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Princes Risborough railway station

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Title: Princes Risborough railway station  
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Princes Risborough railway station

Princes Risborough
Princes Risborough Station.
Place Princes Risborough
Local authority Wycombe district
Grid reference SP799027
Station code PRR
Managed by Chiltern Railways
Number of platforms 3
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2002/03 Increase 0.437 million
2004/05 Increase 0.459 million
2005/06 Decrease 0.413 million
2006/07 Increase 0.461 million
2007/08 Increase 0.501 million
2008/09 Decrease 0.483 million
2009/10 Decrease 0.471 million
2010/11 Decrease 0.469 million
2011/12 Increase 0.495 million
2012/13 Increase 0.547 million
Original company Wycombe Railway
Pre-grouping Great Western and Great Central Joint Railway
Post-grouping GW & GC Joint
1 August 1862 Opened
15 August 1872 Services to Watlington begin
2 April 1906 Through services along GW&GCJR begin
1957 Services to Watlington withdrawn
1963 Services to Oxford withdrawn
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Princes Risborough from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Princes Risborough station is a railway station on the Chiltern Main Line that serves the town of Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire, England. It is operated by Chiltern Railways.


At one period there were four different railway routes from the northern end of Princes Risborough station, although there has only ever been one to the south.

The first railway to reach Princes Risborough was the Wycombe Railway, which opened its Oxford extension from Wycombe as far as Thame on 1 August 1862.[1][2][3] There were three intermediate stations on this section: West Wycombe, [4] Princes Risborough and Bledlow. The cost of construction of the station building was £1104 9S 5d and additional general costs were £824 8s 0d. The station building as built was a typical Wycombe railway design with an open porch at the right hand end on the platform elevation, the design was the same as West Wycombe, Bledlow and Wheatley, and also on the original part of the Wycombe railway Cookham, Marlow Road, Wooburn Green and Loudwater. A branch of the Wycombe Railway was opened from Princes Risborough to Aylesbury on 1 October 1863.[3][5] The Wycombe Railway was worked by the Great Western Railway, and was absorbed by that railway in 1867.

The Watlington and Princes Risborough Railway opened its line on 15 August 1872; that railway became part of the GWR on 1 January 1884.[3][6]

The original station building was located a few hundred yards further north than the present site, the original Wycombe railway building was extended at the north end to provide extra office accommodation between 1870 and 1880 a curved roof canopy covering the platform may have also been added at the same time, further additions to the building were made between 1894-96.

A second platform was added when the Watlington branch was opened in 1872 although there was only a single line of rails between the two platforms. In 1892 a new signal box was brought into use and a new passing loop so the second platform was rebuilt with two lines of rails between them a footbridge was also provided at this time.

The Great Western & Great Central Joint Committee was created with the dual objective of providing the Great Central Railway with a second route into London, bypassing the Metropolitan Railway; and of providing the GWR with a shorter route to the Midlands.[7][8] Central to this scheme was the upgrading of the existing GWR route between High Wycombe and Princes Risborough, which was transferred to the Joint Committee at its establishment on 1 August 1899. The line was extended in a north-westerly direction to Ashendon Junction, at which point the joint line ended, and a GCR route ran northwards to Grendon Underwood Junction, just south of Calvert; both sections opened for goods on 20 November 1905, and for passengers on 2 April 1906.[9][10] Continuing in the same north-westerly direction from Ashendon Junction, the Bicester cut-off line, which was purely GWR property, was opened for goods trains on 4 April 1910, and to passengers on 1 July 1910.[11][12]

The Watlington branch closed to passengers on 1 July 1957, and the route to Thame (and Oxford) closed on 7 January 1963;[3] those over the GCR route ended on 5 September 1966,[10] leaving the present network of two lines to the north, to Banbury and to Aylesbury.

The station was transferred from the Western Region of British Rail to the London Midland Region on 24 March 1974.[13]

Chiltern Railways considered reopening the Oxford line (via Thame) but are now constructing a spur line at Bicester to create a new service to Oxford.

Part of the Watlington line has been reopened by the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway, which plans to extend its heritage railway service to an unused platform face at Princes Risborough station.

Princes Risborough station currently has 3 platforms: Platform 1 for Aylesbury; platform 2 for London and Aylesbury; platform 3 for Banbury, and Birmingham. Originally, the station had 4 platforms; two on the mainline to and from London and Birmingham; one for the branch to Oxford or Watlington; and one to Aylesbury. The station also had two fast mainlines running through the middle of the station, one of which, the 'up' line, was restored in September 2011 as part of Chiltern's Evergreen 3 upgrade project. At one time the station only had two usable platforms, the current platforms 1 and 2. This is due to the radical cuts on the Chiltern Main Line and Great Central Main Line in the 1960s. Chiltern Railways rebuilt the down platform in 1998 to increase capacity on the line, but this is on the old fast down mainline. The original down platforms are still visible from the station.

Signal box

The signal box pictured in 2009

Built in 1904, the Princes Risborough North Signal Box, located towards the northern end of Platform 3, is the largest surviving Great Western Railway signal box in the country.[14] It closed in 1991 when modernisation of the line moved signalling operations to Marylebone and became a Grade II listed building after a successful public campaign to save it from demolition.

The Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway Association were granted an agreement with National Rail allowing them to maintain the box and undertake restoration work after a period of neglect left the box damaged by weather and vandals.[15] Work had previously ceased in 1998 due to safety concerns but was resumed in 2013.[16]

Services and operators

A 1911 Railway Clearing House map of railways in and around Princes Risborough

Train services are provided by Chiltern Railways between Marylebone and Birmingham.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Haddenham and Thame Parkway   Chiltern Railways
Chiltern Main Line
stopping services
Haddenham and Thame Parkway   Chiltern Railways
Chiltern Main Line
fast services
  High Wycombe
Monks Risborough   Chiltern Railways
Aylesbury - Princes Risborough
Chiltern Railways
Aylesbury - Princes Risborough
peak times and weekends only
Disused railways
Line and station closed
  British Railways
Wycombe Railway
Line and station open
Terminus   British Railways
Watlington and Princes Risborough Railway
  Bledlow Bridge Halt
Line and station closed
Ilmer Halt
Line open, station closed
  Great Western Railway
Bicester "cut-off"


The ticket office is staffed for much of the day and a permit to travel ticket machine is on the "up" (London-bound) platform for use when un-staffed. There are also two passenger operated ticket vending machines.


  1. ^ MacDermot vol. I, part I, p. 438
  2. ^ Mitchell & Smith, Apr. 2002, Historical Background
  3. ^ a b c d Mitchell & Smith, April 2003, Historical Background
  4. ^ West Wycombe station under construction The Transport Archive
  5. ^ MacDermot vol. II, p. 6
  6. ^ MacDermot vol. II, p.623
  7. ^ MacDermot, p.416
  8. ^ Jenkins, pp. 8-9
  9. ^ Jenkins, p.11
  10. ^ a b Mitchell & Smith, Nov 2006, Historical Background
  11. ^ MacDermot, p.448
  12. ^ Mitchell & Smith, Sep 2002, Historical Background
  13. ^ Railway Magazine, May 1974, p. 248
  14. ^ "Largest surviving signal box re-opens in Princes Risborough". Bucks Free Press. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  15. ^ "Princes Risborough North Signal Box".  
  16. ^ "Princes Risborough North Signal Box: The Wilderness Years".  


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