Metropolitan Line




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 closed
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 Line)

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 its platform.




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.

Click 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.



Southbound platform looking north.



Southbound platform looking south.



Southern view.
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.



Southbound platform.



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 Line)