by Phil Marsh

Trains return between Aylesbury, Princes Risborough and Chinnor after a 56 year gap

Published: 1st October 2013

Unique Rail partnership launched with three Royal Train locomotives

"The next train from Chinnor will arrive at Princes Risborough Platform 4 at 11.05h on October 5 2013 - after a gap of 56 years”

A unique railway partnership has worked tirelessly together for the last six months to create a new train service running on the first three Saturdays in October. Chiltern Railways (CR), the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway (CPRR), Network Rail (NR), West Coast Railways (WCR) and Wolverton Works new owners Knorr-Bremse (WWKB) have worked together to celebrate several anniversaries.

These are the 175th anniversary of Wolverton Works, recently saved from Administration by Knorr-Bremse, the 60th anniversary of British Railways Diesel locomotive No. D3018 Haversham, and its 21st anniversary of being purchased by the CPRR. Princes Risborough station also celebrates its 150th anniversary as well, so an event had to be put on!

Royal Connections

Haversham used to work at Wolverton Works and will be joined by the current Wolverton locomotives, Nos. 08629 on October 5&6, and 08649 on October 12/13 and 19/20. Both are used to shunt the Royal Train and the latter engine has never worked a passenger train in its history. 08629 has only worked a couple of short distance shuttles over two days a few years ago.

Chiltern Railways and Network Rail have combined to join the rail event by operating trains on October 5/12/19 between Aylesbury, Princes Risborough and Chinnor. Regular passenger services ended in 1957 and the line was closed in 1990 then severed between Princes Risborough and Chinnor. However, thanks to some hard work by NR and CR, the lines have been reconnected and a new temporary platform built at Princes Risborough to allow the temporary services to operate.

Numbered platform 4, it was built under NR supervision by volunteers from the CPRR on September 28 and 29 and can accommodate a two carriage train. The lines were reconnected on September 7 and 8 using the same method overseen by NR staff.

They said:

A CPRR spokesman said that the whole scheme was a fantastic team effort – and the platform was made possible by a great local company called 'Origin Technical Productions' whose amazing people designed, supplied and built it; Chiltern Railways, who suggested the idea in the first place and let us [CPRR] build it at and as part of their station; the many C&PRRA members and friends who turned out to fetch, carry, wheel and weed and of course all the great teams in Network Rail's LNW Route - Asset Protection, Operations and Maintenance - who supported us all every step of the way, helped us through the paperwork and made it all possible... We are indebted to each and every one of them."

The trains

These will be operated by a Chiltern ‘Turbo’ No. 165001 on Saturday October 5 and on Saturdays October 12 and 19 by a vintage Class 121 ‘Bubblecar’ which only has 65 seats. There will be one train from Aylesbury departing at 0935hrs returning from Chinnor at 1730hrs taking 55 minutes each way.

In between, there will be three services on each Saturday between Chinnor and Princes Risborough and the round trip will take about an hour. These depart Chinnor at 1055, 1240 and 1510 hours and return from Princes Risborough half an hour after departing Chinnor.

How to book tickets for these unique trains

Tickets are strictly limited and it may be possible to pay on the day but pre-booking is strongly advised. The trains will be operated by Chiltern Railways but tickets are being sold by visiting or by personal application to Chinnor station on event days or by phoning 01844 354117on weekday evenings between 6pm and 9pm.

All the special train fares include a return train trip between Aylesbury and Chinnor and free entry for the ticket-holder to that day’s special event at Chinnor. If there are any unsold seats, then it will be possible to buy tickets (cash only) at Princes Risborough. The trains are as follows:

Ticket prices for all dates if joining the special train at Aylesbury or Princes Risborough.

£30.00 per Adult / Senior, £22.50 per Junior (2 - 16 years) which also includes access to all available trains and free attractions at Chinnor.

Ticket prices for all dates if joining the special train at Chinnor travelling to Princes Risborough

£15.00 per Adult / Senior, £7.50 per Junior (2 - 16 years) which also includes access to all available trains and free attractions

Saturday 5th October 'The Watlington Flyer’

‘The Watlington Flyer’ is the first ever direct rail passenger service between Aylesbury and Chinnor and features 165001.

This weekend celebrates a very special birthday party – the C&PRRA’s Class 08 diesel shunter ‘Haversham’ (13018 / D3018 / 08011) is 60 years old and will be named at this event. Other attractions include:

• Trains running all day, yard tours, signal box visits

• Vintage bus rides to and from Princes Risborough

• 'Cambrian’ Buffet, Beer Tent featuring ‘Vale Brewery’ real ales

• Chinnor Station shop, souvenirs, railway books, sideshows

• Bachmann model railways, Mortons railway magazines, ‘Wolverton 175’ book-signing

• Birthday raffle for ‘00’ model of ‘Haversham

• Haversham’s birthday cake!

• Guest traction*

 13018/D3018/08011 - 'Haversham'

 165001 - representing Aylesbury Depot

 08629 'Wolverton' - representling Wolverton Works

 55023 - representing the Bletchley Depot

 WD 420 'Iris' and D8568 (Class 17 ‘Clayton’) - representing Chinnor yard

These attractions will also be at Chinnor and Princes Risborough over the other weekends.

Sunday 6th October Happy 60th Birthday, Haversham! - Senior Citizens

Haversham’s fellow Senior Citizens will also be able to enjoy half-price entry today!

Saturday 12th October. 'The Wolverton Wanderer’

The 175th anniversary of Wolverton Works is celebrated with ‘The Wolverton Wanderer’ heritage railtour, on a very special train service from Aylesbury to Chinnor, via Princes Risborough. Chiltern Railways will use their Class 121 heritage ‘bubble car’, either no. 55034 or no. 55020, to commemorate the anniversary of Wolverton Works, the world’s longest continuously operational railway works.

Chiltern Railways only normally uses their Class 121s on its line between Aylesbury into the bay Platform 1 at Princes Risborough. It is a very rare occasion that they are allowed to operate with passengers away from this short route. The 175th anniversary of Wolverton Works is such an occasion, so don’t miss it operating to Chinnor!

Wolverton 175 weekend welcomes visiting London Underground 150 locomotive

This weekend event on October 12/13 commemorates the 175 years of Wolverton Works, the world’s oldest continuously operating railway works. Join the ex-Wolverton shunter Haversham and some of his ex-colleagues from this very special place, for a great weekend of unique celebrations to mark this anniversary.

‘Wolverton Bloomer’ heritage shuttles between Chinnor and Princes Risborough stations and in addition a Wolverton display will be at Chinnor featuring Wolverton Works artist John Kitchen and Phil Marsh, author of the official anniversary book, ‘The Full Works’. They will both be there signing limited edition prints and books if required.

Making use of the temporary connection, a vintage diesel, Class 20 No. 20227 will be pulling trains at Chinnor over the Wolverton 175 weekend only. This took part in the London Underground 150 celebrations earlier this and carries a special ‘150’ livery.

Saturday 19th October. 'The Chinnor Cheerio’

The final heritage railtour of 2013 between Aylesbury and Chinnor takes passengers to the ‘Fun with Shunters’ weekend. This last special train service via Princes Risborough will use 55034 or 55020, a heritage ‘bubble’ Class 121 DMU!

Join Haversham and his shunter friends for a weekend of light-hearted fun, to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the ‘Class 08’ 350hp diesel shunter and 21 years of his working in preservation at the C&PRRA.

Steam will be represented on Sundays by GWR Pannier Tank No. 1369 on loan from the South Devon Railway.

Travel by Chiltern Railways services to this event – limited car parking available!

This event will be one of the biggest railway celebrations in 2013 and advance booking is strongly recommended on the trains between Aylesbury, Princes Risborough and Chinnor.

Travel by Chiltern Railways trains to Princes Risborough on Saturdays which is served from Marylebone in London and Birmingham Snow Hill and Moor Street as well as Banbury and Leamington.

Chiltern will have a display at Princes Risborough station which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. This event really is a collection of railway anniversaries and will be a great day out.

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