GWR steam railmotor visit halted by gauging problems

THE ground-breaking visit of GWR steam railmotor No. 93 to the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway has been postponed due to gauging issues on the main line.

The Great Western Society’s Didcot-based No. 93 and its trailer, No. 92, were scheduled to visit between June 29 and July 16, with the first of the dates commemorating the 60th anniversary of the line, the former Watlington branch, losing its regular passenger services.

South Devon Railway-based GWR 0-6-0PT No. 6412 on a mixed train at Chinnor. PHIL MARSH

The unique Steam Multiple Unit set was intended to reach the CPRR via haulage over the main line. The hire and main line transit contracts had been signed between the two organisations and Train Operating Company West Coast Railways and held a training day at Didcot for the senior members of the CPRR train crews.

Furthermore, track had also been laid specially for the visit in the new CPRR Railway Education Centre by volunteers, diverting them away from similar activities at Princes Risborough.

However, Network Rail identified a gauging issue with the Down platform at Culham. Despite apparently favourable comparative gauging profiles when compared to a modern day Great Western Railway Class 166 DMU, a ‘prohibit’ restriction was subsequently issued by Network Rail.

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