22nd April 1989

Risborough & District Model Railway Club
Risborough Venturer

Loco(s) Used class 47(s)

Route :

Loco(s) Route
47??? Princes Risborough - West Ruislip - Greenford West Jn - Greenford South Jn - Drayton Green - Southall - Slough - Twyford - Reading - Oxford - Worcester Shrub Hill - Kidderminster - Birmingham New Street - Rugby - Milton Keynes Central - Denbigh Hall South Jn - Claydon LNE Jn - Quainton Road - Aylesbury - Little Kimble - Princes Risborough

Notes :
(1) Pete Joels comments: B.R. refused our request for steam haulage claiming that, from West Ealing to Didcot, it was considered visibility from drifting smoke could obscure sighting of signals by drivers of  HST's running on the adjacent fast lines. At the time, we felt this was a ridiculous 'jobsworth' ruling since, not only was a.w.s. active, but several years earlier, KGV did that route without any 'safety' issues arising. Moreover, within a a year, steam departures from Paddington to Reading and beyond became suddenly perfectly acceptable and a regular occurrence thereafter. Despite losing main line steam haulage, our imaginatively chosen route was of high interest and the trip became a sell-out success for the second year running. However, there were two problems on the day caused by B.R. management oversight:
a) B.R. insisted that for safety reasons, we couldn't use our own club member team to run the buffet (despite our volunteers being experienced and certificated British Airways air crew stewards) and imposed their own Inter-City On Board Catering crew on us along with their exhorbitant charging we had hoped to avoid. Nevertheless, despite their 'competent experience'(?), they arrived on the e.c.s. arrived at Princes Risborough with no milk on board for teas and coffees. (You couldn't make it up!). So we insisted on delaying our departure while a small stewarding team of our own set off to Budgens in Princes Risborough by car to buy several dozen pints of milk which cleaned them out of milk for the rest of the day! The 'Risborough Venturer' left about ten minutes late in consequence but was virtually recovered by the time Reading was passed.
b) En-route home, we stopped on the approach slope of the Bletchley fly-over for a crew change where the relief driver turned up and announced (to everyone's amazement) that he wasn't 'passed' to drive '47's. Fortunately a Risborough & District MRC member just happened to be an off-duty B.R. driver (coincidentally, based at Bletchley) who was 'passed' to drive '47's so, using the signal phone on the flyover he called his office to book himself on duty; and after a half hour delay, our train eventually set off to cross the flyover and cruise onward through Winslow to Aylesbury and Princes Risborough. We believe the 'Risborough Venturer' was the last ever passenger train to use this route.

Source : Pete Joels (tour organiser)

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