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Photographic courses and Project Risborough update from the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway

The Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway (C&PRR) has launched a series of one-day photographic training courses at Chinnor station and yard, and at the largest GWR signalbox, the listed 100-lever Princes Risborough North signalbox. These courses are divided into three themes: Railways and Wildlife, Railways and Steam, and Flying Scotsman at Princes Risborough.
The Chinnor based courses comprise of two theory sessions explaining the features in your camera and photographic techniques divided with a practical session. Depending on the course selected, participants will have access to 0-6-0PT GWR Pannier No. 6412 on hire to the C&PRR from the South Devon Railway for 2017 or on the wildlife themed days, have a one-hour ride in a Class 121 Bubblecar along the line with a qualified guide seeking out wildlife and stopping as required along the line. Red Kites are common, while deer and badgers can be seen on some occasions.

The Railways and Steam sessions will enable participants to get close and onto Pannier Tank No. 6412 as it is being prepared for service and to photograph it working on the line under supervision. Both types of sessions include lunch and a photographic walk around the normally out of bounds areas at Chinnor including the Railway Educational Centre which is now being fitted out.

The Railways and Steam sessions take place on 22 April and 6 May, while on 27 May 2017, the Railway and Wildlife photographic day takes place. Only eight places are available each day which cost £95 each.

The third version of the photography course is a half-day session on 6 June and again on 9 June 2017 which will take place in a unique location, the largest GWR signalbox on the network, the 100-lever Princes Risborough North signalbox. These will coincide with, and provide a grandstand view of LNER ‘A3’ No. 60103 Flying Scotsman heading north through Princes Risborough on four Steam Dreams’ charters. There are just five places per session which take place between 10.30 and 14.00 and 17.00 and 20.30 on both days at a cost £49.95 and includes light refreshments. These will also offer a great view of the Chiltern main line loco-hauled services, freights and the Aylesbury branch. Each participant will have their own window to shoot from with unimpeded views.

The Flying Scotsman sessions will be an hour of technical tips on how to take photographs of trains passing at speed. There will be an hour practising from the signalbox with the intention of being able to grab that fantastic one-off shot of No. 60103 as it heads north. (All subject to the usual caveats, like gauging etc though.) Note these sessions will only offer tea/coffee and biscuits and access will be from Patform 3 at Princes Risborough station.

The courses are being led by Phil Marsh on behalf of the C&PRR. Phil has over half a century of railway photographic experiences and over a decade of railway journalism to draw on, and all sessions will include an insight as to how to improve your chances of seeing your images in print.

All profits from these courses will help fund the Princes Risborough new platform interchange and extension project on the preserved railway. More details are available here and also at www.ukrailpix.co.uk or by email at cleekrail@btinternet.com

Volunteers reveal crash damage at Princes Risborough (Oh dear what can the matter be, the Watlington Flyer got stuck in a lavatory)


The Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway (C&PRR) volunteers continue to work on restoring the original 1906 platform and installing the run-round loop at Princes Risborough, moving over 70 tons of detritus accumulated in the 60 years since trains last used the platform on a regular basis. Two sets of points have been delivered and much material has been recovered for re-use on site such as bricks and coping stones.

While removing the six decades of rubble and railway detritus, one unusual find was made. Some repointed brickwork was revealed on the former Watlington branch bay platform. Investigations showed that the repairs to the brickwork, covered up for decades, were directly under that platform’s Gents toilets! The project team having looked at other evidence have concluded that there must have been some sort of accident, possibly a buffer-stop collision, which necessitated the platform edge repairs. They also found broken bits of Gents toilet fittings including damaged ironwork which was consistent with toilet fittings. They also wondered if anyone was using the facility at the time…


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