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Author Topic: North Cotswold Line - A Selection of Images  (Read 8496 times)
IndustryInsider
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« on: March 25, 2020, 12:22:16 pm »

This thread is for images taken along the North Cotswold Line between Oxford and Hereford. 

I'll add a few of my own first, but feel free to add any of your own photographs - especially if they are particularly interesting or unusual.

I'm keen to keep it largely just for images, not to generate long discussions about them, but feel free to add a description to each image.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 01:01:59 pm by IndustryInsider » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2020, 12:28:36 pm »

Oxford in 1992, Hanborough in 2019, Combe in 1993, and Kingham in 2011.
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2020, 12:30:31 pm »

Shipton in 2019, Moreton-In-Marsh in 2018, Evesham in 2010, and Worcester Shrub Hill in 2016.
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2020, 12:32:12 pm »

Worcester Foregate Street in 2015, Malvern Link in 2014, Great Malvern in 2012 and Colwall in 1994.
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2020, 12:32:55 pm »

Ledbury in 2017, and Hereford in 2016.
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2020, 11:49:18 am »

A couple more images - please don't forget you can add you own...

Firstly of a Class 180 'Adelante' at Great Malvern in 2007.  It's in the original 'Quality Street' Livery during the first time members of the fleet were part of the FGW (First Great Western) franchise.

Secondly, a view of the token machine on the platform at Moreton-In-Marsh, which allowed drivers to obtain a token for the section to Evesham.  This was taken in 2011 shortly before resignalling rendered tokens on the line obsolete.

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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2021, 05:40:45 pm »

A few more images for you, taken by my father in the 1970s, so showing stations and infrastructure as they were in that period.

1)  Wolvercote Junction in November 1971.  Still double track towards Charlbury, but a single lead junction.  It looks from the state of the ballast that the second connection to the junction had only recently been removed, starting the simplification of the track layout.

2)  Finstock station in July 1971 when it was still double track and had two platforms.

3)  Moreton-In-Marsh in May 1973, after the line beyond to Evesham had been singled.

4)  Moreton-In-Marsh in May 1973 again, this view showing the former goods sidings where a Co-Op now stands.

More to follow...
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2021, 10:53:27 am »

A few more images for you, taken by my father in the 1970s, so showing stations and infrastructure as they were in that period.

1)  Wolvercote Junction in November 1971.  Still double track towards Charlbury, but a single lead junction.  It looks from the state of the ballast that the second connection to the junction had only recently been removed, starting the simplification of the track layout.

2)  Finstock station in July 1971 when it was still double track and had two platforms.

3)  Moreton-In-Marsh in May 1973, after the line beyond to Evesham had been singled.

4)  Moreton-In-Marsh in May 1973 again, this view showing the former goods sidings where a Co-Op now stands.

More to follow...

Oh thanks so much for these.  I started at Blockley early in 1974 and soon moved to Moreton-in-Marsh to learn how to be a signalman there.  The D7000s had just been replaced by the foul Brush Class 31s, but the scenes are a lovely reminder of my early days on the railway.  The removed sidings on the left of the final picture were to serve the dairy - the dock of which is visible.  The sidings on the right were still there but clipped and padlocked oou when I learned the 'box.
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2021, 11:39:20 am »

Glad you like them.  I’ll add a few more in the coming days.  My dad was always keen to be on hand to record the latter days of railway infrastructure…particularly those lines and station which were closed in the 60s/70s. 

Although not too many whole lines were shut in the 70s, there was an awful lot of track rationalisation which lasted into the 80s when I first remember being old enough to remember.
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2022, 10:53:31 am »

Glad you like them.  I’ll add a few more in the coming days.  My dad was always keen to be on hand to record the latter days of railway infrastructure…particularly those lines and station which were closed in the 60s/70s. 

It took me more than a few days, but here are three more stills taken in the 1970s by my dad:

1: JUL 1971 - Charlbury station, looking towards Oxford.  Taken just a few weeks before the line was singled, with the down platform (to the right) taken out of use, along with the signal box.  Note that passengers leaving a down train had to cross over the 'barrow crossing' directly behind the train they had alighted.  When the line was redoubled in 2011 a ramped footbridge had to be provided.  Modern safety standards, eh?

2: OCT 1974 - Hanborough station, looking towards Worcester. Known as Handborough at the time, it nearly closed.  At this point just three trains stopped a day - two morning up trains to Oxford, and a return down train in the early evening.  None on Sundays.  Nowadays a service is provided at least hourly throughout much of the day, seven days a week, with extras during the peaks.  A large car park replaces what you can see in this picture where you were clearly able to drive your car straight onto the tracks if you were so inclined!  The down platform had closed in 1971 when the line was singled.

3: OCT 1976 - At Honeybourne Junction, taken from road bridge looking towards Stratford, with Oxford to Worcester line flying over right to left.  The North Cotswold Line passes over the bridge from right to left in this image.  The main lines you can see are the old Cheltenham to Stratford Line, which was closed during that year after a derailment damaged a section of track.  I think the line had been shut further south at this point, but was still open in this vicinity to store wagons in sidings and on the running lines the other side of this bridge.  Another image taken at the time indicates that is the case.  At the overbridge, you can see the junction which took trains to/from Worcester, part of quite a complex track layout of junctions so trains could head in all three directions, requiring no less than five signal boxes!  This was during the 12 year period Honeybourne station itself was shut.
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2022, 02:09:00 pm »

Very nice indeed.  Thank you for posting these.  I was a Moreton-in-Marsh bobby before heading to Witham in 1974 and very familiar with the area during the time these pictures were taken.

I've more than half a suspicion that the Stratford upon Avon - Cheltenham line could have survived (possibly single-tracked) had it not been for that August 1976 derailment at Winchcombe.  When I was working in the area there were only about four or five trains scheduled each way along the line, and it was open only on early and night turns (0500-1300 and 2100-0500) M-F.  In the northbound direction this was dependent on the signalmen at Gloucester panel turning the trains onto the Stratford route at Lansdown Jcn.  Often, they wouldn't bother, and the Honeybourne route would see no trains on the Up line for days. 

At Honeybourne West Loop Junction (in Picture 3) the signal box was kept in absolutely pristine condition by Len Rhymes who'd been more-or-less sent to West Loop when Wylds Lane Jcn in Worcester had been closed in 1971.  West Loop was only open for early turn, to allow the passage of the 0530 Worcester to Long Marston trip.  If the trip was worked smartly, Len could switch the box out and be on his way home by 1000.  Nice work if you can get it!

The line was useful for diversions.  I recall being asked to go to Long Marston 'box and open it as a matter of urgency one Summer Saturday morning.  An ingot had dropped through the bottom of a wagon at Abbotswood Jcn on the Midland line, and all traffic had to be diverted via Stratford upon Avon.  With the very long block sections and a 50mph line speed, you can see why I soon had four trains standing at LM (London Midland - recent franchise), waiting for line clear.  Not clever for the passengers, but fun for me.  Technically, I wasn't passed-out to work Long Marston, but the DI and other bosses all knew that I've made myself very familiar with all the 'boxes in the area, from age 17.  Different times, indeed.
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2022, 02:58:01 pm »

Lovely extra detail, thank you.
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