Station Name: BUCKINGHAM

[Source: Nick Catford]
Date opened: 1.5.1850
Location: South of a sharp bend in Station Road.
Company on opening: Buckinghamshire Railway
Date closed to passengers: 7.9.1964
Date closed completely: 5.12.1966
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Platforms still extant although the trackbed has been infilled up to platform level. There is a public footpath running through the site as far as the goods yard.
County: Buckinghamshire
OS Grid Ref: SP694332
Date of visit: 31.5.1967, December 1968, May 1980 & 2002

Notes: The original station at Buckingham was a modest structure with a wooden building on the Lenborough Road side. It had poor access being virtually in the middle of a field along a footpath. A new station was opened in 1861 with a new Station Road serving the station on the opposite side of the line to the earlier entrance.

At the outbreak of WW1 the LNWR decided to make economies on the branch, one of these was the closing of the signal box at Buckingham goods yard which was 750 yards north of the station. This section was the only double track length on the branch and as a result the down line was severed at the station and buffer stops were placed there. The long siding was then used
to store a mixture of stock.

The war time construction of an ammunition works at Banbury intensified goods working through Buckingham. (The ammunition works can still be seen either side of the M40).

Buckingham goods yard was located on the north side of the A421 and consisted of two sidings serving three coal wharves, a timber yard and an oil store with a loopline running through a goods shed with another short siding serving a cattle dock. During the 1930's a new cattle dock was built at the station on the site of the original platform to comply with new government legislation requiring water to be available during loading and unloading.

Until 1844 Buckinghamshire had been poorly served by railways with only Aylesbury connected to the London & Birmingham in the east. With the support of the L & B two separate companies were formed, the Buckingham and Brackley Junction Railway and the Oxford and Bletchley Junction Railway. In 1847 under the direction of the newly formed London & North Western Railway the two were merged into a unified board with the collective name of the Buckinghamshire Railway

The line was to run westward from Bletchley to Oxford, via Winslow and Bicester, with a junction near Claydon House (later Verney Junction) where another line turned north to Brackley via Buckingham, with a further extension to Banbury. The engineer employed to build the Buckinghamshire Railway was Robert Stephenson

Construction started on 20th April 1847 and on 1st May 1850 the Buckinghamshire Railway was opened for passenger traffic from Bletchley to Banbury. From the outset the line was worked by the LNWR who absorbed the Buckinghamshire Railway in 1879.

The major objective of the branch was the small market town of Buckingham. Until the railway came to the town transport had not been good which it was felt was stopping development of the town. A branch of the Grand Union canal reached Buckingham in 1801 but even after the opening of the canal and the railway little development occurred.

The busiest part of the line was the 5 1/2 mile section from Banbury Merton Street to Cockley Brake where there was a junction with the Stratford-upon-Avon and Midland Junction Railway.

Passenger traffic over the whole line was comparatively light although the LNWR operated various specials and excursions over the years to encourage use. Passenger levels reached their peak just before WW1 after which they declined more or less continually as competition from the bus and growing car ownership began to increase. WW2 brought a short lived improvement but with new BR management the line was under review. A threat to its future became imminent in 1952 when BR reduced services to three trains each way per day, having withdrawn Banbury - Towcester Trains (via the junction at Cockley Brake) the previous year.

In spite of this, the line survived and was selected for an experiment as part of the 1955 Railway Modernisation Plan using lightweight single unit diesel railcars. These railcars were introduced during the summer of 1956 but strangely they only ran from Banbury to Buckingham, where connection was made with the traditional steam push-pull service. New halts
at Radclive and Water Stratford were opened between Fulwall & Westbury and Buckingham and a third on the edge of Buckingham was suggested but not built.

The new railcars attracted a reported increase in traffic of 400% with the service being well used on market days and Saturdays but the improvement was insufficient to save the service between Buckingham and Banbury which closed from 2nd January 1961. The remaining passenger facilities between Buckingham and Verney Junction lingered until 7th September 1964 using the diesel units transferred from the Banbury section. Freight facilities were withdrawn from Banbury on 6th June 1966 and from Buckingham from 3rd December 1966 with track lifting underway by February 1967.

Tickets from Michael Stewart

For further reading see The Banbury to Verney Junction Branch by Bill Simpson. Oxford Publishing Company 1978 ISBN 902888 87 0

To see the other stations on the Banbury - Verney Junction line click on the station name: Banbury Merton Street, Farthinghoe, Brackley, Fullwell & Westbury, Water Stratford Halt, Radclive Halt, Padbury & Verney Junction

Buckingham Station looking south-west in 1897.

1900 1:2,500 OS map shows the layout of the station and goods yard. At this time private sidings served a milk factory and the Town Mills on the north side of the station and a gravel pit to and malthouse to the south. By 1922 the two sidings on the north side had been lifted. The gravel pit to the south was disused; the siding was still there but it had been shortened. Only the malthouse siding was still in use.

Buckingham station looking north-west from the down platform in 1933.
Photo from John Mann collection

Buckingham station looking north-west c 1950s. LMS signs are still displayed. The siding running behind the up platform (right) originally served a milk factory and the town mill. By this date it ran for a short distance behind the station building.
Photo from John Mann collection

Buckingham station lookin g north-west from the up platfrorm in March 1962; BR (London Midland Region) maroon signs have now been fitted, including totems. The platforms at Buckingham were never raised and a set of movable wooden steps are seen on the right leaning against the wall.
Photo by Ben Brooksbank

Buckingham station looking south-east in 1963.

Buckingham Station looking north west from the down platform in May 1964.
hoto by Geoffrey Tribe

Buckingham station looking north-east from the up platform in May 1964
hoto by Geoffrey Tribe

Buckingham station looking north-west in April 1966. Although closed to passengers two years earlier the station was still open for goods traffic at this time.
hoto by John Evans

Looking south-east towards Buckingham station in April 1966.
Photo by John Evans

Buckingham station forecourt in April 1966.
Photo by John Evans

In April 1966 Buckingham goods yard was still open although it would close by the end of the year. The goods dock is seen behind the goods shed. The building in front of the goods shed is a grain store standing on staddle stones to deter rodents.
Photo by John Evans

Buckingham Station in May 1967 - shortly after track lifting
hoto by Ted Burgess

Buckingham Station in December 1968
hoto by Nick Catford

Buckingham Station in 1980
hoto by Nick Catford

Buckingham station looking south-east in 2002
hoto by Quinn Kneller

The surviving north-west end of the up platform in April 2006.
Photo by Roger Marks from his Flickr photostream




May 1964



March 1989

Click on thumbnail to enlarge




[Source: Nick Catford]

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