The Cherwell Line
Version 3 will finally be available 'later this year'. Route requirements will be Falmouth,Woodhead, Isle of Wight, West Somerset and Riviera 50s all from Steam. Featured heavily will be the Cherwell area, between Oxford and Banbury.
Quick Drive Developments
The northern end of the route is at the now closed station of Cropredy, a couple of miles beyond Banbury. The southern end, via Oxford, is at Radley a few miles south of the city. There are extensive yards, private sidings and junctions immediately both north of Banbury and south of Oxford stations. The Oxford line has two QD options: 'Passenger' takes the main line while 'Goods' uses goods loops and the avoiding line around Banbury station. The distance is 31 miles. Options for the 44 mile route via Bicester to High Wycombe are 'Stopping' which takes the platform line at 4 track stations and 'Through'.
|Banbury Yard early morning start|
Another starting point is Banbury Yard. The loco could be uncoupled and a different rake of wagons chosen. Destinations are Radley or the reception line at Oxford's Hinksey Yard.
|Leaving Banbury Yard|
Starting at 'Banbury Shed-light engine' is a possibility for a 'Light Engine' selection. The points are already set for reversing on to carriages waiting at the up platform.
|Snaking out passed variable stock and visiting locos.|
|Ready to leave Banbury for Oxford.|
The first four stations after leaving Banbury, shown previously, were 'Kings Sutton', 'Aynho for Deddington', 'Fritwell and Somerton' and 'Heyford'.
|Tackley Halt was added to the line in the 1930's and is still open.|
|It consisted of a fine collection of sheds and a crossing keeper's house.|
|Bletchington looking north from the road bridge.|
Bletchington station was previously known as 'Woodstock', 'Woodstock Road' and 'Kirtlington' before becoming 'Bletchington'. It is now closed. It had a strange looking goods shed positioned between two sidings. Beyond this the line crossed the Oxford Canal and River Cherwell.
A quarry and cement works used to be situated beside the canal a mile to the left. Bags of cement were brought here by narrow boat, winched up by the crane and the shed, which was originally open on three sides, provided some shelter. When the quarry was worked out a new one was started with rail access. The works chimney is visible beyond the road bridge.
|Occasional other traffic.|
|The Woodstock branch runs parallel to the main line before it turns away.|
|Thrupp canal side village.|
|Kidlington, junction for the Woodstock branch. Now closed.|
|Wolvercote Junction with the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton railway.|
The siding was used by a papermill in the village. A down goods running loop was added behind it during the War.
|Hinksey Yard reception line.|
Work continues on completing version 3 of this wonderful steam-age route. Peter is making excellent progress.
More soon. . . . . .