Cholsey and Wallingford Railway

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Cholsey and Wallingford Railway

Post by mikegayton » Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:15 pm

Chosley and Wallingford Railway

Visited this line on Saturday 8th September (a ?1940s day?).
Started from Strood, having to fight my way through a very big crowd of people and buses, as the line to Rainham was closed (from the Sole Street direction as well).
Only the high speed service (reversing at Strood) and Maidstone line were running, The high speed was starting 2 minutes earlier than usual, to take into account the additional stop at Higham.
Not seeing much on the GW journey to Reading due a very crowded Bristol train.
Caught an Oxford train on to Cholsey, where there is a Cholsey and Wallingford booking office. The original branch bay is still the terminus, so it is cross the platform from the up slow line.
Our steam worked train arrived and the loco rapidly ran around to take us along the branch to the current Wallingford Station, although the line apparently never quite got to Wallingford .
All other locos were seen at Wallingford, there being nowhere for them to hide with no tracked buildings and scarcely any others. One of the class 08s was station pilot, releasing the train as there is no run-around loop at the platform.
A small caf? served the essential bacon sandwich to start our day, the shop was visited and much information gained from the society members there including that the line is known as ?the Bunk?. Then for a look around. There was a large banner declaring 2016 to be the railways 150th anniversary. The museum is located in a Cambrian coach, and gives a good picture of the line.
The area to the east of the station is peppered with the foundations of the maltings, traffic from which kept the branch connected to the national network until 1981, with some track surviving.
At less than 3 miles long and not a great deal of land available, there are limitations to what the line has to show, but the enthusiasm of the operators and organisers, supported by a Home Guard Troop with appropriately dressed civilians more than compensated for that and made for a most enjoyable day out.
Locos seen were:
0-4-0ST Peckett 1555 of 1920 with modified profile and lettered M & L RT CO LTD (working the service)
(NORTHERN 0-4-0 ST Peckett 2142 of 1954
GASBOARD N0 1) (should have been the working loco but had failed)
(08123) 0-6-0DE
Bo-Bo DE Alco 77777 (completely stripped)
Three of the diesel locos present had been at Guinness, Park Royal, namely:
CARPENTER 0-4-0 D Hibberd 3271 of 1948
LION (08022) 0-6-0 DE
UNICORN (08060) 0-6-0 DE

Journeyed back to Paddington on a slow train, although the final section (from at least West Drayton) was on the fast line as the slow lines were occupied by six(?) works trains.
Had hoped to go via Abbey Wood on the homeward train, but of course the route was blocked, so it was high speed instead.

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