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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 100 - October 2008

Quainton Developments: the Next Phase? - Lance Adlam

The Development Group's proposed scheme has been available and on display at Quainton for some time now, with a request for comments. So far I have only received about 5, and we genuinely want ALL members to contribute to the future proposals for your Society.

In simple summary terms, we are looking to improve the covered storage facilities for the rolling stock, and to give the various staff and volunteers better, and more focussed, facilities for the restoration of the artefacts on the site, whilst improving public access and educational opportunities to the collection.

To this end, it is proposed that on the Down Yard:

  1. To extend the Wembley Shed by 60m (approx. 200' - 0") towards Aylesbury to provide a secure store for stock awaiting restoration, and to bring the restored, or unrestored vehicles in best condition into the Buffer Depot as part of the Museum displays. In time, this store would be a holding store to enable a rotation of the stock on display;
  2. To extend the Down Yard restoration building to the rear, and to bring the wood working machinery into this building, as most of the stock on the Down yard is wooden bodied, and to concentrate the carpentry / joinery works in this work shop;
  3. A small running and maintenance shed would be provided for the locos on the Down Yard;
  4. A roof between the Down Yard Restoration Shed and the Buffer Depot building to provide covered storage.

On the Up Yard: A total remodelling of the whole yard area in front of Rewley Road to incorporate:

  1. 2 running lines;
  2. A new 2 sided platform continuing from the Cattle Dock with a canopy which will serve the waiting passengers, and give access to the SAR loco, which will also be under cover of the roof;
  3. A turntable to be installed in front of Rewley Road with access to the running lines;
  4. A major new building, which would include additional office space, training and meeting rooms, members room, staff / members toilets, showers and other facilities, a running and maintenance shed, stock storage with public access, a new loco and heavy engineering works with larger machine room and storage, C&W maintenance facilities and access pits, plus lifting jacks and a loco wheel drop. Public access would also be available from the footbridge level to viewing galleries overlooking the works;
  5. A new roadway would be built between the car park and the new engineering block, which will give access for deliveries, and will separate the VAMES vehicles from the public pedestrian routes to improve site safety.

The Society's Trustees recognise that the present split of the workshops is very uneconomical and time wasting when staff and volunteers have to travel nearly ¼ mile between work places when carrying out even simple jobs, and a lot of time is thus spent walking when people want to get on with their chosen projects. The other problem is that if we are ever to get the collection to a useable, or museum standard displayable condition, we need a major upgrade of the facilities on site. Some members have raised the question of cost and how the works can be funded. Taking the approximately £4.5M of investment that was made in the site through the acquisition of Rewley Road Station, it will take a lot of hard work to persuade various grant giving bodies to part with their cash, but we have done it before, and we have the additional kudos of now being a registered museum, which implies that we have to expand our educational and training functions, public access, and to maintain our large collection of artefacts.

To take a positive view, the development group believes that for us to improve our standards of maintaining the present vast collection, and our offer to the visiting public, we will only become a centre of excellence by following the broad principles of the proposals. I would emphasise that at present they are a first draft for the members' comments, and there will be some changes that have already been suggested, but we really do want everyone who has a view on the future of the Society to please let us have your thoughts, comments and views, whatever they may be.

I have walked the site with the Area Planning Officer and explained our proposals, and he had no major concerns in principle with what we wished to do, which is most encouraging.

Please, please, do respond, and I am happy to receive your views by e mail, or by letter via the Quainton office, as I have to collate all the views on behalf of the Development Group, and we are now looking to move the proposals forward.

A plea for information: does anyone have, or know the whereabouts of any drawings for a Ransomes and Rapier 60'-0" diameter turntable, which is installed in a "medium" pit? I have found some information on the firm in the Suffolk County Archives, but I am awaiting a response from them to see if they have any suitable drawings.

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 2008 and so does not reflect events in the 6+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

Quainton Developments: the Next Phase? - Lance Adlam - Quainton News No. 100 - October 2008

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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