railway Society Ltd was formed in 1969 and the LRPS was formally incorporated into it on 24 April 1971. The society was granted charitable status the following year, and became known as the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre. A large engine shed/workshop was built on site, and another building was acquired from London Transport. Subsequently the BRC acquired former MoD land and buildings to the west of the main line, which are now additional loco/carriage sheds and an excellent railway museum. More recently the BRC has acquired the large, but redundant Rewley Road station from Oxford, which is now the main visitor centre, with shop, restaurant and permanent exhibitions.
The following photographs were taken on Wednesday 9th June 2010.
This magnificent building, now the BRC visitor centre, was
originally Rewley Road Station at Oxford.
It was opened by the London & North Western Railway in 1851, and subsequently was given a Grade II listing.
Redundant, it was dismantled at Oxford in 1999, reassembled at Quainton, and formally opened in 2002.
This photo of Rewley Road Station, Oxford is on show in the visitor centre.
The interior of the old station - now the BRC visitor centre - is equally impressive.
Above the main entrance there is an impressive collection of old enamel advertising signs.
One of the star exhibits in the Visitor Centre is 'Castle'
class 4-6-0 locomotive No.5080 "Defiant".
This is on loan from the Birmingham Railway Museum at Tyseley.
"Defiant" was built by the Great Western Railway in
May 1939 at GWR Swindon,
and was one of a class of 171 locomotives used to haul express passenger trains between
Paddington and South Wales, the West Country and the West Midlands.
Outside, there is a demonstration track of about ½ mile length, where passenger rides are available on steam days.
Metropolitan Railway locomotive No 1 was in action.
This 0-4-4 T loco was built at the Metropolitan Railway's Neasden works in 1898,
and continued to be used on non-electrified sections of the Met until 1963.
|The builder plate on the loco||Also on the loco is the Met's coat of arms.|
No 1 getting up a head of steam ready for another round trip along the demonstration line.
Viewed from one of the footbridges, No 1 is heading back from her journey on the demo line.
Looking north from the same footbridge, the layout of the
complex can be seen.
The demo line is on the far right. The central track is the Network Rail line to Calvert.
The tracks on the left, known as the down yard, can be used for shunting demos and wagon storage.
There is no rail connection between the two parts, but visitors can use two foot bridges to cross the main line.
A row of wagons at the centre.
"Swancombe" was built in 1891 and used at the
Northfleet Coal & Ballast Co in Kent.
Moved to working in quarries in Essex, it remained in active use into the 1950s.
The locomotive has been at Quainton since 1965 and remains in regular use.
"Millom" was built by Hudswell Clarke & Co in 1946, and preserved in 1968.
The excellent covered museum has rolling stock on view,
sitting at platforms constructed inside the museum building.
This chain and flywheel-driven loco was built by Aveling &
Porter of Rochester in 1872, for use on the tramway
between Quainton Road and Brill. It was not very successful, especially if loads were heavy.
It was taken out of service and eventually sold in 1895 for industrial use, where it continued until 1940.
It is now on long-term loan from the London Transport Museum.
Many station artifacts are on show in the museum, especially those connected with London.
This mock-up shows the cab of a 1938 tube train entering
Kentish Town tube station.
Note the destination "Elstree", which was at the end of a proposed extension from Edgware, but which was never built.
Loco 30585, a 2-4-0 Beattie Well Tank, is sitting in an engine
shed. Ex-London & South Western Railway,
and built in 1874, she was part of the Swanage Railway's 125th anniversary celebrations in May 2010.
Click here to see her in steam at Swanage.
This is Quainton Road station on the Network Rail freight
express track. This is not used by trains running
at the rail centre, but is readily accessible by visitors. This station opened in 1896, replacing an earlier
facility which was a few hundred yards to the north.
This view from the station shows the remaining Network Rail
freight line (the former "up" line), with the
road bridge in the distance, which replaced the original level crossing in 1896.
This black & white shot shows the traditional platform paraphernalia, giving it a period feel.
Looking south from the station platform. The signal box
was brought from Harlington in Bedfordshire to replace
the original which burnt down in 1968. Also on view is the magnificent five-arm semaphore signal gantry.
Metropolitan No 1 again, about to leave for another round trip
on the demonstration line.
Black & white has been used to give the image a vintage feel.
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© Copyright M J Smith, 2010
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