Chiltern line freight traffic

The 70's/80's/90's saw the all too familiar decline in freight over the Chiltern lines. At least the following flows were lost..

Aylesbury oil - BP oil depot North of station

Aylesbury CCD -Coal depot now Tesco's to North of Aylesbury, wine traffic also

Aylesbury Parcels and News - There was once a Stranraer- Aylesbury daily van train via BY flyover

Chinnor cement works   - inward coal traffic

High Wycombe - coal and "BOC" traffic

Calvert - Brick traffic

Aceman St - inward UKF fertiliser traffic

However despite the losses, Calvert brickworks closing, proved a blessing to the railway as

regular containerised "bin" traffic brought household waste from  Bath n Bristol/Dagenham and Northolt to Claydon on a 3 train daily basis


Current traffic and power


Major infrastructure projects in London like HS1 and Crossrail generated an awful lot of spoil which Calvert's huge ex clay quarries could absorb in vast quantities. Flows from Kings X Goods, Bow and Willesden have all brought more traffic to Calvert with the Bow and Willesden spoil flows continuing into Summer 2016. Bin traffic has declined more recently  with the Cricklewood flow that formerly served Stewartby locally, now fairly ad hoc and the yellow Northolt bins now go to Appleford.


Closure of the Oxford - Bicester for rebuilding has brought 2 more flows to the Chiltern line with the Banbury Road stone (near Oxford Parkway) from Acton currently going via High Wycombe. The Didcot - Bicester MOD freight has also been rerouted and did use the Aylesbury, Claydon, Bicester London Road route for a year. With the Bicester chord now open  this fascinating train (it has a variable consist both in shape and tonnage) also runs via High Wycombe. When the Oxford Parkway - Oxford GW station section reopens in late 2016 both the Banbury Road stone and MoD traffic are expected to return to their original routes via Didcot and Oxford.




Chiltern freight traffic phot spot


16051466024r.jpg 66024 hammers through Risborough with the Banbury Road - Acton stone empties on a sunny 160516. This stone and the Bicester MoD traffic continue to use the Chiltern mainline until the Oxford GW- Oxford Parkway connection is completed in late 2016.


16051656303r.jpg Having just passed Saunderton summit its downhill for many miles for 56303 with 6Z57 Calvert - Willesden spoil empties at Saunderton Lee on 160516


25041666105r.jpg 66105 passes West Wycombe with the Cricklewood - Calvert "green bins" on 250416


28051567015r.jpg Class 67's until late 2015 sometimes appeared on 6A48 Didcot - Bicester MoD freight. By then, ex Chiltern regular 67015 was a very welcome "skip" on a long and varied MoD consist. Photted at Saunderton Lee on 280515 ironically

the first day when no 67's were on Chiltern passenger services with the protracted class 68's takeover complete. In 2016 class 66's are the regular power.


23080666952r.jpg Viewed from Aylesbury's County Hall Freightliner's 66952 comes off the Risborough branch bound for Calvert on 230806. In 2015 DB took over the Cricklewood - Calvert "green bins" contract.


07060460060webr.jpg The Kings X Goods - Calvert spoil was booked class 60 power but ceased operating in 2008. Coal sector liveried 60060 passes Aylesbury on 070604.



Chiltern freight current passing times (May 2016) Mon - Fris


Train:                                                                            P.Risboro   Ayles


1845 Willesden - Euroterminal - Calvert spoil (DCR class 56)     0058                0112

0507 Acton - Oxford Banbury roadstone  (DB class 66)               0610                ........

0732 Didcot - Bicester MoD (DB class 66)                                      1002                ........

1006 Calvert - Willesden Euroterminal spoil e's (DCR 56)           1053                1038

0851 Bow - Calvert spoil (DB class 66)                                            1107                1131

1104 Oxford Banbury Rd - Acton stone e's (DB class 66)             1153                ........

0855 Cricklewood - Calvert bins (DB class 66)                              1205                1226

1329 Bicester MoD - Didcot (DB class 66)                                      1351+              ........

1217 Willesden GBRf - Calvert spoil (GB class 66)                       1510                1527   

1832 Calvert - Acton spoil e's (DB class 66)                                    1917                1900

1917 Calvert - Cricklewood empty bins (DB class 66)                   2014                1958

2208 Calvert - Cricklewood GBRf (GBRf class 66)                      2254                2240


+ often runs hours earlier as light engine


Sats - Some services operate on an as required basis, check Realtime Trains for info  


Chiltern freight, the future...


 HS2 building will presumably generate spoil and construction traffic in the Chilterns area so yet more freight traffic will continue to rumble through the Chilterns.


Return to Main menu