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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 30 - Winter 1976
A Railway Museum for Quainton? - Austin Harland
The first point I must make is that this article is entirely a personal view and in no way represents the policy of the Society or the views of other members of the Executive Committee. It is one idea of how Quainton could develop, written in order to promote discussion and I will be most disappointed if the Editor does not receive numerous letters on the subject, whether in agreement or not!
Following the transfer of the railway exhibits from Clapham to the new National Railway Museum there is room in the South of England for another Railway Museum. Bluebell, K & ESR, etc., are far too busy operating lines, Ashford is in trouble, Didcot and Swindon haven't heard of other railways. This leaves Tyseley, probably far enough away to avoid competition, and Quainton. We are centrally situated, relatively near London and already have a wide selection of railway equipment including industrial locomotives and 'ordinary' 19th century coaches both of which are somewhat neglected at York.
Plans have already been drawn up for an additional building in the up-yard, primarily as a workshop but there is no reason why it should not be amended or extended to allow proper display of rolling stock. The tracks in the existing down-yard building are too close together to allow proper viewing so it would be preferable to retain this as a workshop. The present small relics section is far too small and should be moved to the up-yard complex where shop and refreshment facilities could also be established. This would effectively segregate the display and working areas, a great advantage from the safety point of view. The general public could be admitted to the up-yard with access over the footbridge to the Brill platform for rides but barred from the potentially hazardous repair and servicing areas in the rest of the yard. Another building elsewhere in the down yard, possibly on the land between the end of the long siding and the stream, would be required for vehicles incapable of traversing the curves into the present restoration building. The Wembley building could be used as a paint shop.
A physical connection between the two yards would then be desirable. We are committed to buying the land between the two yards if the line closes and the connection then becomes no problem. If the line remains open however, the cost of a BR constructed and maintained connection would be prohibitive and transfers of stock would have to be made by road when necessary. This would also be expensive but should not happen very often once the initial sort out has been made and operational stock is on one side and non-operational on the other.
I have purposely excluded the possibility of the Society purchasing the line to Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury or anywhere else, as this would involve heavy capital expenditure with possibly the added complication of a separate line-owning body, as with the MLST at Loughborough, and is not justified for a purely museum organisation. However, if anyone has £X00,000 to spare .......... !
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