Resurrecting the railways killed off by mistakes of yesteryear | Letters
Thanks for Ian Jack’s interesting piece (Amid the weeds, this new rail line will be clattering through 75 miles of history, 10 December). However, he was perhaps incorrect in stating that the Oxford University railway club never travelled the line. A book of the line shows photographs taken on the University Railway Society (presumably the same) rail tours in 1981 and 1982 that passed through Verney Junction. The book also records other special passenger trains that ran on the line up to the early 1990s. I once travelled from Paddington to Corby on one such train. Ironically, the line was closed to passengers in 1967, the same year that saw the creation of the new town of Milton Keynes through which it ran. Such was the lack of vision in those days that Milton Keynes was not the only new town that saw its railway passenger services withdrawn soon after designation. The Milton Keynes Development Corporation tried to encourage rail travel by sponsoring Christmas shopping trips from Aylesbury and elsewhere during the 1980s. These called at many of the old stations, including I am sure Verney Junction.
Sadly, like Ian Jack, locals share his pessimism over whether we will see the line restored in our lifetimes. Typically, the government is funding a Cambridge-Oxford road upgrade at the same time.
Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire
Source: Guardian Transport