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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 31 - Spring 1977

A Railway Museum for Quainton? - Tim Stevens

In his article in the Winter issue of Quainton News, Austin Harland pinpointed the great potential of Quainton as a working railway museum. Most other societies are busy operating lines, and Quainton has a unique opportunity to be different. The National Railway Museum at York is an indoor collection, and therefore not easily able to mount working demonstrations; influential people in railway preservation circles are known to hold the view that Quainton could far outshine York if properly developed as a working railway museum.

At present the Society places too much emphasis on train operation, but this should be only a part of our activities, and we should now concentrate on setting up a wide range of working demonstrations. The educational possibilities are enormous (and don't forget that one of the objects behind our charitable status is to educate people about steam railways). We could arrange demonstrations around the site, with films in the cinema coach to give background information. Subjects such as track circuits, signal box interlocking, locomotive working, track laying could be covered, the list is endless.

Good planning is necessary for an effective working museum that will be appreciated by our visitors. Austin's idea is very sound; we should concentrate on displays, demonstrations, small relics, refreshments, etc., in the Up yard, and keep maintenance, repair and operating activities in the Down yard. Intensive train operation is not appropriate for a working railway museum; let us therefore retain a simple, one-train operation, and scrap grandiose plans for a loop at the Waddesdon end, complicated and expensive signalling systems etc. Let us work towards the establishment of the most comprehensive working railway museum in the country.

(This contribution from Tim Stevens does not necessarily represent Society policy but it is certainly of considerable interest- Ed.)

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1977 and so does not reflect events in the 38+ 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.

A Railway Museum for Quainton? - Tim Stevens - Quainton News No. 31 - Spring 1977

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