Published: 12th July 2014
Most preserved railways offer the chance to drive a steam or diesel locomotive these days but there is rarely the chance to drive both on the same day. So Saturday July 19 at The Chinnor and Princess Risborough Railway (C&PRR) presents a ‘not to be missed’ opportunity to drive their 1960 built Bubblecar No. 55023 in the morning and then after lunch to spend the afternoon driving GWR Pannier Tank steam locomotive No. 1369.
It is preferable, the railway says, that the participant has a little driving experience of a diesel or a HGV while no previous experience is required for the steam experience.
The "Silver" DMU driving experience is only offered a few times a year and the price is just £200 but MUST be prebooked as there is only one place available. The afternoon ‘silver’ steam experience also has just one place available and costs £300 and must also be booked in advance. These prices are a significant discount from the normal rates.
The railway is also operating steam experiences on Saturday August 30 (afternoon) and Saturdays September 13 and 27th (AM & PM). Prices range between £400 and £750 per person. Diesel driving courses accosting £300 are being run on Saturday August 2nd.
All courses can be booked by calling Steve Jacklin on 07748 184174 and the learner drivers can bring up to three guests each to enjoy the seven mile steeply graded round trip through the Chiltern hills.
The C&PRR is a relative newcomer to steam preservation only being formed 25 years ago and running their first train in August 1994. This covered a short distance on the line and carried invited guests, supporters and volunteers.
The railway has never run public midweek trains but to mark the anniversary, a mixture of steam and diesel services will be operated on Wednesdays and Thursdays in August
The first two days of midweek trains will be operated by the Bubblecar and Pannier Tank No. 1369 on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7th August. Then it’s back to weekend operations on Saturday 9th with a Steam & Diesel Enthusiast Gala using GWR Pannier Tank No. 1369 and a selection of diesel locomotives pulling a former Southern Region electric ‘3-CEP’ train. Silver Jubilee Steam Sunday follows the next day on August 10th again with steam and diesel services.
The first passenger services in 1994 between Chinnor and Wainhill will be recreated on Wednesday 13th August using as much of the 1994 train as possible. The shuttles will be top and tailed as they were 20 years ago.
For diesel enthusiasts, the date to note is Saturday 16th August because the former Southern Region 3-CEP electric train will be used being pulled in turn by all operational diesels. The following day, Sunday 17th August will see a mixture of steam and diesel services.
Wednesday August 20th has been deemed a ‘Family Fun Day’ at Chinnor station and as well as steam and diesel train operations, there will be children's activities with a bouncy castle, arts and crafts, tombola, games and family fun. The following day, August 21st will see a mixture of steam and diesel services.
August 23rd is rather special with a 'Summertime Blues' train running. The Southern 3-CEP blue train will carry a live Blues Band, Chris Lord and her Blues Express band. The next two days are designated as Teddy Bear Days using steam and diesel services aimed at family visitors. Midweek trains on August 27th and 28th will be operated by the Chinnor Bubblecar.
Throughout the month of August the C&PRR is offering 'Kids for a Quid' which means up to two Child tickets at just £1 each, per Adult or Senior who pays their own full fare.