Monday, 10 April 2017
The Cherwell Line
Version 3 will finally be available 'later this year'. Route requirements will be Falmouth,Woodhead, Isle of Wight, West Somerset and Riviera 50s all from Steam. Featured heavily will be the Cherwell area, between Oxford and Banbury.
Quick Drive Developments
The northern end of the route is at the now closed station of Cropredy, a couple of miles beyond Banbury. The southern end, via Oxford, is at Radley a few miles south of the city. There are extensive yards, private sidings and junctions immediately both north of Banbury and south of Oxford stations. The Oxford line has two QD options: 'Passenger' takes the main line while 'Goods' uses goods loops and the avoiding line around Banbury station. The distance is 31 miles. Options for the 44 mile route via Bicester to High Wycombe are 'Stopping' which takes the platform line at 4 track stations and 'Through'.
|Banbury Yard early morning start|
Another starting point is Banbury Yard. The loco could be uncoupled and a different rake of wagons chosen. Destinations are Radley or the reception line at Oxford's Hinksey Yard.
|Leaving Banbury Yard|
Starting at 'Banbury Shed-light engine' is a possibility for a 'Light Engine' selection. The points are already set for reversing on to carriages waiting at the up platform.
|Snaking out passed variable stock and visiting locos.|
|Ready to leave Banbury for Oxford.|
The first four stations after leaving Banbury, shown previously, were 'Kings Sutton', 'Aynho for Deddington', 'Fritwell and Somerton' and 'Heyford'.
|Tackley Halt was added to the line in the 1930's and is still open.|
|It consisted of a fine collection of sheds and a crossing keeper's house.|
|Bletchington looking north from the road bridge.|
Bletchington station was previously known as 'Woodstock', 'Woodstock Road' and 'Kirtlington' before becoming 'Bletchington'. It is now closed. It had a strange looking goods shed positioned between two sidings. Beyond this the line crossed the Oxford Canal and River Cherwell.
A quarry and cement works used to be situated beside the canal a mile to the left. Bags of cement were brought here by narrow boat, winched up by the crane and the shed, which was originally open on three sides, provided some shelter. When the quarry was worked out a new one was started with rail access. The works chimney is visible beyond the road bridge.
|Occasional other traffic.|
|The Woodstock branch runs parallel to the main line before it turns away.|
|Thrupp canal side village.|
|Kidlington, junction for the Woodstock branch. Now closed.|
|Wolvercote Junction with the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton railway.|
The siding was used by a papermill in the village. A down goods running loop was added behind it during the War.
|Hinksey Yard reception line.|
Work continues on completing version 3 of this wonderful steam-age route. Peter is making excellent progress.
More soon. . . . . .
Friday, 9 September 2016
WELCOME to our route build special blog post. We will feature work taking place on three routes, with a mystery fourth featuring at the end of the article.
Wycombe Railway and Joint Line Version 3
As revealed in a previous blog post, Peter Goodearl is busy preparing version 3 of his fantastic 'return to the steam days' route. Version 2 took us from Oxford to Maidenhead via Thame, Princes Risborough and High Wycombe, and Princes Risborough to Bicester, via Ashendon Junction.Version 3 extends north from Oxford to Banbury and Bicester to Banbury on what is now the Chiltern Mainline. Here are a selection of the images sent through by Peter:
|An S160, with a train of empty ore wagons, leaves the Up Goods line at Ironstone Sidings, a mile or so north of Banbury.|
|Banbury Junction where the LNER/Great Central branch from Woodford Halse joins the GWR Oxford to Birmingham line.|
|The (non functional) 'Hump' Yard at Banbury.|
|Banbury Station and the River Cherwell.|
|Across the bottom is the Oxford Canal. A tar works, with private siding, is between it and the River Cherwell. At the top is Banbury Cattle Market.|
|Banbury had a major cattle market, at one time the largest in Europe.|
|Banbury Shed. Wartime additions include an extension to the coalstage which loads a line on the far side and ash sheds built to hide the glow from enemy bombers.|
|The gasworks was between the GWR and LMS lines. It also received bomb damage. After it closed it became a scrapyard and several locos were cut up there.|
Next are selection of images from the Banbury station platforms:
There will be more on the Wycombe Railway and Joint Line Version 3 soon. We hope to get the new version complete by the end of the year.
The Bluebell Railway
As revealed exclusively on Facebook, we will be releasing our version of the Bluebell Railway in the near future. The route has been developed by Ivor Russell, with many custom assets. Our version will feature our custom track, audio environment and much more. See the below images showing some of the most recognizable parts of the line:
|Sheffield Park Station|
|Standard 4MT Tank 80151 approaches Horsted Keynes on the high embankment|
|The view off the end of Horsted Keynes platform 2, looking towards Kingscote and East Grinstead|
|Looking back towards Horsted Keynes|
|A birds-eye view of Kingscote|
|The high quality of station model can be appreciated in this shot|
|Kingscote Signal Box controls all activity at around the station and all movement between here and East Grinstead|
GWSR Update In The Works
As was our intention upon release, the GWSR isn't standing still. Much like the real line, our route is extending and changing. See below some new additions and extensions taking place:
|One of the first things to put in was the new water tower in Toddington loco yard|
|Up at Laverton, the loop has gone. New running line is in place and the extension to Broadway has begun!|
|The sight of the previous headshunt and new rail is now in|
|First of the new bridges is in. Progress towards Broadway is well under way|
|The railhead in the distance is Broadway. As you can see, there's much to do!|
As many of you will have seen, we have a mystery route in development. We're not ready to announce it yet, as we are tying up various contracts and agreements with parties associated with the project. What we will do is share another distorted image taken in the route itself. See if you can work it out!
|You might be thinking you can tell what loco type is in the picture, but don't let that fool you!|