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Author Topic: Cholsey and Wallingford Railway - between Didcot Parkway and Reading  (Read 12371 times)
Lee
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« on: May 29, 2008, 08:13:55 pm »

Services are back on track at the Cholsey & Wallingford Railway (link below.)
http://www.oxfordmail.net/news/headlines/display.var.2306620.0.heritage_railway_back_on_track.php

Problems with rolling stock meant the heritage railway had not been able to run trains since Easter.

But the problems have been dealt with and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Railways has given the line a clean bill of health
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autotank
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2008, 09:08:39 pm »

With many new houses due to be built in Wallingford over the next 10-15 years do you think a proper commercial service could ever be introduced on the Wallingford branch? Many of the new houses are proposed to be built near the current terminus which makes the fact it is a bit of a walk from town less of an issue. Could be an ideal line for a Parry people mover or bubble car. The track would probably need a bit of work, but it would cost a lot less than a full on reopening.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2008, 06:28:56 am »

Hi, "Autotank", and welcome to the Forum.

How long an answer do you want Grin ??

The management overiew is "it would probably make a lot of sense to provide an appropriate service on the Wallingford line, but there's an awful lot of other places that it would make similar sense to do something similar and it's not happened."

The longer answer involves availability of rolling stock, costs of raising track to very high standards legally required and other health and safety issues, ensuring that there's enough in it for commercial interests involved to get their profit for their shareholders, capital investment sources / underwriting by the local transport authority in the area, red tape, all the movers and shakers being too busy doing other things realting to meeting demand on lines already open, and on major projects such as Reading and Crossrail. On the positive side, if you have a rail-friendly local authority (LTA (Local Transport Authority)) that doesn't have its thought all tied up in local government re-organsation, a helpful MP (Member of Parliament), a marginal constituency, and some development that could help with section 106 grants and the like, and you're in a depressed area that the EU» (European Union - about) will help fund, or if you have senior rail people living in the place(s) that would be served.

When I first got involved with railway campaigning, three people cautioned me against excessive optimism (which in fact I didn't have - but they weren't to know that) - and the words stick in my mind "Graham - a rail based campaign takes ten times as long as an ordinary one, and there's an extra zero on the end of the price too".

I'm not trying to put you off here ... but across the FGW (First Great Western) territory, have a look at campaigns / comments with regard to Portishead, Okehampton, Tavistock, the TransWilts line, Radstock ... (and I have probably left out a few) but also Severn Beach, Ebbw Vale, Newquay and Maesteg where you'll see services running which previously were not.
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autotank
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2008, 12:22:31 pm »

Thanks for the detailed reply grahame - very interesting. I would hope that the Wallingford branch wouldn't cost as much and be as much physical work as you suggest. As the line is pretty short, the current 25mph maximum speed I don't think would be too much of an issue - this would mean it could continue to operate under a LRO. From personal experience I know the P Way would need some upgrading - but I would have thought remedial work rather than total replacement would do the trick. Volunteers have done quite a bit of work in recent years to replace 100's of life expired wooden sleepers with concrete ones. As for rolling stock, I think a Parry People Mover would be ideally suited to the line with backup provided by say a heritage bubble car.

By keeping the branch self contained I think costs could be kept down and as the council actually own the trackbed I'm sure they'd want to see their asset used for the greater public benefit.
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autotank
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2009, 12:15:07 pm »

Shameless plug!

6430 and Autotrailer (not sure which one, but I'll find out later) are arriving at Wallingford this afternoon and will be operating an intensive service on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday is the 50th anniversary of the last passenger service on 'The Bunk' - unfortunately we couldn't get a 14xx which were the mainstay of the line in the 30/40/50's, but I think you'll agree 6430 is the next best thing! It will be the first time an Autotrain has operated on the branch since 1466 in the 60's.

Didcot are launching 3650 over the weekend, so why not have a pannier binge and include us in you plans as well - Cholsey is only 5 minutes away on the train (our services depart from platform 5).

Come and visit - you will be made most welcome. I should be firing at some stage so come and say hi (I'll be wearing a flat cap). More details at www.cholsey-wallingford-railway.com
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anthony215
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2011, 08:36:13 pm »

Does anyone know the name of the preserved railway which has its station directly next to one of the local stations served by FGW (First Great Western) between Didcot Parkway & Reading?
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inspector_blakey
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2011, 08:40:09 pm »

Cholsey and Wallingford railway, they use one of the platforms at Cholsey station (first stop after Didcot heading towards Reading on a local service).
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bignosemac
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2011, 08:43:13 pm »

*deleted*. Beaten to it by my fellow moderator.  Grin
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http://www.templecombevillage.uk/station.html

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anthony215
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2011, 08:53:06 pm »

Ok thanks, i was thinking about visisting there when they next have a open day or something. Any other places around the thames valley or oxford area's  anyone would reconmend to visit?


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bignosemac
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2011, 08:56:08 pm »

There's also the Didcot Railway Centre, and a bit further afield, but possible as a stop off if you are travelling up from South Wales, STEAM at Swindon.
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http://www.templecombevillage.uk/station.html

There is a rumour going around that I have found God. I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist. - Sir Terry Pratchett
autotank
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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2011, 11:15:55 am »

Wallingford itself is worth visiting - there are the remains of a castle and a good local museum. All about a 10 minute walk from the station.

We're not running until Easter when we have Ivor visiting. Hopefully we should have a steam loco from May onwards for the rest of the season.

I was out helping with P-Way yesterday - we are currently replacing some of the steel sleepers near Cholsey Church which were used on the GWML (Great Western Main Line) as an experiement by the GWR (Great Western Railway) in the 1930's. They are being replaced with concrete sleepers which were used on the Cotswold Line near Honeybourne until a few years ago.
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IanL
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2011, 12:00:29 pm »

Not far from Didcot, The pendon museum www.pendonmuseum.com

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autotank
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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2014, 09:29:42 pm »

Steam returned to the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway today for the first time in over a year in the form of 'Northern Gas Board No. 1' which is on hire for the next 2 years from the Darlington Railway Preservation Society. I had a go on the shovel this afternoon and was very impressed - I look forward to having a few more turns on her over the summer. Ivor was also fired up today at Wallingford ahead of a visit from the boiler inspector during the week. This means that for the first time in many years we could have two operational steam locomotives on the branch this summer. We're hoping to have them both in action on at least one day quite soon. Do come and pay us a visit if you can!
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Cynthia
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2014, 09:45:57 pm »

Whoopy doooooo!   I'll be there!
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bobm
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2014, 10:10:35 pm »

Having been with the Cholsey & Wallingford Railway Preservation Society in its early days when it was battling to get a level crossing included in the plans for the bypass or have the line cut in half, I am really pleased to see the progress it has made.
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