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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 28 - Summer 1976

Meeting Our Responsibilities

A year ago, on 7th June 1975, Major P M Olver, Inspecting Officer of Railways of the Department of the Environment visited our depot and following his visit he indicated certain requirements which our Executive Committee pledged our Society to implement. We were willing to meet our responsibilities and these were listed in Quainton News No. 25. In this article we are pleased to record the considerable progress made in the past year.

Passenger Train Operation

One of the most important recommendations was that continuous brakes should be fitted to our passenger rolling stock. This was achieved and we are now running a vacuum fitted train with the brakes in operation. Before Easter through vacuum piping and hoses were fitted to the LCDR and GNR coaches and in ten days our new LNWR full passenger brake, (see separate article), had its braking system modified and overhauled. The C & W Department would like to record their thanks to the Locomotive Department for their help and they are especially grateful to Chris Britten for his splendid effort on the North Western van. So it was that we succeeded in having the Beattie well tank, with its combination steam-vacuum brake in operation on the three vintage coaches and Coventry No. 1, with its straight vacuum brake, which had been transferred from Sir Thomas, working turn about with Beattie. The recommendations that each open wagon would be separately stewarded was adopted last year and is a standard instruction at Open Days.

Locomotive Crew Training

Major Olver's recommendation that a qualified person should pass out passenger locomotive drivers after training has been implemented and the following report from Les Sherman, the Chairman of our Crew Training Board explains the current position:-

'I am pleased to say that the new phase of the Crew Training Scheme has now started. The scheme has had to be revised to fulfill the requirements of the D of E. It was under the new scheme that on 4th April nine drivers passed the examination for driving passenger trains and they were passed out by Mr T B Miller, formerly with the CME Department of the LNER. On 28th March nine cleaners took the Passed Cleaners Examination.'

'The Crew Training Scheme works in the following manner. Members join the Department as Cleaners and after a minimum of 40 hours work on locomotives cleaning and similar tasks they may then apply for the grade of Passed Cleaner. With the necessary training they can work up through the grades to Fireman, Passed Fireman, and finally to Driver. The training includes footplate work and it is combined with workshop practice which will be developed as soon as our workshops are completed. If a member reaches a grade and does not wish to progress to the next grade he is entitled to stop at that particular grade.'

'Training will be carried out on Steaming Sundays. Occasional Steaming Saturdays will also be held when a locomotive will be in steam but no passengers will be carried so that the train can be stopped when and as often as required for training purposes.'

'I would like to thank all Departments concerned for their co-operation with the examinations for drivers on 4th April especially to John Mortham for lighting up and helping me throughout the day and finally for staying with me to put the locomotive to bed.'

Please keep a lookout for a notice board which is to be fixed in the workshop giving further details of Crew Training activities.'

Track and Signalling

Our Permanent Way gang have worked hard to improve the main line where spot resleepering was required following the Major's inspection. The Brill platform line has been relaid and a great deal of packing work has been done. The provision of facing point locks at Quainton South and at the Station was considered by the Inspector to be a matter of some urgency. In the event the installation of these FPL's was completed just in time for the Easter Open Days, (see photo on page 3), although in June 1975 it had been decided to do this work as a priority job, (see Quainton News No. 25).

Fencing and Crowd Control

The considerable improvements in standards of fencing in both yards has been a major task completed in the past year. The limits of public access in the depot are now properly defined and this has eased the problem of rostering members for security supervision on Open Days. New gates have also been fitted across the spur in the up yard where it makes the connection with our track running parallel with the BR main line.


Although Major Olver did not place a time limit on completing the work arising from his recommendations it was decided to carry out all the suggestions as soon as practicable. The only outstanding items are to complete the S & T mechanical signalling installation and to turn certain locomotives to face Aylesbury. That's not bad going for twelve months, even though we say so ourselves!

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1976 and so does not reflect events in the 39+ 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.

Meeting Our Responsibilities - Quainton News No. 28 - Summer 1976

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