Quainton Road Railway Station

Quainton Road railway station was opened in 1868 in undeveloped countryside near Quainton, Buckinghamshire, 44 miles (71 km) from London. Built by the Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway, it was the result of pressure from the 3rd Duke of Buckingham to route the railway near his home at Wotton House and to open a railway station at the nearest point to it. Serving a relatively unpopulated area, Quainton Road was a crude railway station, described as "extremely primitive".

Following the opening of the station, the Duke of Buckingham built a short horse-drawn tramway to assist with the transport of goods between his estates at Wotton and a terminus adjacent to the existing Quainton Road station. Extended soon afterwards to provide a passenger service to the town of Brill, the tramway was converted to locomotive operation, becoming known as the Brill Tramway. All goods to and from the Brill Tramway passed through Quainton Road station, making it relatively heavily used despite its geographical isolation, and traffic increased further when construction began on Ferdinand de Rothschild's mansion of Waddesdon Manor. It was proposed to extend the Brill Tramway to Oxford, which would have made Quainton Road a major junction station, but the plans were abandoned. Instead, the Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway and the Brill Tramway were absorbed by London's Metropolitan Railway (MR), who already operated the line from Aylesbury to London. The MR rebuilt Quainton Road station and re-sited it to a more convenient location, allowing direct running of services between the Brill Tramway and the Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway. When the Great Central Railway (GCR) from the north of England opened, Quainton Road became a significant junction at which trains from four directions met, and by far the busiest of the MR's rural stations.

In 1933 the Metropolitan Railway was taken into public ownership to become the Metropolitan Line of the London Underground, and despite its distance from London Quainton Road became a part of the London Transport system. The management of London Transport aimed to move away from freight operations, and saw no way in which the rural parts of the MR system could be made into viable passenger routes. In 1935 the Brill Tramway was closed altogether. From 1936 London Underground services were withdrawn north of Aylesbury, leaving the London and North Eastern Railway (successor to the GCR) as the only operator still using the station, although London Underground services were restored for a short period in the 1940s. In 1963 stopping passenger services were withdrawn but fast passenger trains continued to pass through. In 1966 the line was closed to passenger traffic and local goods trains ceased using the station.The line through the station was singled and used by occasional through freight services.

In 1969 the Quainton Road Society was formed, with the aim of preserving the station. In 1971 the Quainton Road Society absorbed the London Railway Preservation Society, taking over its collection of historic railway equipment. The station was fully restored and reopened as a museum, the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre. In addition to the original station buildings, the museum has also acquired the former Oxford Rewley Road railway station and a London Transport building from Wembley Park, both of which have been reassembled on the site. Although no scheduled trains pass through Quainton Road, the station remains connected to the railway network. Freight trains still use the line through the station, and passenger trains still call at the station for special events at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre.

Read more about Quainton Road Railway StationOrigins, Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway, Wotton Tramway, Metropolitan Railway Takeover of The Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway, Wotton Tramway Oxford Extension Scheme, Oxford & Aylesbury Tramroad, Re-siting, Metropolitan Railway Takeover of Oxford & Aylesbury Tramroad Services, Great Central Railway, London Transport, Closure, Restoration

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