- VERNEY JUNCTION (Pt.1)
The Metropolitan Railway's grandoise plans for a national
network stretching from Manchester to the European continent didn't
materialise (unfortunately, some may consider). The furthest north
they managed to get was Verney Junction, after taking
over the ailing Aylesbury & Buckingham Railway. Met Line services
on the line started in 1894 and continued until the Met
was incorportated into the London Transport Passenger Board, who
did not perceive the line as forming any part of its London
railway responsibilities and duly closed it (along with the Quainton
Road to Brill tramway branch).
The Aylesbury to Quainton Road section formed part
of the Great Central Railway's service from Marylebone and was
to passengers in 1966 as part of Beeching's swingeing cutbacks.
There are enough relics of the line remaining to make
following its route an agreeable day out.
How the north-west corner of the tube map might look
today with the line open.
For a simulated journey along this line, as it was in 1900, the following YouTube videos are excellent:
Aylesbury to Quainton Road
Quainton Road to Verney Junction
Aylesbury station - the current northern terminus
of Chiltern Railway's service from Marylebone. The major stations
between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Amersham are served jointly by
Chiltern and theMetropolitan Line but services north of Amersham
as far as this station are served by the Chiltern Railway only.
"From Aylesbury the Metropolitan
line goes on to Waddesdon, where on the crest of Waddesdon Hill
the late Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild built himself a magnificent
French chateau and laid out a glorious park."
(A quotation from the 1932 edition of Metro-Land, the
annual publication describing the districts served by the Metropolitan
This photo is approaching the Waddesdon Manor platform
site from the Aylesbury direction. There are no passenger services
north of Aylesbury station, with the exception of the occasional
runs to Quainton Road provided by the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre.
Looking northwards toward Quainton Road.
The platform was removed on the side that retains
its track (former southbound) yet the trackless side retains
Quainton Road has been restored to the appearance
of a 1930s Metropolitan Line station by the Buckinghamshire Railway
Centre, who are based there. The station and its accompanying
museum are of considerable charm and character and should be
considered an essential visit. Getting there is not so easy however:
special trains are run occasionally during the year from Aylesbury
but apart from that, one is reliant on buses or private transport.
here for their website.
Station Road: approaching Quainton Road station from Quainton
village (the station is down the turning on the left). The original
course of the road was straight; the route of it is clear here.
The road now veers off to the right to ascend the bridge that
replaced the level crossing.
The station building/ticket office/waiting room.
Southbound platform looking north.
Southbound platform looking south.
One freight train a day uses (or is booked to use) this line.
The ticket office/waiting room is on the left. The
smaller structure on the right hand (northbound) platform is
the waiting room for the Brill branch platform, whose track is
just visible on the right hand side of the photo.
Northbound platform looking south.
Northbound platform looking north.
The waiting room seen here is for the Brill tramway branch line.
Northbound platform looking south.
View northwards from the Brill tramway branch line
platform. The disused branch to Verney Junction veers off from
the main line after the bridge seen in the background.
All photos on this page: Nov & Dec 2005
Bill Simpson - "A History of the Metropolitan Railway. Volume
3: From Aylesbury north to Verney Junction and Brill"
(Lamplight Publications, Oxon 2005 - ISBN 1 899 246 13 4)
Part 2: Quainton Road - Verney Junction (Metropolitan