Tonight there are no Chiltern Railways trains between Bicester North and Leamington Spa, from about now. This is due to engineering work.
The 2039 arrival into Bicester North (1N56) terminated at Platform 2 and then ran into the Bicester North Siding. It was then booked to follow the 2049 Southbound service (1H67) as empty stock, to Princess Risborough, where it was to run up the Aylesbury branch line to the depot.
Tonight it all went a bit wrong.
The empty stock train was allowed to run into Platform 2 at Princes Risborough, early, at about 2115. This was a bit of a problem as the 2116 departure from Aylesbury set off, on time, down the single track branch line.
There then followed what must be the most complicated shunting move I think I have ever seen, which I have attempted to illustrate below.
- 1. Empty stock train ran into Platform 2 (Up Loop)
- 2. Train reversed across the Up Main and across onto the Down Main
- 3. Train reversed again back across onto the Up Main (using the new centre track as a siding)
- 4. Once the passenger train from Aylesbury (2H72) has left the Up Loop towards London, and when the 2133 to Banbury (1U64) had cleared the Down Main shunt to the East of the station, the train then continued on the Up Main and crossed over onto the Down Main Shunt.
- 5. The train will then have reversed again from the Down Main shunt, crossing back into the Up Loop (Platform 2) and continuing on to Aylesbury.
I bet the driver was cursing.
I did not actually witness moves (4) & (5), but logically that is what will have happened.
(Please click the diagram to expand it to a readable size)