Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway

The Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway (A&BR) was an English railway located in Buckinghamshire, England operating between Aylesbury and Verney Junction.

History

Aylesbury & Buckingham RW 1867
Share certificate of the Ayesbury & Buckingham Railway Company, issued 18 August 1867 to Sir Harry Verney, Bart

The Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway Company was incorporated on 6 August 1860,[1] and the line opened on 23 September 1868 connecting Aylesbury and Verney Junction and serving intermediate stations at Waddesdon Manor (renamed Waddesdon on 1 October 1920), Quainton Road, Grandborough (renamed Granborough Road on 6 October 1920), and Winslow Road. The A&BR was never extended to Buckingham.

In the late 1880s the Metropolitan Railway planned to extend its projected Aylesbury line northwards to Morton Pinkney, to make a junction with the East and West Junction Railway. Instead, the Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway Company was absorbed by the Metropolitan Railway on 1 July 1891 and it thus formed the northward progress of the Metropolitan Railway.

The section of line from Morton Pinkney to just north of Quainton Road railway station was built later as part of the London Extension of the Great Central Railway, joining the, by then, Metropolitan Railway tracks into London, and forming the Great Central Main Line which opened for passenger traffic on 15 March 1899.

In April 1906 the Metropolitan Railway section from Harrow-on-the-Hill station to Verney Junction was leased to a Joint Committee of the Metropolitan Railway and Great Central Main Line: it was worked on a five-yearly basis alternately by the joint lessees.

Passenger services on the line were withdrawn between Quainton Road and Verney Junction from 6 July 1936, having last run on the 4th, and the intermediate stations of Granborough Road and Winslow Road closed. The last through service, a parcels train from Verney Junction, was on 6 April 1947. The line was officially closed on 8 September 1947 but was retained as a siding to a point near Winslow Road until at least 1963. On 14 September that year a railtour ran on this part of the line.

Current and future developments

In December 2008 a section of track between Aylesbury and the newly opened Aylesbury Vale Parkway station was reinstated for regular passenger use. There are plans to continue the reinstatement north of Aylesbury Vale as part of new the East West Rail Consortium route around London. However the route would use only the section just to the north of Quainton Road, continuing via the Great Central route and the Calvert curve towards Bletchley. There are no firm plans for stations between Aylesbury Vale and Calvert nor a reinstated station at Verney Junction.

See also

References

  1. ^ "No. 22411". The London Gazette. 7 August 1860. pp. 2934–2935.
A412 road

The A412 is a road in England between Slough and Watford. It was the main artery for this corridor and used to continue to St Albans prior to the construction of the M25. It provides interchange to the A4 in Slough, the A40/M40 at the Denham Roundabout, the M25 in Maple Cross, the A404 in Rickmansworth town centre, the A411 on a partially grade separated dual carriageway in Watford town centre, and the A41 in North Watford.

Aylesbury–Princes Risborough line

The Aylesbury–Princes Risborough line is a rural branch line between Princes Risborough and Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, England. The line is single track throughout with a maximum speed of 40 mph.

Brill Tramway

The Brill Tramway, also known as the Quainton Tramway, Wotton Tramway, Oxford & Aylesbury Tramroad and Metropolitan Railway Brill Branch, was a six-mile (10 km) rail line in the Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire, England. It was privately built in 1871 by the 3rd Duke of Buckingham as a horse tram line to help transport goods between his lands around Wotton House and the national rail network. Lobbying from the nearby village of Brill led to its extension to Brill and conversion to passenger use in early 1872. Two locomotives were bought but the line had been built for horses and thus trains travelled at an average speed of 4 miles per hour (6.4 km/h).

In 1883, the Duke of Buckingham planned to upgrade the route to main line standards and extend the line to Oxford, creating the shortest route between Aylesbury and Oxford. Despite the backing of the wealthy Ferdinand de Rothschild, investors were deterred by costly tunnelling. In 1888 a cheaper scheme was proposed in which the line would be built to a lower standard and avoid tunnelling. In anticipation, the line was named the Oxford & Aylesbury Tramroad.

Although the existing line had been upgraded in 1894, the extension to Oxford was never built. Instead, operation of the Brill Tramway was taken over by London's Metropolitan Railway and Brill became one of its two north-western termini. The line was rebuilt in 1910, and more advanced locomotives were introduced, allowing trains to run faster. The population of the area remained low, and the primary income source remained the carriage of goods to and from farms. Between 1899 and 1910 other lines were built in the area, providing more direct services to London and the north of England. The Brill Tramway went into financial decline.

In 1933 the Metropolitan Railway became the Metropolitan line of London Transport. The Brill Tramway became part of the London Underground, despite Quainton Road being 40 miles (64 km) from London and not underground. London Transport aimed to concentrate on electrification and improvement of passenger services in London and saw little possibility that routes in Buckinghamshire could become viable passenger routes. In 1935 the Brill Tramway closed. The infrastructure was dismantled and sold. Little trace remains other than the former junction station at Quainton Road, now the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre.

Chesham branch

The Chesham branch is a single-track railway branch line in Buckinghamshire, England, owned and operated by the London Underground. It runs from a junction at Chalfont & Latimer station on the Metropolitan line for 3.89 miles (6.26 km) northwest to Chesham. The line was built as part of Edward Watkin's scheme to turn his Metropolitan Railway (MR) into a direct rail route between London and Manchester, and it was envisaged initially that a station outside Chesham would be an intermediate stop on a through route running north to connect with the London and North Western Railway (LNWR). Deteriorating relations between the MR and LNWR led to the MR instead expanding to the northwest via Aylesbury, and the scheme to connect with the LNWR was abandoned. By this time much of the land needed for the section of line as far as Chesham had been bought. As Chesham was at the time the only significant town near the MR's new route, it was decided to build the route only as far as Chesham, and to complete the connection with the LNWR at a future date if it proved desirable. Local residents were unhappy at the proposed station site outside Chesham, and a public subscription raised the necessary additional funds to extend the railway into the centre of the town. The Chesham branch opened in 1889.

While construction of the Chesham line was underway, the Metropolitan Railway was also expanding to the northwest, and in 1892 the extension to Aylesbury and on to Verney Junction opened. Most trains on the branch line were operating as a shuttle service between Chesham and the main line at Little Chalfont rather than as through trains to London. The opening in 1899 of the Great Central Railway, Edward Watkin's connection between London and Manchester, as well as the highly successful Metro-land campaign encouraging Londoners to move to the rural areas served by the railway, led to an increase in traffic in the area, although the Chesham branch was less affected by development than most other areas served by the railway. In 1933 the Metropolitan Railway was taken into public ownership and became the Metropolitan line of the London Underground. London Underground aimed to concentrate on their core business of passenger transport in London, and saw the rural and freight lines in Buckinghamshire as an expensive anomaly. The day-to-day operation of the Chesham branch was transferred to the London and North Eastern Railway, although London Transport retained control. In 1960 the line was electrified, and from 1962 on was operated by London Underground A Stock trains.

In the 1970s and 1980s decaying infrastructure and the withdrawal of subsidies brought the future of the line into doubt. As one of its last acts the Greater London Council paid for the replacement of two bridges on the line, allowing operations to continue. The centenary of the line in 1989 saw a renewal of interest and an upgrading of the trains between Chalfont & Latimer and London Marylebone station made commuting more practical, and usage of the line stabilised. The introduction of London Underground S Stock in 2010 led to the replacement of the shuttle service with half-hourly through trains to and from London.

Chiltern Way

The Chiltern Way is a waymarked long-distance footpath in southern England in the United Kingdom. It was created by the Chiltern Society as a millennium project.

Granborough Road railway station

Granborough Road railway station (initially Grandborough Road) was a station serving the village of Granborough, to the north of Quainton in Buckinghamshire, England.

Handy Cross roundabout

Handy Cross roundabout is a major road interchange at Handy Cross, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire; the junction for High Wycombe, the M40 motorway and the A404 dual-carriageway. It is the terminus of the A4010 which runs to Aylesbury.

Infrastructure of the Brill Tramway

The Brill Tramway, also known as the Quainton Tramway, Wotton Tramway, Oxford & Aylesbury Tramroad and Metropolitan Railway Brill Branch, was a six-mile (10 km) rail line in the Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire, England. It was privately built in 1871 by the 3rd Duke of Buckingham as a horse tram line to transport goods between his lands around Wotton House and the national railway network. Lobbying from residents of the nearby town of Brill led to the line's extension to Brill and conversion to passenger use in early 1872. Two locomotives were bought for the line, but as it had been designed and built with horses in mind, services were very slow; trains travelled at an average speed of only 4 miles per hour (6.4 km/h).In 1883, the Duke of Buckingham announced plans to upgrade the route to main line railway standards and extend the line to Oxford, creating a through route from Aylesbury to Oxford. If built, the line would have been the shortest route between Aylesbury and Oxford at the time. Despite the backing of the wealthy Ferdinand de Rothschild, investors were deterred by the costly tunnelling proposed, and the Duke was unable to raise sufficient funds. In 1888 a cheaper scheme was proposed, in which the line would be built to a lower standard and wind around hills to avoid tunnelling. In anticipation of this, the line was named the Oxford & Aylesbury Tramroad. Although the existing line was upgraded in 1894, the extension to Oxford was never built. Instead, the operation of the Brill Tramway was taken over by London's Metropolitan Railway, and Brill became one of their two north-western termini. The line was rebuilt a second time in 1910, and more advanced locomotives were introduced, allowing trains to run faster.In 1933 the Metropolitan Railway was taken into public ownership and became the Metropolitan line of London Transport. As a result, the Brill Tramway became a part of the London Underground. The management of London Transport aimed to concentrate on electrification and the improvement of passenger services in London, and saw little possibility that the former Metropolitan Railway routes in Buckinghamshire could ever become viable passenger routes. In 1935 all services on the Brill Tramway were withdrawn, and the line was closed. The infrastructure of the route was dismantled and sold shortly afterwards. Very little trace of the Brill Tramway remains, other than the former junction station at Quainton Road, now the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre.

Magic Roundabout (High Wycombe)

The Magic Roundabout in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England, is similar to the roundabouts with the same name in Swindon and other places. It is located on the junction of the A40 and A404. The junction is the second meeting point of the two roads, they interchange at the start of the A404 in Marylebone, London, with the A40 forming the Westway.

The two roads follow different routes to reach Wycombe, the A40 coming via Beaconsfield and the A404 via North London and Amersham. From the roundabout, the A40 continues towards Oxford, Cheltenham, Gloucester and South Wales, whilst the A404 goes south to Marlow and Maidenhead.

Quainton Road railway station

Quainton Road railway station was opened in 1868 in under-developed countryside near Quainton, in the English county of Buckinghamshire, 44 miles (71 km) from London. Built by the Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway, it was the result of pressure from the 3rd Duke of Buckingham to route the railway near his home at Wotton House and to open a railway station at the nearest point to it. Serving a relatively underpopulated area, Quainton Road was a crude railway station, described as "extremely primitive".

The Duke of Buckingham built a short horse-drawn tramway to transport goods between his estates at Wotton and a terminus adjacent to the station. He extended it soon afterwards to provide a passenger service to the town of Brill, and the tramway was converted to locomotive operation, known as the Brill Tramway. All goods to and from the Brill Tramway passed through Quainton Road, making it relatively heavily used despite its geographical isolation, and traffic increased further when construction began on Ferdinand de Rothschild's mansion of Waddesdon Manor. The plan of extending the Brill Tramway to Oxford, which would have made Quainton Road a major junction station, was abandoned. Instead, the Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway and the Brill Tramway were absorbed by London's Metropolitan Railway (MR), which already operated the line from Aylesbury to London. The MR rebuilt Quainton Road and re-sited it to a more convenient location, allowing through running between the Brill Tramway and the Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway. When the Great Central Railway (GCR) from the north of England opened, Quainton Road became a significant junction at which trains from four directions met, and by far the busiest of the MR's rural stations.

In 1933 the Metropolitan Railway was taken into public ownership to become the Metropolitan line of the London Passenger Transport Board's London Underground, including Quainton Road. The LPTB aimed to move away from freight operations, and saw no way in which the rural parts of the MR could be made into viable passenger routes. In 1935 the Brill Tramway was closed. From 1936 Underground trains were withdrawn north of Aylesbury, leaving the London and North Eastern Railway (successor to the GCR) as the only operator using the station, although Underground services were restored for a short period in the 1940s. In 1963 stopping passenger services were withdrawn but fast passenger trains continued to pass through. In 1966 the line was closed to passenger traffic and local goods trains ceased using the station. The line through the station was singled and used by occasional freight trains only.

In 1969 the Quainton Road Society was formed with the aim of preserving the station. In 1971, it absorbed the London Railway Preservation Society, taking over its collection of historic railway equipment. The station was fully restored and reopened as a museum, the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre. In addition to the original station buildings, the museum has also acquired the former Oxford Rewley Road railway station and a London Transport building from Wembley Park, both of which have been reassembled on the site. Although no scheduled trains pass through Quainton Road, the station remains connected to the railway network. Freight trains still use this line, and passenger trains still call at the station for special events at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre.

Shakespeare's Way

Shakespeare's Way is a waymarked long-distance footpath in southern England, United Kingdom.

Swan's Way (footpath)

Swan's Way is a long distance bridle route and footpath in Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, England. It runs 65 miles (105 km) from Salcey Forest, Northamptonshire to Goring-On-Thames, Oxfordshire. Although designed for horseriders by riders, it is a multi-use trail also available to walkers and cyclists.

For walkers the path links with the Ridgeway National Trail, the western end of the Icknield Way Path, the Ouse Valley Way and the Three Shires Way.

Verney Junction railway station

Verney Junction was an isolated railway station at a four-way railway junction in Buckinghamshire, open from 1868 to 1968; a junction existed through the site without a station from 1851.

The first line to open on the site was the Buckinghamshire Railway, which opened a line from Bletchley to Banbury in 1850; a line branching west to Oxford followed in 1851. This formed an east-west link from Oxford to Bletchley and Cambridge passing through Verney Junction and this, known as the Varsity line, became the busiest line through the site, leaving the line to Banbury as a relatively quiet branch. The station opened in 1868 concurrently with the opening of the Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway (later owned by London Underground) towards Aylesbury and London. Soon after the Buckinghamshire Railway became absorbed into the London and North Western Railway.

The lines south to Aylesbury closed to passengers in 1936 and the line to Buckingham in 1964, but the station remained open until the Oxford-Cambridge line closed to passengers in 1968. The track was singled and then mothballed, but a disused track has remained through the station site. As part of East West Rail, the line between Oxford and Bletchley is to be reopened by 2025, but because of its isolated location Verney Junction will not be reopened.

While never very busy, Verney Junction was a local interchange point for a century from which excursions as far as Ramsgate could be booked. Situated 50 miles (80 km) from Baker Street, the station is one of London's disused Underground stations and, although it never carried heavy traffic, the Aylesbury line was important in the expansion of the Metropolitan Railway into what became Metro-land.

Waddesdon

Waddesdon is a village within the Aylesbury Vale district in Buckinghamshire, England, 6 miles from Aylesbury on the A41 road. The centre of a civil parish, which also includes the hamlets of Eythrope and Wormstone, Waddesdon was an agricultural settlement with milling, silk weaving and lace making enterprises.

Waddesdon Road railway station

Waddesdon Road railway station, called Waddesdon railway station before 1922, was a small halt in open countryside in Buckinghamshire, England. It was opened in 1871 as part of a short horse-drawn tramway to assist with the transport of goods from and around the Duke of Buckingham's extensive estates in Buckinghamshire and to connect the Duke's estates to the Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway at Quainton Road. In 1872 the line was expanded and converted for passenger use, becoming known as the Brill Tramway. In 1899 the operation of the line was taken over by the London-based Metropolitan Railway.

In 1933 the Metropolitan Railway was taken into public ownership to become the Metropolitan line of the London Underground, and despite its rural setting Waddesdon Road station became a part of the London Transport system. The new management could not see a future for the line as a financially viable passenger route, and Waddesdon Road, along with the rest of the former Brill Tramway, was closed in late 1935.

The station was heavily used for the transport of construction materials during the building of Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild's estate at Waddesdon Manor in the 1870s and 1880s, but aside from that it saw little use. The station was inconveniently sited and served by few passenger trains, and other more frequently served stations were in easy walking distance. In 1932, the last full year of operations prior to the Metropolitan Railway being taken into public ownership, the station was used for only 281 passenger journeys and generated just £4 of passenger revenue.

Waddesdon railway station

Waddesdon is a closed station that served the village of Waddesdon and its manor, to the north of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, England. The station is not to be confused with Waddesdon Road railway station at the other end of the Waddesdon Manor estate on the Brill Tramway.

Westcott railway station

Westcott railway station was a small station built to serve the village of Westcott, Buckinghamshire, and nearby buildings attached to Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild's estate at Waddesdon Manor. It was built by the Duke of Buckingham in 1871 as part of a short horse-drawn tramway to allow for the transport of goods from and around his extensive estates in Buckinghamshire and to connect the Duke's estates to the Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway at Quainton Road. A lobbying campaign by residents of the town of Brill led to the tramway being converted for passenger use and extended to Brill railway station in 1872, becoming known as the Brill Tramway.

Cheaply built and ungraded, and using poor quality locomotives, services on the line were very slow, initially limited to 5 miles per hour (8 km/h). In the 1890s it was planned to extend the tramway to Oxford, but the scheme was abandoned. Instead, the operation of the line was taken over by the Metropolitan Railway in 1899.

Following the 1933 transfer of the Metropolitan Railway to public ownership to become the Metropolitan line of London Transport, Westcott station became a part of the London Underground, despite being over 40 miles (64 km) from central London. The management of London Transport believed it very unlikely that the line could ever be made viable, and Westcott station was closed, along with the rest of the line, from 30 November 1935. The station building and its associated house are the only significant buildings from the Brill Tramway to survive other than the former junction station at Quainton Road.

Winslow Road railway station

Winslow Road railway station served the village of East Claydon near Winslow to the north of Quainton in Buckinghamshire, England. It was the second station to serve the town after Winslow on the Varsity Line.

Wood Siding railway station

Wood Siding railway station was a halt in Bernwood Forest, Buckinghamshire, England. It opened in 1871 as a terminus of a short horse-drawn tramway built to assist the transport of goods from and around the Duke of Buckingham's extensive estates in Buckinghamshire and to connect the Duke's estates to the Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway at Quainton Road.

In 1872, a lobbying campaign by residents of the town of Brill led to the tramway being converted for passenger use and extended a short distance beyond Wood Siding to Brill railway station, becoming known as the Brill Tramway. The railway was cheaply built and ungraded, and used poor quality locomotives; services were very slow, initially limited to a speed of 5 miles per hour (8 km/h). In the 1890s it was planned to extend the tramway to Oxford, but the scheme was abandoned. Instead, the operation of the line was taken over by the Metropolitan Railway in 1899. Between 1908 and 1910 the station was completely rebuilt on a bridge over the newly built Chiltern Main Line of the Great Western Railway, which passed directly beneath the station.

In 1933 the Metropolitan Railway was taken into public ownership and became the Metropolitan line of London Transport. As a result, Wood Siding became a station on the London Underground network, despite being over 45 miles (72 km) from the City of London. London Transport's new management aimed to move away from goods services to concentrate on passenger services. As the line served a very lightly populated rural area, the new management believed it very unlikely that it could ever be made viable. Wood Siding was closed, along with the rest of the line, from 30 November 1935. All infrastructure associated with the station was removed in 1936; the remains of the bridge which supported the station are still in place.

Aylesbury & Buckingham Railway
Verney Junction
Winslow Road
Granborough Road
Quainton Road Junction
Quainton Road
Waddesdon Manor
Aylesbury Vale Parkway
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