Chinnor Princes Risborough opens main line interchange

THE Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway officially opened its new main line interchange at Princes Risborough on Wednesday, August 15.

The new interchange between the CPRR and Chiltern Railways has created the nearest main line-connected heritage railway, with a cross-platform interchange facility, to London, being just 40 minutes from Marylebone by Chiltern Railways services.

The interchange has been constructed by the 100% volunteer-operated line and was part-funded by a £75,000 grant from the Department for Transport made in August 2016, and a private major benefactor, along with hundreds of donations made over the last 25 years.

Chiltern Railways Turbo train No. 165035 heads the VIP guest train from London via Princes Risborough into Chinnor for the official launch on August 15. Among the guests were Lady Judy McAlpine, widow of the late Sir William McAlpine, and new owner of Steam Dreams, David Buck. ROBIN JONES

The project has been partnered by Network Rail and Chiltern Railways. The interchange now offers a cross platform interchange with Chiltern Railways’ trains from London Marylebone, Aylesbury, Oxford, Banbury and Birmingham Snow Hill.

Public services commenced in the afternoon of August 15 running as ‘The Watlington Flyer’ travelling non-stop along four miles of the GWR Watlington branch line to Chinnor station, which is the end of the line for now.

Regular steam and diesel-hauled trains will then serve the new interchange on several days a week until the end of October. Full information is available at www.chinnorrailway.co.uk

Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy said: “The connection of the CPRR with the National Railway Network is a stunning achievement for a volunteer-operated railway, and will generate environmentally friendly rail-based tourism on the closest preserved railway to London. Network Rail congratulates the railway for this extension, and it will be a privilege to ride on the first public train on it.”

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