Monday, 13 April 2015

Another Month - Another 2 Miles! Wycombe Railway Progress Continues. . . . . . . . . .

 Another 2 miles. "Is that all!?" you may say. However, as you'll see, these 2 miles are packed with sidings, and masses of detail and a major destination/starting point - Oxford!

Above, a Castle is seen passing Kennington Junction, heading north to Oxford. The Wycombe Railway branches off here, and crosses the Thames.

Left: Looking south from the end of Hinksey Up Yard, towards Red Bridge. Two extra lines were laid during the War. The signal box was built to Air Raid Precautions specifications with 14 inch walls and an eleven inch thick concrete
roof [The Heart of the Great Western/A.Vaughan]
Thanks to Mr John Yelland for allowing the use of his signals. The current signal placement will be subject to some revision.

 Right: Hinksey Up Yard. It was built by Italian PoWs in 1942 in preparation for the D Day invasion. 

 Below are a series of shots featuring Hinksey Yard, both Up and Down. The lakes on either side were formed after gravel was excavated during the construction of the original line. 
The Devil’s Backbone is the name given to a footpath which crosses the site of the Up and Down yards on long bridges.

 Below: We are approaching Oxford Gasworks. In the 1950’s the Gasworks operated 2 Bagnall 0-4-0's and a Peckett 0-4-0. [Rail Centres: Oxford/ L.Waters]

Below is the gasworks bridge over the Thames. The bridge survives, however it stands alone. The area is now a grassy park.

Below: We return to the mainline, cross the Thames and approach South End Yard

Various views of South End Yard:

Now we arrive at Oxford. The original Oxford station wasn't on the present site. In 1844, a terminus station opened in what is now Western Road, at Grandpont. When the Oxford and Rugby Railway began building their line to Banbury(the line onto Rugby was later abandoned), they built a through station on Park End Street in 1852. Operational difficulties dictated the closure of the Grandpont station and the ORR station became the main Oxford station. When the London and North Western Railway opened a station in Rewley Road, the GWR station was renamed Oxford General. 

 Oxford General was a busy place! There were fast services calling there, goods traffic and branch trains serving the Wycombe Railway, the Oxford, Witney and Fairford Railway and the Blenheim and Woodstock Branch. As well as that, Southern Railway through trains, to and from the north, would call at Oxford General. Here, a locomotive change would take place. Trains heading would more-often-than-not change to Great Western Power, while trains heading south would often have a loco change to a Southern loco. 

Oxford Rewley Road closed in 1951, and Oxford General became simply Oxford once again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Right: A Castle-hauled train  passes under the Osney Lane  footbridge and past Beckett  Street Yard. with the Oxford Skyline in clear view. The Manor is acting as station pilot. In the Picture above, a Southern Railway 'King Arthur' class is waiting to take over an inter-regional train.

That concludes our update of things with the Wycombe Railway version 2. As you can see, Peter is making wonderful progress! Enjoy the following images to conclude:

Above, a Great Western Hall arrives at Oxford with an inter-regional service, heading south. The King Arthur is ready to take over.

Above: A Collett 0-4-4T is ready to leave Oxford with a stopper along the Wycombe Railway.

In the above two images, a Stanier 8F is handling a mineral train passing Beckett Yard and passes under the Devil's Backbone bridge.

More Soon. . . . . . . . . . . . .