7808 at the second GWS Taplow Open Day in 1966 (Ron North) Local Preservation

We present here a gallery of various aspects of local preservation. As well as focusing on the preservation sites at Chinnor, Didcot and Quainton Road, some other preserved locomotives which are based in the area are included. We also have some pictures of the short-lived preservation site at Taplow, taken in 1966. Copyright remains with the photographers.

Select a location to view:     Chinnor   Didcot   Quainton   Taplow   Other  


1466 at Chinnor (Mike Walker)

1466 at Chinnor Station, 7 May 1995

The Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway forms part of the former Great Western Railway branch line from Princes Risborough to Watlington opened in 1872. Passenger services were withdrawn in 1957 (with the line west of Chinnor), with freight traffic to Chinnor Cement works continuing until 1989. The 3 mile line was reopened by the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway Association in August 1994. GWR 0-4-2 Auto Tank 1466, loaned by the Great Western Society, is seen arriving at Chinnor on 7 May 1995.

Photo by Mike Walker

70 'Phoenix' arriving at Chinnor (Tim Edmonds)

No. 70 'Phoenix' arrives at Chinnor with new station building under construction, 12 September 1999

No. 70 "Phoenix" is seen arriving at Chinnor on 12 September 1999 with a replica of the original station building under construction.

Photo by Tim Edmonds

69523 at Horsenden Crossing (Tim Edmonds)

69523 at Horsenden Crossing 26 May 1997

Visiting ex Great Northern Railway N2 0-6-2T No. 69523 approaches Horsenden Crossing with the C&PRR's rake of ex BR Mark 2 coaches painted in a representation of BR Western Region Chocolate & Cream.

Photo by Tim Edmonds

1300 at Bledlow (Gordon Rippington)

1300 at Bledlow, April 1998

The only tender engine to have operated on the line in preservation is Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway 0-6-0 No. 1300 which visited in 1998 and is seen approaching Bedlow.

Photo by Gordon Rippington

Errol Lonsdale at Chinnor (Tim Edmonds)

Errol Lonsdale at Chinnor, 13 April 2003

The steam locomotive on the line in 2003 was the former Longmoor Miltary Railway Austerity 0-6-0ST "Errol Lonsdale" (carrying the fictional BR number 68011). She is seen at Chinnor station on 13 April 2003 carrying a wreath in respect of Major General Lonsdale’s recent death.

Photo by Tim Edmonds

9682 & autocoach (Murray Tremellen)

9682 (as 4650) with visiting autocoach W225W near Bledlow Cricket Club, 1 July 2007

The Great Western Railway Preservation Group's Pannier Tank 9682 was active on the C&PRR for a number of years before the expiry of her boiler certificate in 2009. In 2007 she masqueraded as 4650 and was paired with visiting Auto Trailer W225W to recreate the latter days of the BR passenger service on the branch

Photo by Murray Tremellen

D8568 Enters Chinnor (Vincent Caldwell)

D8568 Enters Chinnor, 29 April 2011

The Railway is also home to a number of preserved diesel locomotives, including the unique Class 17 "Clayton" D8568 seen entering Chinnor Station on its return to service on 29 April 2011, passing the recently erected signal box.

Photo by Vincent Caldwell

69621 alongside Cambrian Railways Coach (Vincent Caldwell)

69621 alongside Cambrian Railways Coach, 29 August 2011

Following the return of Pannier 5766 to the South Devon Railway the railway played host to former London & North Eastern Railway N7 0-6-2T No. 69621 from the East Anglian Railway Museum. This locomotive, which saw service on the famous "Jazz" commuter services from Liverpool Street, pauses alongside the recently repainted Cambrian Railways coach (now the station buffet) on 29 August 2011.

Photo by Vincent Caldwell

Sir Gomer enters Chinnor 5-8-12 (Mike Walker)

Sir Gomer enters Chinnor, 5 August 2012

For most of the 2012 season the steam services on the line were worked by "Sir Gomer," a 0-6-0 industrial saddle tank built by Peckett of Bristol in 1932 and based at Mountain Ash Colliery, South Wales, until 1981. This locomotive was hired to the railway from the Shackerstone Railway following the failure of the intended Prairie Tank and is seen approaching Chinnor on 5 August.

Photo by Mike Walker

No. 12 on Wainhill Shuttle 5-8-12 (Mike Walker)

No. 12 on Wainhill Shuttle, 5 August 2012

Another steam locomotive that appeared at the railway in 2012 was a 0-4-0 Vertical Boilered locomotive. Built in 1925 by Sentinel, it was initally loaned to the Great Western Railway for trials on the Malmesbury branch, which were unsuccessful, and given the fleet number 12. Normally based at Quainton Road, No. 12 came to Chinnor in July for use on certain Sundays on shunting duties and single coach trips. She is seen on a shuttle to Wainhill Halt during gala day on 5 August.

Photo by Mike Walker

80072 departing Thame Junction 14-10-12 (Mike Walker)

80072 departing Thame Junction, 14 October 2012

The steam services in the latter part of the 2012 season were handled by the largest preserved locomotive seen on the line in the form of British Railways 4MT 2-6-4T No. 80072. Built at Brighton in 1953, she is normally based on the Llangollen Railway in Wales and came to the C&PRR after a spell on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. She is seen just after departing the line's current terminus at Thame Junction.

Photo by Mike Walker

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7808 and 6998 double heading

7808 "Cookham Manor" and 6998 "Burton Agnes Hall" double heading, August 1975

Didcot Railway Centre is based in a former GWR steam depot and is the home of the Great Western Society. This body was formed by a group of schoolboys in 1961, who set out to preserve a GWR 14xx 0-4-2 tank and Auto Trailer. After being based at Taplow for a few years, the society took up residence at Didcot in 1967. 7808 "Cookham Manor" and 6998 "Burton Agnes Hall" double head on the centre's main demonstration line in August 1975. Both of these locomotives were active at the centre and on the main line for many years during the 1970s and 1980s, but are now on static display.

Photo by Gordon Rippington

7808 at the Night Steam Photography event (Gordon Rippington)

7808 "Cookham Manor" at the Night Steam Photography event October 1982.

For many years an annual night photography event has been held at Didcot. Here 7808's fire is thrown out at the 1982 event.

Photo by Gordon Rippington

9217 performs for onlookers on the turntable (Tim Edmonds) 9217 "Earl of Berkeley" performs for onlookers on the turntable, 4 May 1986

Visiting locomotive 4-4-0 Dukedog No. 9217 "Earl of Berkeley" from the Bluebell Railway is the centre of attention on Didcot's turntable on 4 May 1986.

Photo by Tim Edmonds

6024 on the demonstration line (Tim Edmonds)

6024 "King Edward I" on the demonstration line, 1 January 1991

4-6-0 No.6024"King Edward I" heads a train on the centre's main demonstration line on 1 January 1991. This locomotive has been regularly based at Didcot in between railtour duties and preserved railway visits since the early 1990s.

Photo by Tim Edmonds

5095 at the Night Steam Photography event (Gordon Rippington)

5095 "Nunney Castle" at the Night Steam Photography event October 1995.

Another locomotive which is occasionally based at the centre between main line duties is 5029 "Nunney Castle" which is seen alongside Didcot's coaling stage during the 1995 Night Steam Photography event.

Photo by Gordon Rippington

a Pannier on Didcot Turntable (Gordon Rippington)

Pannier Tank on Didcot Turntable October 1997.

An unidentified Pannier Tank is silhouetted on Didcot Turntable during the 1997 Night Steam Photography event.

Photo by Gordon Rippington

4472 being serviced at Didcot (Murray Tremellen)

4472"Flying Scotsman" being serviced at Didcot, 16 October 2005

Although predominately Great Western orientated, Didcot regularly plays host to locomotive representatives of other railway companies. Former LNER A3 Pacific No. 4472 "Flying Scotsman" visited the centre on 16 October 2005 after working a railtour from Dorridge. She is seen alongside 0-6-0ST No. 1363.

Photo by Murray Tremellen

GWR Railcar No.22 (Mike Walker)

GWR Railcar No. 22, 28 August 2009

Besides the ex GWR steam locomotives, the GWS also has a former GWR diesel railcar No. 22 dating from 1941, seen on the demonstration branch line on 28 August 2009.

Photo by Mike Walker

60163 on Didcot's Main Demonstration Line (Tim Edmonds)

"Tornado" on Didcot's Main Demonstration Line, 29 August 2009

Another Eastern express passenger locomotive in the form of the recently constructed Peppercorn Pacific No. 60163 "Tornado" visited Didcot in August 2009 and is seen on the main demonstration line.

Photo by Tim Edmonds

Firefly in Motion (Mike Walker)

Firefly in Motion, 24 April 2011

As well as a vast collection of standard gauge GWR locomotives and rolling stock preserved by the GWS. The Firefly Trust has constructed a replica of one of Daniel Gooch's 2-2-2 Broad Gauge "Firefly" locomotives which operates on a short length of Brunel's original 7ft¼inch gauge track. She is seen with two replica broad gauge coaches departing the transfer shed on 24 April 2011.

Photo by Mike Walker

6023 and 6024 Double Heading (Mike Walker)

6023 "King Edward II" and 6024 "King Edward I" Double Heading, 24 April 2011

After a 25 year restoration period, No. 6023 "King Edward II" returned to steam at Didcot in April finished in the early BR Express Passenger Blue livery. She is seen double heading with her sister 6023 along the main demonstration line on 24 April - the first occasion on which two King Class locos had been steamed together in almost 50 years.

Photo by Mike Walker

Steam Railmotor (Mike Walker)

Steam Railmotor, 24 April 2011

Another long term restoration project also completed in 2011 was the Steam Railmotor No. 93 which is seen in a specially constructed shed, having undertaken trials at the Llangollen Railway and prior to her debut at Didcot in May. Other projects currently being completed at the centre are the reproduction of both "Saint" and "County" class locomotives.

Photo by Mike Walker

Railcar Line Up (Mike Hyde)

Railcar Line Up, 28 May 2011

At the Steam Railmotor's offical launch, a gathering of railcars and multiple units spanning a century took place. This line up in front of Didcot's main engine shed included No. 93, GWR Autotrailer 231, No.22, Class 121 Bubble Car., First Great Western Class 165 Turbo and recently constructed Chiltern Railways' 172 unit.

Photo by Mike Hyde

Gas Turbine 18000 (Mike Hyde)

Gas Turbine 18000, 5 May 2012

An interesting recent arrival at Didcot is the Gas Turbine experimental Locomotive 18000 built in 1949 in Switzerland for BR (although ordered by the GWR in 1946). Withdrawn in 1960, she returned to mainland Europe until the 1990s when she was secured for preservation in Britain. After a period in store at Crewe, she moved to Didcot in 2011 for cosmetic restoration.

Photo by Mike Hyde

U Class 31806 (Mike Hyde)

U Class 31806, 5 May 2012

Visiting from the Mid Hants Railway, Southern U Class 31806 took part in a gala over the May Bank Holiday weekend of 2012 commemorating the Didcot, Newbury & Southampton Railway which saw both GWR and SR locomotives.

Photo by Mike Hyde

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Metropolitan No. 1 (Tim Edmonds)

Metropolitan No. 1 & Peckett 1900 "The Flying Bufferbeam," 26 May 1986

Quainton Road Station is situated 5 miles north of Aylesbury and was formerly a junction of the Great Central Railway from the Midlands, the Metropolitan Railway from Verney Junction and the Brill Tramway. Following closure to passengers in 1963 and the demise of the GC main line in 1966, the London Railway Preservation Society took up residence in 1969 and developed the site into the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre. Metropolitan E class 0-4-4T No. 1, built in 1898 at Neasden Works, regularly worked through the station on services from Baker Street to Verney Junction and is seen here operating on the BRC's Down yard alongside Peckett 1936 vintage 0-4-0T No. 1900 - the smallest standard gauge locomotive in Britain, known as "The Flying Bufferbeam."

Photo by Tim Edmonds

Met 1 alongside ex LT Water Tower (Tim Edmonds)

Metropolitan No. 1 alongside ex LT Water Tower

A study of Met No. 1 alongside the ex London Transport water tower (based at Watford until 1971). As well as being a stalwart of the BRC's fleet since returning to steam in the 1980s, Met No. 1 has visited several preserved lines and returned to LT metals for several of the Steam on the Met events in the 1990s. Photos of these events can be seen on our Metropolitan & Great Central Joint Line page.

Photo by Tim Edmonds

Beattie Well Tank (Tim Edmonds)

Beattie Well Tank 0314 in Quainton Road Platform 3, 13 April 1979

Another historic locomotive preserved at Quainton is the London & South Western Railway Beattie Well Tank No. 0314, built by Beyer Peacock in 1874. Used for suburban traffic out of Waterloo initially, the locomotive was transferred to the Wenford China Clay branch in Cornwall where it remained until withdrawal in 1963. Primarily stored at the LPRS’ base at Bishops Stortford, it arrived at Quainton in 1969 and was in traffic from 1972 to 1979. The loco reappeared in 2006 after overhaul as BR No. 30585.

Photo by Tim Edmonds

7715 giving rides with open wagons (Gordon Rippington)

7715 giving rides with open wagons, June 1975

Early days of operations with passengers riding in open wagons hauled by ex GWR Pannier Tank 7715. Built by Kerr Stuart and Co. in 1930. 7715 spent her career in Cornwall before becoming one of 13 panniers purchased by London Transport for departmental duties and renumbered L.99. She arrived at Quainton in 1970 and since been seen in liveries of all three of her former owners and has featured at the Steam on the Met events.

Photo by Gordon Rippington

6024 & Ivatt Tank (Tim Edmonds)

King Edward I & Ivatt Tank Undergoing Restoration in Up Yard

Following purchase by the 6024 Preservation Society in 1973, "King Edward I" was moved from Woodham Bros yard in Barry, South Wales, to Quainton for restoration to main line condition, completed in 1989. Here is view of the boiler in a dismantled state in the Up Yard. In the background is the cab and bunker of one of the LMS Ivatt Tanks based at the Centre before transfer to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway in 2009. Other main line locomotives formerly based at Quainton include Southern Railway West Country Pacific 34016 "Bodmin" and BR Standard Class 4 2-6-0 76017 (both now based at the Mid Hants Railway).

Photo by Tim Edmonds

Sentinel 9357

Sentinel 9357 "Susan" in Up Yard 1992

As well as former Main Line locomotives, the centre has a wide collection of industrial locomotives. 0-4-0T Sentinel No. 9357 "Susan," built in 1952 for the Chesterfield Tube Company, is seen in the Up Yard during 1992.

Photo by Brian Hopkinson

Defiant in Former Oxford Rewley Road Station (Tim Edmonds)

Defiant in Former Oxford Rewley Road Station, 22 September 2004

The centre was transformed in 2001 with the addition of the Rewley Road Visitor Centre. This building was the former London & North Western Railway's Oxford terminus on the cross country line from Cambridge which ran a few miles to the north of Quainton, crossing the GC main line at Calvert, and is to be partly reinstated as part of the East-West link. As well as the centre's reception, gift shop and restaurant, a few items of rolling stock are displayed in the building. These include GWR Castle Class 5080 "Defiant" on long term loan from Tyseley Locomotive Works.

Photo by Tim Edmonds

Rocket Working in Down Yard (Murray Tremellen)

Rocket Working in Down Yard, 17 July 2006

The National Railway Museum's replica of Stephenson's "Rocket" as visited many heritage railways over the years. She visited Quainton in the summer of 2006 and is seen hauling a replica Liverpool & Manchester Railway Third Class coach during the Victorian Weekend.

Photo by Murray Tremellen

35087 in Up Yard (Murray Tremellen)

Beattie Tank 35087 in Up Yard, 17 July 2006

The other Beattie Well Tank to survive into preservation, No. 35087 (normally based on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway in Cornwall), visited its sister at Quainton in 2006, and again in 2007. She is seen in the Up Yard passing a Class 115 DMU.

Photo by Murray Tremellen

South African Railways 3405 (Murray Tremellen)

South African Railways 3405, 17 July 2006

One of the most unusual exhibts at Quainton is this 3ft 6in gauge 4-8-4 No. 3405, built by the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow in 1953. Shipped out to South Africa, she was used on express passenger services, including "The Blue Train," until South African Railways dieselised in the late 1980s. Returned to the UK in 1991, she is now undergoing restoration. Of note is the fact that the tender is longer than the locomotive. This is due to water supply problems in the Karoo and as a result these types of locos were built in condensing and non-condensing forms.

Photo by Murray Tremellen

Millom Outside Down Yard Shed(Murray Tremellen)

Millom Outside Down Yard Shed

Another of the industrial locopmotives at the centre is the Hudswell Clarke 1946 built 0-4-0ST "Millom," formerly owned by Ministry of Supply and then the Millom Iron Company. She arrived at Quainton in 1970. Withdrawn when major firebox work was required, she was a static exhibt for many years until restoration comenced in 2006 with the locomotive returning to traffic in 2008. She is seen outside the Down Yard running shed.

Photo by Murray Tremellen

Swanscombe and Vintage Coaches in Brill Platform (Murray Tremellen)

Swanscombe and Vintage Coaches in Brill Platform

The oldest surviving Andrew Barclay Locomotive. "Swanscombe" is a 0-4-0ST of 1891. Owned by the Northfleet Coal & Ballast Company and later by Blue Circle Cement, she was purchased by a LRPS member in 1965, arriving at Quainton in 1969. After some years of service she was laid up until a 3 year restoration started in 1999. She is seen in the former Brill branch platform of Quainton Road station with two of the QRS' vintage coaches, London, Dover & Chatham Railway 1st No. 9 and Great Northern Railway Brake 3rd No. 1470.

Photo by Murray Tremellen

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6106 on the passenger service at Taplow (Ron North)

6106 operating the passenger service at the 1966 Taplow Open Day, 17 September 1966

A predecessor of the Great Western Society's museum at Didcot was the base that the GWS Reading Group had at Taplow goods shed in the late 1960s, which housed large prairie 6106. An open day was held on 17 September 1966 at which 6106 operated a passenger service along the length of the goods yard, using two GWR "Super Saloons".

Photo by Ron North

6106 passing Taplow signal box (Ron North)

6106 passing Taplow signal box at the 1966 Open Day, 17 September 1966

This was the era of common sense - there was some unintrusive fencing by the running lines, but none of today's luminous tape and hi-vis jackets. It was also still the era when boys wore short trousers, as shown in this shot of 6106 passing the goods shed opposite the signal box.

Photo by Ron North

4079 on display at Taplow (Ron North)

"Pendennis Castle" at the 1966 Taplow Open Day, 17 September 1966

Among the static exhibits was 4079 "Pendennis Castle", which was a popular attraction for the crowd of 7000 that attended.

Photo by Ron North

D1030 on display at Taplow (Ron North)

"Western Musketeer" at the 1966 Taplow Open Day, 17 September 1966

Diesels were also represented in the static display. This is D1030 "Western Musketeer", which was in the experimental metallic blue livery with a small yellow panel and red buffer-beam.

Photo by Ron North

D837 on display at Taplow (Ron North)

"Ramillies" at the 1966 Taplow Open Day, 17 September 1966

Another diesel-hydraulic in the static display was D837 "Ramillies" in green livery.

Photo by Ron North

7808 arriving at Taplow (Ron North)

"Cookham Manor" arriving at the 1966 Taplow Open Day, 17 September 1966

A highlight of the day was the arrival of 7808 "Cookham Manor" with a main-line special from Birmingham Snow Hill. The outward journey was via Banbury, High Wycombe, Greenford and Southall; and the return was via Reading, Didcot, Oxford and Banbury.

Photo by Ron North

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The Queen (Tim Edmonds)

3041 "The Queen," Windsor & Eton

As part of the Royalty & Empire Exhibition at Windsor a replica of the Great Western Railway 2-2-2 3041 "The Queen" was built by Steamtown Carnforth in 1983, paired with a genuine tender. When the exhibition closed the locomotive was retained for display at Windsor & Eton Central station, although the tender was scrapped.

Photo by Tim Edmonds

Polish Tank 4015 (Gordon Rippington)

Polish Tank 4015, Cholsey & Wallingford

A smaller preservation scheme is the Cholsey & Wallingford Railway, based a few miles east of Didcot. Although the main motive power is a 08 diesel shunter, steam locomotives do occasionally visit. Here a Polish version of the USA Austerity tanks (usually based on the Avon Valley Railway) is seen on a visit during 1998.

Photo by Gordon Rippington

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