Calvert railway station

Calvert railway station

Infobox UK disused station
name = Calvert
gridref = SP689247

caption = Site of Calvert Station in 2008.
manager = Great Central Railway
owner = London and North Eastern Railway
London Midland Region of British Railways
locale = Calvert
borough = Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire
platforms = 2
years = 15 March 1899
events = Opened
years1 = 4 March 1963
events1 = Closed to passengers [Butt, R.V.J. (1995). "The Directory of Railway Stations", Patrick Stephens Ltd, Sparkford, ISBN 1-85260-508-1, p. 51.]
years2 = 4 May 1964
events2 = Closed to goods

Calvert was a railway station on the former Great Central Main Line which ran from Manchester Piccadilly to London Marylebone. The station served the Buckinghamshire village of Calvert. Opened in 1899, the station closed in 1964, only for the line to remain open through it for the purposes of freight and to serve a landfill site.


Calvert was the last station on the Great Central's London Extension before it reached the Metropolitan's station at Quainton Road, 4½ miles away. The station and line between Brackley as far as Quainton Junction were constructed by Walter Scott & Co. of Newcastle upon Tyne. Although the station was named Calvert, no such place existed at the time and the name was that of the local landowner, Sir Harry Verney, who had been born a Calvert but changed his name upon succeeding to the Verney Baronetcy. [Cite book | author=Dow, George | authorlink=George Dow | coauthors= | title=Great Central: Volume 2 Dominion of Watkin 1864-1899 | date=1962 | publisher=Ian Allen Limited | location=Shepperton, Surrey | isbn= | pages=p. 322-323]

At the time, Calvert was a very rural settlement with the few houses making up the village being situated close to the station and nearby brickworks which was the largest employer in the area. In true Great Central style, the station had a single island platform located below a road overbridge from the centre of which a staircase led down to the platform; the centre piers of the bridge were left hollow to provide lamp rooms. The design was chosen as it would allow the track to be quadrupled if ever required. [Cite book | author=Davies, R.; Grant, M.D. | authorlink= | coauthors= | title=Forgotten Railways: Chilterns and Cotswolds | date=1984 | publisher=David St John Thomas | location=Newton Abbot, Devon | isbn=0-946537-07-0 | pages=p. 193-194] Around 2½ miles to the south of Calvert was Grendon Underwood Junction where "Calvert Cabin" signal box controlled the line as it split into two: one line branching out towards Marylebone, the other towards Amersham. [Cite book | author=Healy, John M.C. | authorlink= | coauthors= | title=Great Central Memories | date=1987 | publisher=Baton Transport | location=London | isbn=978-0-85936-193-4 | pages=p. 118-119]

A connecting spur, brought into use on 14 September 1940, linked Calvert with the Oxford to Bletchley line with the Great Central, allowing much of the freight which used the Verney Junction - Quainton Road section to be diverted over the Great Central. [Davies, R and Grant M.D., op. cit. p. 89.] Calvert was to remain open a further 23 years before closing to passengers on 4 March 1963, the same day as nearby Quainton Road.


Present and future

The station platform remains in a dilapidated state, although the station buildings have long since been demolished. The stationmaster's house stands nearby.

A single track of the former Great Central alignment through Quainton Road to Calvert remains open as far as the disused Varsity Line for occasional freight and DMU maintenance workings. The line is being kept open as it also serves the waste transfer station at Calvert Landfill Site operated by the Waste Recycling Group for the Department of the Environment. Five container trains each day use the site: four from Brentford (known as the "Calvert Binliner", and one from Bath and Bristol (known as the "Avon Binliner"). The containers, each of which contains 14 tons of waste, are unloaded at the transfer station onto lorries awaiting alongside which then transport the waste to the landfill site. [ [ Calvert waste transfer station] ] The site, dating from 1977 and now one of the largest in the country, stretches to 106 hectares and partly reuses the clay pits dug out by Calvert Brickworks which closed in 1991. [ [ Calvert Landfill Site] ]

The reopening of Calvert station has been mooted by Buckinghamshire County Council who are partners in the East West Rail Consortium which is seeking to re-connect Oxford, Bedford, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury by reinstating passenger services on disused or freight-only routes, including the Varsity Line and part of the Great Central. [ [ Aylesbury Vale Draft Strategy] ] This has moved one step closer with the authorisation of Aylesbury Vale Parkway railway station on the London to Aylesbury Line. The possibility of extending services north to Quainton, Calvert, Bletchley and Oxford has been discussed. [ [ Railfuture, "New station", 29 June 2008.] ]

External links

* [ Great Central Main Line photos, including a sign formerly at Calvert and 1900s / 2006 photos of the station house]


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