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The Missing Link


Saturday 17 March 2018

Almost incredibly it will very soon be twenty-five years since we ran ‘The Mothball’ railtour, since when the ten mile line between Swanbourne and Claydon, part of the former LNWR line from Oxford to Cambridge, has seen no trains.

The government is committed to its restoration as part of the ‘East West Rail’ project but there is no denying that this has been a long time coming. It is now scheduled to be operational by the middle of the next decade.

So before rebuilding work begins in earnest, here’s a novel Forgotten Tracks tour that visits both ends of the ‘missing link’, taking in both ‘arms’ of the infamous Bletchley Flyover giving access to Swanbourne and the routes from Aylesbury and Bicester to remote Claydon L&NE Junction. We also traverse the surviving Bedford to Bletchley section of the LNWR line, plus the seldom visited single track linking Princes Risborough with Aylesbury.

We take a leg-stretching stop at the former Great Central Railway’s junction station at Quainton Road, present day home of the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre and formerly the junction for the Metropolitan Railway outposts of Verney Junction and Brill. We will be there for an hour so there is time for a quick look around. So all in all, this is a fascinating day out!

Starting at London Euston the tour runs firstly to Milton Keynes where a reversal is made. Passengers may join here if they wish but the tour does not return here. Our route is then via Summit of Flyover Junction to Swanbourne (reverse), Summit of Flyover Junction, Fenny Stratford, Woburn Sands, Bedford St John’s, Bedford (reverse), Luton, Brent Curve Junction, Dudding Hill Junction, Acton Wells Junction, Acton Main Line, West Ealing, Greenford, West Ruislip, Princes Risborough, Little Kimble, Aylesbury, Quainton Road (leg stretching break of around one hour), Grendon Underwood Junction, Calvert, Claydon L&NE Junction (reverse), Marsh Gibbon, Gavray Junction, Oxford, Reading, Slough, Acton Main Line, Acton Wells Junction, South West Sidings, West London Junction and finally London Euston.

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

StationDepartArrive
London Euston08.0519.45
Milton Keynes Central09.00n/a