The current COVID-19 virus has brough a halt to the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway (C&PRR), operating trains for the first time in a quarter of a century.
The C&PRR, operated 100% by volunteers is one of the 'newer' Heritage Railways and only celebrated its 25th Anniversary of operating trains last year. This means we missed out on buying any steam locomotives when they were available over 45 years ago; instead we have a great working relationship with our friends at the South Devon Railway, who provide all our steam traction needs throughout the year.
However we do still own a few locomotives and the biggest celebrates its Diamond Jubilee this year being built in 1960. It is a 110 ton Class 31 main line heritage diesel bequeathed to us by Richard Floyd, who was the 2nd chairman of the Railway.
Today there is only one Class 31 operating on the national network which was due to visit us at the end of March to operate trains at our postponed Diesel Gala. Our locomotive had a top speed of 90mph. More details and the technical specification of this engine are on our page 97205 (31163 or D5581).
At the turn of the century the engine was in British Rail green and white livery but fell into disuse a decade ago. Over the last four years, a small group of our dedicated volunteers restored the engine to operational status and repainted it into a unique livery depicting the Railway Technical Centre based at Derby.
In 2007, it starred in a comedy pirate film when the locomotive was adorned with a skull and crossed swords plus bullet holes! A YouTube clip of ‘The Train Pirates’ starring Brian Blessed is available for you to view!
Because of the virus, the Class 31 97205 (31163 or D5581) is now under prolonged maintenance and general improvement by several Volunteers who work the required two metres apart from each other while we are unable to operate trains.
The Volunteers at The Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway need your support in these challenging and uncertain times. No matter how large or small, every donation will be welcomed and it's easy to contribute on our donations page - not only will it help us maintain the Railway, but to reopen it as soon as we are allowed and the safety checks have been completed.
We'll be here to help you plan a trip and to welcome you with open arms when the time is right.
Thank you for your support.