Sunday, 28 December 2014

Claydon Junction to Bicester

To complete the survey of the line from Bletchley to Bicester, these a selection of pictures of the various road crossings.  First bridge west of Calvert is the overbridge on the Charndon to Twyford road.  This is quite a substantial three arch bridge as seen below taken from the adjacent public footpath.  This is not so apparent when travelling along the road.

 Looking back towards Calvert, the trackbed is quite clear here.  Another small yellow sign like the one after the next bridge can be seen to the right.  Both have the number 13 on them.
If you zoom in a bit you can see that the track switches sides just before the bridge.
Looking towards Bicester from the same bridge.
If you zoom in here, you can just make out the blue bridleway bridge in the distance.  There are numerous footpath, bridleway and farm crossings along the line.  These are subject to public meetings to decide their future.  The one above is fortunate enough to be on an over bridge so won't be affected. 
Next bridge is at the site of the former Marsh Gibbon and Poundon station, another that won't be re-opening.  This view looks north.  Not the usual arched bridge style.
 Looking south with the former station entrance on the left.
 Some bridge plates appear to have been recently added.  It states that this Bridge OXD 34 but I am slightly confused by the Thornhill at Bicester North.  This line passes through Bicester Town.
Next road bridge is at Bicester Road Marsh Gibbon.  Bit of a mixture of blue brick and Cotswold stone style blocks with a steel girder and concrete deck.  This looks south.

 The opposite view north.
This bridge has also had recently added bridge plates.  This one also claims to be OXD 34 but the location makes more sense.
 Next is the Launton Level Crossing.  Will this be replaced by a bridge?  Once this becomes a busy passenger line, I would imagine that Network Rail would be keen to close it.
Looking towards Bicester, this was the site of the former Launton station although there is little evidence of it now.
 Looking east towards Bletchley.
Finally this is the road overbridge at the other end of Launton Village.  This is single lane traffic light controlled.  This looks towards Bicester from the Launton side.  It has had some recent work to increase the height of the parapet walls.  There is a full pavement on one side but on the other side, the parapet leans inwards somewhat disconcertingly as I found out when I took a picture of the line.
 This looks across the Charbridge Lane level crossing.  In the distance you can just make out the edge of the Bicester chord work site.
Zooming in reveals that this is a driver operated level crossing.  At the very least this will have to be upgraded to automatic operation.
Looking the other way towards the former Launton station.
Finally zooming in here you can see the track switches to the other side of the formation.  This is better than my previous attempt to show this.  In the next post I hope to cover the Bicester to Oxford section to see how the upgrade is going.