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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 25 - Autumn 1975

The Secretary's Page

Visit of Inspecting Officer of Railways - 7th June 1975

Major P M Olver, Inspecting Officer of Railways, Department of the Environment, visited Quainton Road station on 7th June and held discussions with our Chairman, Secretary and representatives of Sub Committees, and he inspected the station area. This official visit was very important and Major Olver was about five hours with us. We had looked forward to discussions with an Inspecting Officer at Quainton because we have always been eager to meet our responsibilities, to assess our work load and to anticipate the financial impact of carrying our any recommendations.

The following paragraphs indicate the D of E's future requirements:-

Passenger Train Operation

As expected the primary concern of the Inspecting Officer was with regard to the safe operation of passenger trains. Our standard method of operating one or two trains was generally acceptable. For the length of 'main' line at Quainton the push and pull system is satisfactory providing we to comply with certain safeguards most of which we already carry out. One recommendation is that we propel our trains out of the station towards Aylesbury. This has settled a long standing debate among our operating members!

Major Olver's principal concern was the lack of continuous brakes on our passenger carrying rolling stock. He sympathised with our desire to operate vintage rolling stock and open trucks (which the public seem to prefer) and emphasised that this was a long term requirement. An interim measure which we should consider as soon as possible could be the introduction of through braking to a fitted end vehicle.

In the case of our open trucks he recommended a steward should travel in each vehicle to supervise the behaviour of passengers. All passenger trains should be restricted to a speed limit of 10 mph on open line and to 5 mph within station limits and over facing points.

Locomotive Crews

The Society policy for the training of locomotive crews was favourably accepted, also our Rules for the crewing of locomotives. It was emphasised that footplate rides must not be allowed for members of the public except by special pass when those taking part should be accompanied by a responsible Society Official.

Major Olver's only criticism was the form of the final examination for QRS passenger train drivers. He recommends that drivers selected for passenger train work should be passed out by a British Railways Motive Power Supervisor or person with equal qualifications.

Track and Signalling

The condition of our track is generally acceptable but spot resleepering is required. Major Olver thought that our signalling system, although well thought out, relied too much on electrical operation and we have been asked to install a basic mechanical system as soon as possible. As a matter of urgency we must install facing point locks operated from a ground frame at both Quainton Station and Quainton South. All signals must be mechanically interlocked and provision made to "switch out" both locations during "One Engine in Steam" operations.

Fencing and Crowd Control

Our fencing and crowd control arrangements were considered satisfactory. The interlocked barrier at the pedestrian crossing was especially commended. We must complete our replacement of the fence alongside the path to the Wembley Building as a matter of urgency. The sheep netting we use was considered ideal for this purpose.


Major Olver's report, dated 26th June, ended with this paragraph which we give in full:

"Subject to action being taken on the items referred to above, particularly with reference to operating procedures, provision of continuous brakes and signalling improvements including the fitting of facing point locks and the interlocking of points and signals, I consider that the Quainton Railway Society are operating in a responsible manner and are paying due regard to safety".

This concludes the précis of the discussions and the inspection report. We were very impressed by Major Olver's understanding of our aims and problems. He has not placed a time limit on implementing his recommendations but it is our intention to carry out all his wishes and suggestions as soon as it is practical to do so. In our reply to the Department of the Environment we have given the following provisional timetable:-

  1. We will turn our locomotives facing Aylesbury and also the GN brake coach during the coming next few months. (The next time a large low loader comes to Quainton). This will enable us to operate all our trains propelling out of the station, next season.
  2. Stewarding of the open trucks will start immediately.
  3. The examination of our passenger train drivers will be carried out during the winter months as part of a general review of our Crew Training Scheme.
  4. The fitting of continuous brakes to our passenger train rolling stock is now being considered by our C & W and Loco Sub-Committees. This may involve the purchase of additional rolling stock and will be implemented as soon as possible.
  5. We will endeavour to have the major part of the resignalling done this winter; the fitting of facing point locks will have priority.
  6. The work of replacement of our existing fencing should be completed by our next public open days. The fencing of the "Up" yard will proceed over the next few months.
  7. The speed restrictions will be introduced immediately.

To all members it is clear that we have a lot of additional work to do during the coming months. This is extra to the work required to finish the Restoration Building, Wembley Building Station, Water supply and all the other countless jobs that must be done apart from the work of restoring relics! We need more help in particular with the task of the new S & T equipment now. To those of you who don't come along very often please don’t leave all this to the faithful few. To those who are not yet QRS members, we will be delighted to enrol you and to welcome you to Quainton.

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1975 and so does not reflect events in the 40+ 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.

The Secretary's Page - Quainton News No. 25 - Autumn 1975

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