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Author Topic: The Marlow Branch - how Bourne End works  (Read 11430 times)
grahame
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« on: October 31, 2019, 11:15:10 pm »

Single track from Maidenhead via Furze Platt and Cookham to Bourne End, where off peak the 2 carriage train reverses at platform 2 and continues to Marlow.  Same thing in reverse for the train to get back to Maidenhead - round trip in just uner the hour.

Operation is different at peak time.  The train leaves Maidenhead via Furze Platt and Cookham to Bourne End, but it arrives there at platform 1 - longer, but only accessible from the Maidenhead direction.  At the same time that the train from Maidenhead arrives in platform one, a second train arrives from Marlow in platform 2.  Passengers from Maidenhead walk around  from platform 1 to platform 2 and join the train that's just arrived there from Marlow ... which sets off a couple of minutes later back to Marlow.   Passengers from Marlow get off their train in platform 2, and walk around to platform 1 to the train that's just arrived from Maidenhead, and sets of back for there a couple of minutes later.

A typical swap at Bourne End
17:17 from Marlow arrives at 17:24 at platform 2
17:16 from Maidenhead arrives at 17:27 at platform 1
17:30 train leaves from platform 2 for Marlow (gets there at 17:37)
17:31 train leaves from platform 1 for Maidenhead (gets there at 17:42)



By having 2 trains swapping over their passengers halfway, the service can be increased to every 30 minutes rather than every hour.

I understand that passenger flow is significnatly biased FROM Marlow in the morning and back there in the evening.  That bias leads to lots of empty seats in one direction, but it does mean that you don't get two surges of people meeting each other head on around the end of the platform at Bourne End.
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bobm
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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2019, 12:29:24 pm »

A couple of photos to add to the understanding



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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2019, 06:27:12 pm »

Quaint isn't it  Grin  and all operated on basically Victorian technology. 

Token block between Maidenhead - Bourne End and "One Engine in Steam" on the Bourne End - Marlow
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bobm
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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2019, 09:00:02 pm »

Wouldn’t be the same with those nasty overhead wires.  Grin
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2019, 09:13:26 pm »

.....and just to add my bit, thats not a signal in Bobm's photograph, but a Point Indicator (its set for the Marlow line).
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Oxonhutch
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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2019, 09:50:16 pm »

.....and just to add my bit, thats not a signal in Bobm's photograph, but a Point Indicator (its set for the Marlow line).

That is subtle ...
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2019, 10:30:01 pm »

.....and just to add my bit, thats not a signal in Bobm's photograph, but a Point Indicator (its set for the Marlow line).

That is subtle ...

Yes, the STOP Sign is actually the signal.
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« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2019, 07:23:03 am »

.....and just to add my bit, thats not a signal in Bobm's photograph, but a Point Indicator (its set for the Marlow line).

Presumably can't use 'M' as that would potentially be confused with "Mainline" ?

Heading North out of Guildford, trains heading towards Ash have an 'A' theatre indicator and trains heading towards Clandon have a 'C'. Is this co-incidence or is it just routes are labelled A,B,C (where Guildford's 'B' is an 'M' for Mainline).
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grahame
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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2019, 08:15:35 am »

Presumably can't use 'M' as that would potentially be confused with "Mainline" ?

"M" for Marlow and "M" for Maidenhead ... I suspect too similar and likely to get confused at first glance.
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« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2019, 08:50:37 pm »

This is a branch well worth travelling if you've never been on it, it's amazing it survived like it is. Once you reach the Thames bridge at Bourne End the landscape is a world away from that when you leave the busy mainline at Maidenhead. Much like the Henley branch, it's rough, low speed track adds to the country branch line feel and, after the reverse at Bourne End, the train slowly runs through back gardens and along the Thames bank to Marlow where it unceremoniously finishes at the far end of an industrial estate. At Bourne End you can see where the line continued to High Wycombe. It's quite easy to follow some sections of the line on foot, and with a short diversion onto a golf course you can still see the tunnel under the M40.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2019, 10:05:43 pm »

Indeed.  Here is a photograph I took from Winter Hill during the Marlow Branch Centenary Celebrations in 1973.

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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2019, 10:10:24 pm »

Presumably can't use 'M' as that would potentially be confused with "Mainline" ?

"M" for Marlow and "M" for Maidenhead ... I suspect too similar and likely to get confused at first glance.

It actually shows 'M' for Main (towards Maidenhead) and 'B' for Branch (towards Marlow).
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2019, 10:16:42 pm »

.....and here is the equivalent view to Bobm's but taken by me in 1971.



....and looking the other way towards High Wycombe.  High Wycombe train approaching.

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MVR S&T
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« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2019, 11:30:21 pm »

Hows it appears in the signalbox at Didcot:
https://photos.signalling.org/picture?/19012/category/1879-2015_may
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« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2019, 07:49:51 am »

The 60' jointed bullhead rail on timber sleepers north form North Town Crossing (aka Furze Platt) is being replaced by CWR (Continuously Welded Rail) this side of Christmas, including North Town Level Crossing being closed to road and pedestrian traffic for 2 weeks (17 Nov -  2 Dec) while the track renewals is being done.

So if you want to enjoy the sound of trains over 60' jointed rail best get in quick
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