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The Quaintonian

Words and pictures by Robert Frise


The Quaintonian was a regular charter by the Quainton Railway Society from 1971 to 1987. It was a shuttle service between Aylesbury and Quainton Road. It used to run on Bank Holiday Mondays, Easter, Spring & August, also Easter Sunday. On odd occasions it did work on the May Bank Holiday Monday, but as May Bank Holiday had a much lower attendance figure running the DMU was not viable.

It was chartered for a flat fee plus 50% of the profit. The Centre only charged a nominal amount to ride on it so a profit situation did not arise. On occasions they gave free rides to encourage people to use it. On one occasion single tickets were also produced. In 1987 arrangements were made for people to buy a Network ticket that would enable them to travel right through to Quainton Road. Sometimes it was very well patronised (on one occasion Aylesbury had to strengthen it to eight cars to cope) but mostly it was lightly loaded.

What finally killed the DMU was that BR increased their prices out of all proportion. It was axed with the 1988 season. Originally it was decided to go ahead with a joint venture with Chiltern Trains, but this fell through.

For an experiment the service was extended through to Princes Risborough, but this made the trains infrequent and so it was dropped. One year the first outward service began at Marylebone, with the last return also making the full journey.

Most of its working life it was operated by Class 115's, but towards the end 108's appeared mixed with the 115's, these being Bletchley based.

There have been other workings, for example the chocolate and cream 117 set called on a charter on one occasion. In recent years class 165's have worked to the Centre on special occasions and several mainline charters (Hertfordshire Railtours and a couple of steam workings). The main problem in recent years has been the state of one of the bridges north of Aylesbury. In 2003 the Quantonian ran again, using 165s.

Approval was given for a DMU service in 1990 for the 21st birthday celebrations, but this may not have run. There were a series of Milton Keynes shoppers though which ran in December 1989 & 1990 picking up at Quainton on the way. Some of these formations were:-

25/11/89 Q 51656 - 54491 - 54228 - 51661 - 54257 - 51893 - 54500 - 51895 A
2/12/89   Q 51893 - 54257 - 51676 - 54274 - 51669 - 54284 - 54222 - 51654 A
10/11/90 Q 51679 - 54259 - 51657 - 54224 - 54499 - 51652 A

There were other times when Milton Keynes train ran aimed at shoppers and enthusiasts alike: Shoppers handbill

9th June 84

Shoppers handbill Shoppers handbill


The following pages have the formations and pictures of nearly every 'Quaintonian'.

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