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Quainton Guide 1979
Since the arrival in April 1969 of the first locomotives, much has transpired. Today there are over 40 locomotives at the Depot - mainly steam but including a few diesels. New items - large and small still arrjve from time to time and we have today one of the most comprehensive collections in the country. Many of the projects are long term and we would not pretend that every item is in first class order. This takes time, effort, and money, put we feel that in the short time that we have been here we have achieved a considerable amount. Over a third of the locomotives are either operational now or have worked under their own power at Quainton within the past 10 years.
Quainton Road today presents a very different picture from the deserted wilderness in March 1969. Now, on Open Days, we operate a steam passenger service with an intensity never before known in the station's long history. More people throng the platform and cross the foot bridge in three days than in many years of BR ownership. On Bank Holiday Mondays the charter DMU to Aylesbury plies back and forth from platform 1, and everything looks very impressive.
However, the future depends on many things, but chiefly YOU. We need more visitors to become members and to help us in some of our many tasks. If you have enjoyed your visit and consider our project to be worthwhile, why not become a member and perhaps come and help us actively? New faces are always welcome in all departments - just come along one Sunday and introduce yourself either to the Stationmaster for the day or to the head of the department in which you fancy working. Better still, write to our membership secretary and let her know that you are coming.
The Society is run by 6 sub-committees - Locomotive, Signal & Telegraph, Carriage & Wagon, Permanent Way, Depot, and Operations, and each has its own Chairman and from three to seven members. There is an Executive Committee of up to thirteen members on which all the sub-committees are represented and which is responsible for all policy decisions. Seven of these members are elected by the members of the Society at the AGM, anp each serve a 2 year term of office. The other six are co-opted by the elected members and serve until the following AGM only. The operations sub-committee is responsible for all Open Day arrangements, from the ordering of tents and food to the chartering of the BR shuttle service from Aylesbury and all side shows and other entertainments.
The four running departments train their members for such jobs as driver, fireman, signalman, guard and p-way ganger. Each department runs its own scheme and there are written and verbal exams to be taken. Any member, providing he or she is old enough, may join any of these training schemes.
Private owners are asked to join the Loco crew training schemes before they drive their engines. We operate to BR Rules and Regulations, modified to suit the system at Quainton.
There are also sections for the ladies and the less active, and for those unable to come often to Quainton but able to assist in some way at home. The catering department is very important, and is "manned" by female motive power drawn from wives, mothers, daughters, sisters and girlfriends. The sales department is always in need of assistance as, apart from the shop at Quainton, there are traction engine rallies, model railway exhibitions and shows to attend. Side shows need manning, together with a host of other jobs. Wo are sure that you will agree that one of the great steps forward in industrial development was the harnessing of steam power, in which this country led the way. Now that steam has disappeared from our railways our hope is that the Steam Depot at Quainton will, for many decades, be able to provide future generations with an insight into the concept of steam locomotion.
A restoration building, 150 feet long and three tracks wide, has been completed in the 'down' yard, and this contains stores for the various Society departments anp private owners, a workshop and machine shop, forge, small relics museum and a mess-room for working mem_bers. This building, which was financed partly by the Society and partly by a number of members who own locomotives, enbles restoration to continue throughout the winter and during inclement weather, and is equipped with electricity and running water. The workshop contains an increasing number of power tools and enables the Society to perform many tasks it previously had to sub-contract.
A storage building is also under construction and, partly with a grant from the Government's Job Creation Scheme, is being erected In the down yard at the far end of the site. This will be used solely for stock storage.
A third, and the most ambitious, building is well under way in the up yard - again being financed partly by the Society and partly, by private owners for their own stock. This will be built in three stages over the forthcoming years and eventually have a fully equipped workshop complete with lifting gear and other items associated with such a building.
Phase 1 is 70 feet wide and 90 feet long and consists of four parallel tracks, one of which has access to the locomotive pit.
We already have a second water tower (from London Transport - Watford) awaiting erection and A wheel-drop from Hither Green awaits installation. A turntable from Hitchin is on the site awaiting completion of Phase 3, when it will be connected to the through tracks of the building, allowing easy access to it toqether with the ability to turn any of the larger locomotives, or any that may visit the site in the future.
You will see for yourself the progress already made and we hope that you will be impressed with what you see. The two thinqs holding us up are cash (or rather the lack of it) and man-power, but steady progress is being made each year and when completed it will enable most of our stock to be kept under cover, safe from the elements.
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Page Updated: 12 December 2017