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This railway opened as a branch line from the Great Western main line at Cholsey (near Didcot) to the market town of Wallingford in 1866, where a terminus station was constructed in Station Road.  Passenger services ceased in 1959.  In 1969 the line was shortened by 500 metres to the location of a malt plant on Hithercroft Road, which was the only remaining goods customer.  When traffic from this source stopped in 1981 the line was closed, and purchased by the CWR Preservation Society.  They  built a new basic station facility on the south side of St. Johns Road, and re-opened the line as a Heritage railway.

Trains run on selected weekends and bank holidays throughout the year and, where available, are steam hauled.  An advantage that the railway has is that the trains run to Cholsey station, where passengers can change to and from the First Great Western mainline services. The railway does not own any steam locomotives, so these are hired for steam weekends as needed.  The Society does own three Class 08 diesel shunters, other diesel locomotives, carriages and wagons.  Their main aim is to improve facilities for visitors and passengers at Wallingford, and eventually to construct a proper station building there.

These photographs were taken on Sunday 24th April 2011.


The entrance to Wallingford Station


Wallingford Station ticket office


This passenger coach was built in 1895 by the Metropolitan Carriage & Wagon for the Cambrian Railway.  It was one of a batch of 10 and originally was formed of six third class compartments.  In 1923 with the formation of the 'Big Four' railway companies, the Cambrian was absorbed into the Great Western Railway where the coach served until withdrawn in 1934. The 1930's depression saw many coach bodies sold off as dwellings, and this one followed the same route.  It found further use on Lambourn Downs until purchased for preservation by the C&W Railway in 1989. This coach body is one of only three examples of Cambrian Railway coaching stock to survive.  At Wallingford it serves as the railway museum.


Mark 1 British Rail coaches are ready for carrying the day's passengers.


This is "Lion", one of three Class 08 Diesel Shunters on the C&W.  It was built at Derby in 1953 and spent most of its life on the Western Region.  It was withdrawn from service by BR in 1985 and was purchased by brewers Guinness for their Park Royal works.  It has been on loan from Guinness since 1997.


The end of the platform at Wallingford.


Looking from Wallingford towards Cholsey.  As can be seen there is plenty of rolling stock on the sidings.


The steam locomotive on loan for the Easter weekend in 2011 was "Ivor the Engine".  This loco, based on the children's cartoon engine, is a Peckett saddle tank (works number 1555) with cosmetic side sheets built down to the running board.  With additional whistles and other details, the loco masquerades as the fictitious "Ivor the Engine".  M&LRTC Ltd signifies Merioneth & Llantisilly Rail Traction Co. Ltd.  Rather like "Thomas the Tank Engine", this loco will bring young families to the railway.


"Ivor" has arrived at Cholsey, and is ready to run round to the front of the train.


Cholsey station with "Ivor" running round to the front of the train.
The C&W has its own platform at the Network Rail station.


A First Great Western DMU service arrives at Cholsey while the C&W train awaits departure.


"Ivor" arrives back at Wallingford after a round trip to Cholsey.


"Carpenter" is a 24-ton 0-4-0 Diesel mechanical shunter, built by F.C. Hibberd & Co. Ltd at Park Royal, West London in 1948.  It was supplied for working at the Guinness Brewery, also in Park Royal.  This shunter is powered by a Paxman-Ricardo 6-cylinder 6RWT engine at 1,250 rpm., which drives through a four-speed self-changing gearbox to give a top speed of 11mph. In 1986 Guinness decided to purchase a pair of surplus class 08 shunters from British Rail thus rendering the Hibberd locomotive redundant. Guinness kindly donated the loco to the C&W, arriving at Wallingford on 11thOctober 1986.


Rear view of "Carpenter".  Until 1969 this line continued for a further half kilometre to the original Wallingford Station.
The track bed has been developed since then, and cannot be recovered.



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Copyright M J Smith, 2011
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