Volunteers from the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway (C&PRR) recently took a huge step towards completing the new heritage railway interchange at Princes Risborough station during an overnight engineering project. This involved physically picking up and moving 250 metres of track from south of the station alongside the reconstructed 1906 platform.
This project took over three months planning and required over 125 pages of safety documentation before it could commence, which involved the overnight closure of the Chiltern Mainline through Princes Risborough. The 100% volunteer run railway worked round the clock with three shifts to prepare the track for lifting, to carry out the lifting and then to inspect it at dawn after relocation alongside the platform.
This was all carried out while the heritage railway ran Mothering Sunday services carrying just under 1,000 passengers, who enjoyed new seats in some carriages. These passengers were asking when they would be able to join the steam trains at Princes Risborough and Danny Woodward, Chairman and volunteer for the railway, said:
"There is a lot of hard physical and technical work required to complete the trackwork and to ensure that all safety standards are met. This involves connecting two sets of points and associated signalling, but we hope that by the time the School Summer holidays are with us in late July, it will be possible once again after a gap of 61 years, to be able to travel from London, High Wycombe, Aylesbury, Oxford and Bicester, to reach Chinnor by steam train. This will in turn help boost the local economy by attracting tourists to visit the area by rail. New volunteers are always welcomed and it’s very often… free exercise in the fresh air!”