The Cholsey to Wallingford branch began life in 1861 as the Wallingford and Watlington Railway.
The original plan envisaged a through railway from Moulsford via Wallingford, Benson,
Watlington and Chinnor to join the GWR Aylesbury branch at Princes Risborough.
By 1863 a route had been decided and now the line was only to run as far as Watlington.
Construction began in June 1864 and the line opened as far as Wallingford in 1866.
However, traffic receipts turned out to be lower than expected, thus the planned extension
was abandoned in December 1868 and the line never reached further than Wallingford.
The independent branch line was sold to the GWR in 1872.
Regular passenger services of the Wallingford Bunk, as it was affectionately known,
ceased in 1959 and goods traffic into the old Wallingford Station ceased in 1965.
In 1969 the line was severed at Hithercroft Road in Wallingford and, not long
afterwards, the old station was demolished.
However, this was not to be the
"end of the line" for the Bunk as in 1961 a new malt plant was built adjacent to
the railway in Wallingford and it is to this that the railway owes its survival.
Hence, the line continued to serve the malt plant until 1981 when road transport replaced rail.
BR ran a final enthusiasts' special named "The Wallingford Wake"over
the line on 31st May 1981 and on that same day the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway
Preservation Society was formed.
The Cholsey and Wallingford Railway Preservation Society (C&WRPS) aims to preserve
the branch as a Heritage Railway. After years of hard work by our members, the
line is now open all the way from the main line station at Cholsey to Wallingford
and passenger services have been restored. Acheivements include the relaying of
various sections of track and sucessfully preserving the line into Wallingford
when the new town bypass was built.
In addition to the regular maintainance
and restoration of the line and its rolling stock, the Society is now chanelling its
efforts into the re-development of the Wallingford station site. A major project to
improve the permanent way is also currently underway, to ensure the line continues
to be fit for passenger trains. More members are
needed to help with this major project. See the membership page and volunteer today!
|© 2006 Cholsey & Wallingford Railway Preservation Society.
Last updated on the 4th January 2006.|
All services are subject to availability.