Station Name: QUAINTON ROAD
|Date opened:||30.11.1896 (this is the official opening date but trains are shown in Bradshaw by January 1894)|
|Location:||East side of Station Road|
|Company on opening:||Metropolitan Railway|
|Date closed to passengers:||4.3.1963|
|Date closed completely:||4.7.1966|
|Company on closing:||British Railways (London Midland Region)|
|Present state:||The station has been fully restored by the Quainton Railway Society.|
|OS Grid Ref:||SP739190|
|Date of visit:||February 1968, December 1968 , July 1974, June 1975 and 21.5.2008|
Notes: The original station at Quainton Road was opened in 1868 as an intermediate station on the Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway's (A&BR) single-track line to Aylesbury from Claydon Junction on the London and North Western Railway's Oxford - Cambridge cross-country route. The A&BR's line was worked from the outset by the Great Western Railway who turned down the chance to acquire the A&BR in 1874. The impoverished railway company was eventually absorbed by the Metropolitan Railway in 1891, who doubled the track in 1897. Quainton Road had become the terminus of the Brill Tramway in 1871, one of the first 'light railways' opened under new legislation brought in to support local lines. On 1 December 1899 the tramway became known as the Oxford and Aylesbury Tramway and was absorbed into the Metropolitan which initially planned to extend it to Oxford.
As a result of the replacement of the original level crossing by a road bridge, the original Quainton Road station closed on 29 November 1896 along with the Brill Tramway station, and a new combined station re-located to the east side of Station Road was opened by the Metropolitan Railway the next day.
The acrimony between the GCR and the Metropolitan cooled in the early years of the twentieth century and an agreement was reached on 4 July 1904 whereby the Metropolitan's lines from Harrow South junction to Chesham, Aylesbury and Verney Junction (including Quainton Road and the Brill Tramway) were transferred to a Metropolitan and Great Central Joint Committee which would pay an annual rent to the Metropolitan.
In 1933, the Metropolitan and the Brill Tramway were absorbed into the London Passenger Transport Board which subsequently closed the tramway on 30 November 1935 in the face of competition from motor lorry traffic. This was to prove a significant omen for the future as the LNER and LPTB withdrew, as an economy measure, passenger services between Aylesbury and Verney Junction from 6 July 1936. Thereafter Quainton Road was used mainly for goods traffic which had increased during both World Wars.
A spur, brought into use on 14 September 1940 at Calvert and linking the Varsity Line with the Great Central Main Line, had the effect of diverting much of the traffic which would have used the Verney Junction - Quainton Road route over the Great Central Main Line. Quainton Road was finally closed to passengers from 4 March 1963 and to goods from 4 July 1966 with the closure of the Great Central.
There are no regular passenger train services, although special services operate from Aylesbury to link with events at the Heritage Centre; these services run via the single line and call at the station's up platform, thus providing step-free access to the centre. The main station building is on the Up side of the line with a smaller (and possibly now unique) wooden building of distinctive style on the platform between the currently-vacant down line trackbed and the platform from which the Brill service ran. At the north-west corner of the site are the somewhat-larger terminal buildings of 1851 from Oxford Rewley Road railway station re-erected here in 2002 (Source: Wikipedia)
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GREAT CENTRAL RAILWAY BETWEEN SHEFFIELD AND LONDON
In order to fulfil his ambitions, Watkin also became Chairman of the Metropolitan Railway who were in the process of extending their line northwards towards Rickmansworth and the South Eastern Railway connecting London with Dover. Initially, Watkin tried to convince other companies to build links with the MS & L allowing him to reach London but he was unable to reach agreement and eventually was left with little option than to build his own line southward from Sheffield to reach the Metropolitan.
In the 1890's the MS&LR began construction of its 'Derbyshire Lines', in effect the first part of its push southwards. Leaving its east - west main line at Beighton Junction, some 5 1/2 miles east of Sheffield, the line headed south through the Nottingham coal field with a branch line serving its new Central Station in Chesterfield. In July 1890 the MS&LR obtained another act to extend from Chesterfield to Heath creating a loop line. Work started on this new section, of some 4¾ miles, before construction on the original line was finished and opened in July 1893
In 1893 the MS&LR obtained Parliamentary approval to extend this line to London (known as the ‘London Extension’. Construction of the 92 mile route started in 1895 and on 1st August 1897 the company changed its name to the Great Central Railway; it was the last 'main line' to be built until the Channel Tunnel rail link in 2003.
Due to its late construction, the company was able to take advantage of the latest technology including steam excavators. It was heavily engineered with viaducts and wide cuttings with a maximum gradient of 1 in 128; there were no sharp curves or level crossings which would ensure a fast service for both passengers and freight. Most of the stations on the ‘London extension’ were built to a standard design consisting of an island platform with the booking office located on the platform. All the stations were built on an embankment or in a cutting adjacent to a road bridge, with access via stairs from the middle of the bridge; only the larger intermediate stations like Rugby and Loughborough had street level buildings. Because Edward Watkin also expected his trains to reach Europe through a channel tunnel, the line was also built to a larger continental (Berne) loading gauge. The Great Central opened for coal traffic on 25 July 1898, for passenger traffic to a new terminus at Marylebone on 15 March 1899 and for general goods traffic on 11 April 1899.
The new line was built from Annesley in Nottinghamshire to join the existing Metropolitan Railway which had now reached Quainton Road in Buckinghamshire, where the line became joint Met/GCR owned (after 1903), it returned to GCR metals near Finchley Road for the final section into Marylebone. In 1903, new rails were laid parallel to the Metropolitan Railway from Harrow to the junction north of Finchley Road, enabling more traffic to use Marylebone. Although the new line had now reached London, Edward Watkin was unable to fulfil his ambition as he was forced to retire through ill health.From the outset, the line had to compete with established north – south routes and the first train only carried a disappointing four passengers so the company had to work hard to win passengers from its rivals; with a well managed Advertising campaign and the introduction of a fast and efficient train service the companies fortunes slowly improved although it was never a match for its rival lines.
In the 1923 grouping, the Great Central became part of the London & North Eastern Railway which brought an increase in freight traffic from the south Midlands and south west England but the LNER's main north - south route was into London Kings Cross so the Great Central was always considered as a secondary route.
In 1968 the London Railway Preservation Society chose Quainton Road as its new base, the society being renamed as the Quainton Railway Society; this has now developed into the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre covering 25 acres. The Centre boasts one of the largest private railway collections in the country with numerous steam locomotives, many housed in the former listed trainshed from Oxford Rewley Road which was dismantled and rebuilt at Quainton Road in 1999/2000.
North of Loughborough, the line remained open for freight traffic after closure to passengers in 1969 serving the gypsum mine at East Leake and the Ruddington Ordnance Storage and Disposal Depot south of Nottingham. This traffic ceased in the 1980's and the track north of Loughborough was mothballed by BR. In the early 1990's a group of transport enthusiasts set up the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) Ltd with the aim of redeveloping the derelict Ruddington Ordnance depot as part of a country park project. The depot was turned into the Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre (NTHC) and trains were run on a small length of line into the depot.
Rushcliffe Halt are limited to the second Sunday of each month as there is no station at
It is now both groups aim to reinstate two bridges, one over the Midland main line north of Loughborough, rebuild 300 yards of embankment and relay little more than a quarter of a mile of track. As well a 'bridging the gap' between the two preserved lines further long term proposals would see the line extended southwards to Leicester Abbey and northwards from Ruddington to join up with the Nottingham tram network and on to Nottingham city centre.
Sheffield Victoria closed on 5th January 1970 with the closure of the Woodhead route and trains from Lincoln were diverted into Sheffield Midland. Although the southern section of the main line remained open, it too was proposed for partial closure in 1986. Aylesbury was to remain open but all services would run into Paddington via Princes Risborough. Marylebone Station was due to close on 12th May 1986 but the station was eventually reprieved and the closure proposals were rescinded. Following rail privatisation in the 1990's, Chiltern Railways took over the route and in 2006 two new platforms were built at Marylebone on the site of the old daytime carriage sidings. The new platforms and partial resignalling of the station throat now make it possible to run 20 trains per hour in and out of the station.
With our motorway network now working at capacity there have been a number of proposals to reopen other sections of the Great Central main line and in 2006 Central Railway was formed to look into the feasibility of building a new rail link from central England to the Channel Tunnel which would include rebuilding part of the Great Central route south of Rugby reviving a 1990’s government proposal to reopen that section of the line as part of a fast rail link from Scotland to the Channel Tunnel.
Preservation group web sites: The Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, The Great Central Railway (steam service between Loughborough and Leicester North) & Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre (steam service between Ruddington and Loughborough)
Selected other web sites: The Transport Archive contains further detailed history of the Great Central plus a vast collection of 2344 'on line' photographs many ( the Newton Collection) taken during the construction of the London Extension. Chris Ward's Annesley Web site featuring numerous photographs of the Great Central around Nottingham and the Annesley Motive Power Depot. Great Central Railway through Leicester. Nigel Tout's web site with numerous photographs of the Great Central remains around Leicester and a series of archive photographs of the line. Bridging the Gap details ongoing work to reinstate the link between the two preserved lines. The Great Central Railway Society promotes an historical interest in the Great Central Railway.
Too see other stations on the Great Central Railway between Sheffield Victoria and Aylesbury click on the station name: Aylesbury, Waddesdon, Quainton Road (1st site), Calvert, Finmere, Brackley Central, Helmdon, Culworth, Woodford Halse, Charwelton, Braunston & Willoughby, Rugby Central, Lutterworth, Ashby Magna, Whetstone, Leicester Central, Leicester North***, Belgrave & Birstall, Rothley**, Swithland****, Quorn & Woodhouse**, Loughborough Central**, East Leake, Rushcliffe Halt**, Ruddington, Ruddington Factory Halt, Arkwright Street, Nottingham Victoria, Carrington, New Basford, Bulwell Common, Bulwell Hall Halt, Hucknall Central, Annesley South Junction Halt, Hollinwell & Annesley, Kirkby Bentinck, Tibshelf Town, Pilsley, Heath, Staveley Central, Renishaw Central, Killamarsh Central, Beighton (1st site), Beighton (2nd site), Woodhouse Junction, Woodhouse*, Darnall*, Sheffield Victoria & Sheffield Bridgehouses.
|Last updated: Friday, 12-May-2017 18:09:30 BST||
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