The express train won’t draw up there

Unlike Adlestrop, Swanbourne station in mid-Buckinghamshire won’t have any trains stopping when the line is reopened between Oxford and Bedford. This is a great pity.  It’s a lovely little station, about a mile from the village of Swanbourne, with the platform intact and benches and a station house.

Swanbourne station

Swanbourne station

This section of the line between Oxford and Cambridge was closed in 1968 but it is to be reopened by the East-West Rail Project.  This will revive services between Oxford and Bedford and subsequently to Cambridge.  But no trains will stop at Swanbourne.  Instead they will charge through the quiet station at 100 miles per hour.

The station house

The station house

The track is not straight though, when the line was built the owners of Horwood House objected to it crossing their land, forcing it to curve away to the south.

Engine topiary at the station

Engine topiary at the station

I visited the area on 10 November with fellow Rambler Donald MacCallum, to meet Charles Hurst and Lucy Druce from Network Rail, and Phil Turner, Bucks County Council’s definitive map officer.  Network Rail wants to close the footpath which crosses the line at the station.

Mursley footpath 19 crosses the railway at Swanbourne station

Mursley footpath 19 crosses the railway at Swanbourne station

It’s an attractive route which crosses parkland

Crossing parkland on the route to be closed

Crossing parkland on the route to be closed

heading purposefully towards Horwood House.

The path to be closed

The path to be closed

Instead the path will pass through woodland

New path through the wood

New path through the wood

with a view of Horwood House.

Horwood House

Horwood House

The plan is to have a new footbridge over the railway to the south-west of Swanbourne station.  Amazingly the line hasn’t been sold off.

The old railway-line where the new bridge would be

Site of the proposed new footbridge on the old railway-line

We haven’t decided our response to the proposals yet and we have asked for an additional footpath.  Ideally, of course, there would be a new footbridge near Swanbourne station, but Network Rail are not enthusiastic about that.

4 platform tickets

This is all such a missed opportunity.  If only they would open the line for trains which stopped at each station—Marsh Gibbon and Poundon, Claydon, Verney Junction, Winslow and Swanbourne to name a few.  Then the trains really could be used for local shopping and visits, and for walkers.  Sadly, it will never happen.

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About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
This entry was posted in Access, Bucks, Public paths, Ramblers, walking and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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