PROGRESS continues on the Wycombe Railway and Joint Line at a steady pace. The main line has reached a point just north of Bicester North, as Peter edges towards Banbury.
|Above are two shots at Bicester North with the excellent Hawksworth carriages by Matrix Trains|
Some exciting progress has occurred on the Thame branch. The line has been extended northwards from Wheatley, up the 1in84 gradient to the 524 yard long Horspath tunnel. Shortly after the tunnel, comes Horspath Halt, opened in 1933.
Horspath Halt(as well as Towersey, near Thame) was planned to have a 150ft long platform. However, when it came to building, the decision was taken to make the platform only 100ft. Horspath Halt came under the care of the Morris Cowley station master.
Morris Cowley started life as Garsington Bridge Halt. However, next door to the halt, the Morris Cowley car factory was beginning to grow. After the first world war, William Morris was struggling to sell his cars, to to the high inflation and industrial unrest which existed after the war. In 1921, he decided to cut his prices and the cars then sold very well. This enable huge growth and expansion, with export of cars becoming the main thing carried out at the Cowley sight. With great foresight, he GWR recognized that there would be a need to improve the freight and passenger facilities in order to serve this fast-growing factory. The halt was taken away and replaced by a much longer single platform station, and named Morris Cowley. It opened to passengers in 1928, as did the much expanded freight facilities. For operational flexibility, the long token section between Kennington Junction(Nr. Oxford) and Wheatley, was split in two. he long section did remain though, for when the Morris Cowley signal box was 'switched out'.
The layout of Morris Cowley's extensive yards changed many times over the years, so choosing a layout for the sight was difficult. What Peter has gone for is a representation of how the sight would have looked pre-second world war
As you can no doubt see, it's an extensive sight and Peter has done an excellent job representing it as it once looked.