Trains passing through Culham
Sometimes we are lucky and a steam or diesel hauled special passes through the station. Not as many as we'd like of course as most stick to the main London to Bristol line, or diverge from Reading. Now that Chiltern Rail have made the connection at Bicester it has opened up a round trip route from London through Oxford and Oxford Parkway which the Hastings DEMU took advantage of for the first time on 27th May 2017 followed by the Flying Scotsman going the other way round twice in the June.
We did get rather excited in June 2017 as the Great Western Society's steam Railmotor and trailer was due to pass in transit from its home at Didcot to the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway in readiness for special operations there during the June and July. All had been prepared with crew training, transit contracts signed and tickets sold out until the plug was pulled by Network Rail with days to go. Sadly gauging issues with the Down platform (platform 1) at Culham had been identified. Similar problems with the alternative route via Tilehurst put paid to the whole thing.
Saturday 6th April 2019 saw the first run of 'Clun Castle' by Vintage Trains down the line to Oxford - only we nearly didn't see it. The problem was that, arriving 2 minutes early at Foxhall Junction where the Oxford line branches off just outside Didcot, the train wasn't held for 30 minutes as planned, but sailed on through catching many people out, including us. We just managed to snatch a shot from the road as we saw it approaching Culham.
To mark the 175th anniversary of the Didcot to Oxford railway, GWR ran a record breaking non-stop train for invited guests. Here we see it drawing into Oxford station ready to load up and set off. Read more about it here. Why isn't the photo of Culham? We were on the train, so this one will have to do.