Buckinghamshire Railway Centre

Buckinghamshire Railway Centre is a railway museum operated by the Quainton Railway Society Ltd. at Quainton Road railway station, about 5 miles (8.0 km) west of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, England. The site is divided into two halves which are joined by two foot-bridges, one of which provides wheelchair access. Each side has a demonstration line with various workshop buildings as well as museum buildings.

Buckinghamshire Railway Centre
View along the main line towards Quainton Road, showing the two sides of the centre, taken from the footbridge. Main buildings, from left-right: Ministry of Food Buffer-Depot; Brill Tramway platform; Quainton Road; the former building of Oxford Rewley Road
Established1969
Coordinates51.865°N 0.929°W / 51.865; -0.929
TypeOperational railway museum
Key holdingsMetropolitan Railway E Class No.1
GWR 4073 Class No.5080 Defiant
GWR 6959 Class No.6989 Wightwick Hall
South African Class 25NC 4-8-4 No.3405
OwnerQuainton Railway Society (Some land leased from Network Rail)
Public transit accessQuainton Road or Aylesbury
WebsiteBucksRailCentre.org

History

In 1962, the London Railway Preservation Society was formed. It bought a series of former London Underground vehicles and collectables, and holds the largest collection of London and North Western Railway memorabilia.[1] These were held at various sites around London, mainly two government depots at Luton and Bishop's Stortford,[2] making both access, restoration and preservation difficult.[1]

While other closed stations on the former MR lines north of Aylesbury were generally demolished or sold,[3] in 1969 the Quainton Railway Society was formed to operate a working museum at the station.[4] On 24 April 1971 the society absorbed the London Railway Preservation Society, taking custody of its collection of historic railway equipment.[5]

Restoration

The station was maintained in working order, used as a bookshop and ticket office.[6] The extensive sidings were still intact, and although disconnected from the mainline in 1967,[7] were used for locomotive restoration work.[4] The Society eventually restored the main station building to its 1900 appearance, renaming the site the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre.[8] A smaller building on the former Brill platform, once a shelter for passengers waiting for Brill and down trains, was used first as a store then as a shop for a number of years before its current use to house an exhibit on the history of the Brill Tramway. A former London Transport building from Wembley Park was dismantled and re-erected at Quainton Road to serve as a maintenance shed.[9]

Mainline services

Although the BRC's trains are run on the former station sidings, the station still has a working Network Rail line passing through it. This connects Aylesbury with the Bletchley to Oxford cross-country route at Claydon (LNE) Junction. Regular landfill freight trains traverse the line from waste transfer depots in Greater London to the former brick pits at Calvert.[10]

From 1984 until 1990, the station briefly came back into passenger use, when special Christmas shopping services between Aylesbury and Bletchley were operated by British Rail Network SouthEast on Saturdays only, and stopped at Quainton Road.[11] From August Bank Holiday 1971 until the 1987 season, and again from August Bank Holiday 2001 the station has had special passenger trains from Aylesbury in connection with events at the Centre - these shuttles now run regularly each Spring and August Bank Holiday weekend.

Present

With an extensively redeveloped site on both sides of the working mainline, BRC houses around 170 items of locomotives and rolling stock, in buildings dating from 1874 to the 1960s. The adjacent World War II warehouses of the Ministry of Food Buffer Depot in the former downside yard have been taken over to display many items awaiting restoration, whilst the Society have added a members' reference library.

Rewley Road

Rewley Road, the Oxford terminus of Harry Verney's Buckinghamshire Railway and of the Oxford to Cambridge Line, closed to passengers on 1 October 1951 with trains diverted to the former GWR Oxford General, the current Oxford station. In co-operation with the Science Museum, Rewley Road was dismantled in 1999. The main station building and part of the platform canopy were then moved to BRC and re-erected in 2002 at the north-west corner of the site, now providing improved visitor facilities and the main offices of the QRS.[12]

Media

As one of the best-preserved period railway stations in England, Quainton Road is regularly used as a filming location for period drama, and programmes such as The Jewel in the Crown, the Doctor Who serial Black Orchid and Midsomer Murders have been filmed there.[7]

Future developments

As of 2010 the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre is negotiating for a reconnection of the link between its sidings and the main line to allow their locomotives to run to Aylesbury when the line is not in use by freight trains, and to rebuild part of the Brill Tramway between Quainton Road and Waddesdon Road.[13][14]

High Speed 2's planned route passes immediately to the west of the site, not impacting the centre directly, although it will preclude any restoration of the Brill Tramway.[15]

Collection

The collection includes locomotives, carriages, and assorted rolling stock, plus a large amount of memorabilia and documents.[16]

Locomotives

Sortable table
Class Number (and name) Chassis Status Notes Image
Metropolitan Railway
E Class
No.1 (London Transport L44) 0-4-4 T Operational Built 1898. Operational and a regular on passenger trains. On loan to the Epping Ongar Railway. Boiler ticket expires in 2022.
LSWR
0298 Class
314
(British Railways 30585)
2-4-0 WT Static Display Built 1874. Boiler ticket expired in 2016.
Peckett and Sons No.1159
Annie
0-4-0 ST Under Overhaul Built 1908. Arrived in April 2018 from the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. Part way through a major overhaul.
Peckett and Sons No.2105
Rokeby
0-4-0 ST Static Display Built 1951. Mainly used on goods/vintage trains.
North British Locomotive Company Coventry
No.1
0-6-0 T Static display Built 1939. Previously acted as Thomas the Tank Engine on "Thomas" days. On static display after her boiler certificate expired.
Hudswell Clarke No.1742
Millom
0-4-0 ST Operational Built 1946. Used on goods and vintage trains. Boiler ticket expires in 2027.
Aveling and Porter No.3587
Sydenham
0-4-0 WT G Under overhaul Built 1895
GWR 6959 Class 6989
Wightwick Hall
4-6-0 Operational Built 1948. To be in service for the 2019 May Bank Holiday Gala. Restoration complete as of 11 December 2018. Using 6984 Owsden Hall's tender.[17]
GWR 7200 Class 7200 2-8-2 T Under restoration Built in 1934
Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0ST No.3890
NCB 66
0-6-0 ST Operational Last Hunslet Austerity built in 1964. Boiler ticket expires in 2024.
Peckett and Sons No.1900 0-4-0 ST Under Overhaul Built 1936. Britain's smallest standard-gauge steam locomotive.
Andrew Barclay No.699
Swanscombe
0-4-0 ST Operational Built 1891. Boiler ticket expires in 2023. The oldest surviving Barclay. Repainted in July 2013 into pseudo-Metropolitan Railway livery as Brill No. 1.
Bagnall No.2469
Scott
0-4-0 ST Operational Built 1932. Boiler ticket expires in 2024. Mainly used on goods trains.
Andrew Barclay No.1477 0-4-0 F Static display Built 1916. Fireless
Andrew Barclay No.2243 0-4-0 F Static display Built 1948. Fireless
Aveling and Porter No.807
Brill
0-4-0 T G Static display, although undergoing restoration. Built 1872. Brill Tramway No.1
GWR 5700 Class 7715
(London Transport L99)
0-6-0 PT Static display Built 1930. Bought by London Transport in 1963, their L.99 until 1969. Out of service from December 2011 with a cracked boiler foundation ring.
Hawthorn Leslie No.3717
Swanscombe No.3
0-4-0 ST Static display Built 1928
Hawthorn Leslie No.3718
Swanscombe No.4
0-4-0 ST Operational Built 1928. Arrived in 2018 near the end of a major overhaul. She entered service in August 2018. Boiler ticket expires 2028
Hudswell Clarke No.1334
Sir Thomas
0-6-0 T Static display Built 1918
Hunslet No.3782
Arthur
0-6-0 ST Under overhaul Built 1953
LNWR 3020
Cornwall
2-2-2 Static Display Built 1847. On display inside the Rewley Road visitor centre. On loan from the National Railway Museum.
South African Class 25NC 3405 4-8-4 Static Display Built 1953. 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge
Sentinel Waggon Works No.6515
Isebrook
4wd Under Overhaul Built 1945
Sentinel Waggon Works No.9366 Cynthia 4wd Operational Built 1945. Returned to steam in late 2017 after a major overhaul. Boiler ticket expires in 2027
Yorkshire Engine Company No.2498
Chislet
0-6-0 ST Static Display Built 1951
British Rail Class 04 D2298 0-6-0 DM Under Restoration Built 1960. Under restoration after suffering an engine failure at The East Lancashire railway.
John Fowler No.20067
Osram
0-4-0 DM Static Display
F.C. Hibberd "Planet" No.3765 0-4-0 DM Operational
F.C. Hibberd No.2102 0-4-0 DM Static Display
F.C. Hibberd No.3271
Walrus
0-4-0 DM Static Display
Hunslet K4428
Redland
0-4-0 DM Static Display
Hunslet No.2067 0-4-0 DM Operational
Ruston & Hornsby No.425477 0-4-0 DM Operational
Ruston & Hornsby No.463153
Hilsea
0-4-0 DM Under Overhaul Ex-British Gas

Diesel multiple units

  • BR Class 115 unit 51886+59761+51889 "Aylesbury College Silver Jubilee 1987"

Electric multiple units

Carriages and vans

Carriages

Passenger coaching stock

Sortable table
Original company Number Type Status/Notes Image
LCDR 9 4-wheel first Built 1880. Sold to Woolwich Arsenal in 1916. One of only two LCDR carriages to be preserved on their original underframe. Operational.
WCJS 102 6-wheel sleeper, then inspection saloon. LNWR design, converted to family saloon, later rebuilt as an inspection saloon in 1903. Body only. Stored on a GNoSR underframe.
LNWR 112 12-wheel First class sleeper then cinema coach. Built in 1907. Withdrawn in 1937 then rebuilt in 1952 to cinema coach at Liverpool Central, until 1972. Preserved 1973. Now plays Quainton Railway Society's story on weekends.
LNWR 182 6-wheel picnic saloon. Built in 1894. Later grounded, body is now on an ex-LMS underframe of the same length. Now restored and operational, although inside Quainton Road workshop as of 3 March 2019.
LNWR 249 12-wheel first class diner Built in 1901. Used for staff on royal train from 1905 to 1967, preserved that same year. Restored and operational.
GNR 459 6-wheel third Built in 1900. Now under restoration as of 3 March 2019.
Great Central Railway 652 Suburban Brake Third Built in 1916. Arrived at Quainton in 1997. Restoration started while on display inside museum, doors are inside the carriage with GCR numbering and lettering.
MSJAR 1076 6-wheel third Built by MSLR for MSJAR in 1890. Operational, restored as an open saloon.
GNR 1470 6-wheel brake third Built in 1889. Operational in GNR livery.
GNR 1727 6-Wheel Passenger Brake Van Built in 1897 at Doncaster. Withdrawn in 1938, became a fitters' van in February 1939, then a Pooley's van in 1960s. Went from Nene Valley Railway to Quainton in April, 2003.
GWR 2242 Hawksworth Brake Corridor Third Built in 1950 by Metro Cammell. Arrived at Quainton in January 1983 for 9466 Group. Being used for overnight volunteer accommodation.
BR 5324 Mk2 Tourist Second Open Built in 1968 at Derby. Preserved as a body only in 1988, grounded as a QRSL office for some time; now 6989 Wightwick Hall sales coach.
GWR 9001 12-Wheel Collett Special Saloon Built in 1940 at Swindon. Used by Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower during WWII. Went to GWR preservation sites (Tyseley and SVR) before arriving at Quainton Road in January 2002.
BR 16235 Mk1 Corridor Composite Built in 1963 at Derby. Preserved August 1992. Now on replacement B1 bogies. Operational.
LNER 22219 Suburban Third Built in 1926. Only one of specific coach type left. Arrived at Quainton in 1983.
BR 24993 Mk1 Corridor Second Built in 1956. Operational, recently repainted from BR Maroon to BR Crimson and Cream.
BR 25500 Mk1 Corridor Second Built at York in 1958. Preserved in 1983. One bogie currently missing and that end of the coach is held up.
BR 35192 Mk1 Brake Corridor Second Built in 1958. Operational. Painted in BR Crimson and Cream
BR 53190 Mk1 Suburban brake second Built in 1954 at Doncaster. Preserved in 1977, at the Watercress Line till 1985. Operational.

Non-passenger coaching stock

Sortable table
Original company Number Type Status/Notes Image
LNWR None, later DM279982 6-wheel full brake. Built in 1891. Lasted as C&W department stores van, later abandoned at Wolverton, of which its existence was not known by BR when alerted by a QRS member, later preserved (according to Buckinghamshire Railway Centre stockbook of 1990).
SR 1108 4-wheel PMV Built in 1936 at Ashford Works. Preserved in 1973 by 6024 Preservation Society. Recently underwent a repaint.
LSWR 5025 4-Wheel Luggage Van Built in 1917 at Eastleigh. Withdrawn in 1940. Preserved in 1971, then sold to Quainton in 1983. Now restored and operational.
LNWR 11388 6-wheel Covered Carriage Truck Built in 1911 at Wolverton. 1 of 2 survivors. Later used as a cell truck.
BR 86450 General Utility Van Built in 1954 by Pressed Steel. Arrived at Quainton in January 1994. Was used as an exhibition and stores vehicle, painted in BR Maroon.
BR 94578 4-wheel Covered Carriage Trust Built at Earlestown in 1960. Withdrawn in 1983, was to be scrapped but went to Quainton in October 1984.
BR 96403 4-wheel Horse Box Built in 1957 at Earlestown. Used for horses of Household Cavalry at Kensington Olympia and at Prince of Wales' Investiture at Caernarvon June 1969, preserved in 1972. Is an open display in the carriage shed.

Wagons

Open Wagons

Sortable table
Original company Number Type Status/Notes Image

Covered Goods Vans

Sortable table
Original company Number Type Status/Notes Image

Tank wagons

Sortable table
Original company Number Type Status/Notes Image

Brake vans

Sortable table
Original company Number Type Status/Notes Image

Cranes

Sortable table
Original company Number Type Status/Notes Image
M&GJCR 1 4-wheel Hand Crane Built in 1914. Only M&GCJR-owned rail vehicle. Being restored.[20] The original match wagon is not usable right now, so an LMS wagon underframe is in its place.
LMS No. ADM 27 10-ton hand-operated crane Built in 1944 by Cowans Sheldon Ltd. Withdrawn in October 1982. New match wagon underframe created from a hopper wagon.

References

  1. Simpson 1985, p. 110.
  2. Oppitz 2000, p. 70.
  3. Simpson 2005, p. 35.
  4. Mitchell & Smith 2006, §16.
  5. Oppitz 2000, pp. 70–71.
  6. Jones 1974, p. 58.
  7. Perfitt, Geoff (7 April 1994). "Those silver days of steam at Quainton". Bucks Herald. Aylesbury. p. 12.
  8. Mitchell & Smith 2006, §18.
  9. Oppitz 2000, p. 71.
  10. Oppitz 2000, p. 66.
  11. Quick (2009): "Railway Passenger Stations in Great Britain" and Chiltern Lines News
  12. QRS publication "Quainton News", Annual Report of the Quainton Railway Society (various years)
  13. Oppitz 2000, p. 72.
  14. Jones 2010, p. 45.
  15. London-West Midlands Environmental Statement Volume 5 Technical Appendices CFA12 Waddesdon and Quainton Impact assessment tables (CH-003-012) Cultural heritage (PDF). e Department for Transport (DfT). November 2013. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 June 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  16. Quainton Railway Society. "Quainton Virtual Stockbook Home". Retrieved 8 June 2008.
  17. "Work in Progress". wightwick-hall-6989.com. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  18. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 September 2008. Retrieved 8 June 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 8 June 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. https://www.brc-stockbook.co.uk/m&gcjc.htm
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