Recent NAS advert

February 15, 2009

(C) National Autistic Society...Borrowed

(C) National Autistic Society...Borrowed

This image was used in magazine adverts for the National Autism Society’s “Think Differently” campaign.

There were a number of points regarding the background of this picture that struck me. Some points are not clear in the image above, but were in the full sized A4 adverts (this was the only image I could find on the net).

At this stage, I put on my anorak.

Firstly, the train is a Diesel Multiple Unit, specifically a Class 121 model in the colours of the unit owned by the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway (third photo in that blog entry).

Secondly, the destination board. It shows stations such as Chinnor, Bledlow and Wainhill. As it happens, these are real “stations”, (two are actually unused halts) on the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway. I thought that the line did not yet reach Princes Risborough, although there is agreement in principle with Network Rail for the line to run to the station. However, the station could be Princes Risborough (assuming keeping everything local), being the only one big enough to have platforms with overhangs, destination boards etc. Perhaps a temporary line (the old Oxford line) has been re-laid, to the junction with the Chinnor… allowing the 121 onto a mainline platform – probably not just for this photoshoot. Part of the agreement has the Chinnor and… build a new platform at Princes Risborough station. The list of destinations on the board (in fact all the stations and halts on the extant line) is in fact an impossibility for passenger traffic at present, whatever temporary solutions are adopted. It would be interesting to find out why the decision was made to list these stations, as opposed to any list of main-line stations on the Chiltern line or indeed any other line.

Interestingly, Chiltern Railways also have a class 121 DMU, which runs a shuttle between Aylesbury and Princes Risborough, updated to modern standards required for mainline working. Thus, one day, Princes Risborough will be the one place where a working and a preserved Class 121 DMU can both be seen.

The trackbed of the line that the Chinnor and…. railway now runs along part of runs past Chinnor towards Aston Rowant. There is one major obsticle that they would have were they to push the line as far as Aston – the M40 motorway just before it climbs through the Chiltern escarpment., and the railway would need a tunnel under the motorway in approximately the foreground of the view of the pic in the recent posting.

Update, 22:10 Apparently Chinnor station has been used in the TV series Midsomer Murders, a John Nettles vehicle, I believe. Now I have made a study of this rebuilt Chinnor Station building, being a recreation of the original GWR station. Perhaps more anon.

I did not mention earlier, but the idea that, in future, being able to catch a train from London Marylebone to Princes Risborough, and changing there for Chinnor (on the Chin…….) line has an alure, something to be done in 1920s fashion. And would make that station announcement board be at least not impossible, if rather implausable for a running railway.

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