Banbury to Victoria
Private Charter Train - Belmond British Pullman
Legend – LHS – left-hand side of the train facing the direction of travel; RHS – right-hand side..
Leaving Banbury on the Belmond British Pullman, we travel along the picturesque Cherwell Valley to Oxford
Points to note are the River and Oxford Canal which follow the railway line and over which we pass a number of times.
On the LHS, just after leaving Banbury look for the beautiful tower of King’s Sutton St Peter and St Paul church.
As we approach Oxford, look again to the LHS as we pass through the station for the vista of spires in this beautiful university city.
The River Thames now joins us as we follow the river to Reading. We will cross it a number of times en route to Reading.
Points to note as we head south are the preserved steam railway depot at Didcot station on the RHS. Look closely as there may be a steam engine to see.
After Didcot we continue to follow the Thames Valley as it gets wider and more picturesque. We have now joined the railway line that was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel as the original London to Bristol railway. It was beautifully-designed. We cross the river a couple of times on very elegant bridges.
We will soon be approaching Reading station which has been the subject of an extensive rebuilding programme and is one of the UK’s most recent and up-to-date stations. Note the new railway flyover as we approach the station.
Soon after leaving Reading we pass through Sonning cutting, one of the major engineering challenges of Brunel’s London to Bristol railway. It is nearly 1.5kms long and thirty metres deep. It was constructed by men using wheelbarrows and horse-drawn carts.
As we approach Maidenhead, on the LHS, you will be able to see the new Crossrail works before we cross the Thames again.
As we approach Slough, on the RHS, you may be able to see Windsor Castle in the far distance.
Just after Ealing Broadway, we leave Brunel’s original line of route for a detour round NW London.
We will pass through Old Oak Common, site of the new proposed HS2 station and a major area of regeneration before passing through Willesden Junction. As we veer off right just after passing Willesden Depot look to the LHS for views over to the London skyline.
Finally we arrive at Victoria.
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