Culham station through time


The earliest images of Culham station we have found are the original contractor's drawings from 1843. These drawings are held by the Network Rail Corporate Archive who very kindly scanned and made them available to us. Click or tap hereClick or tap to view the Network Rail video to view a short video outlining the work of the Network Rail Corporate Archive. The full sized drawings are quite large so only extracts are shown below but click or tap on either of the thumbnails to view a gallery of all five of the complete scans. These drawings were produced for the Oxford Railway Company and are entitled Dorchester Road Station whilst it was actually called Abingdon Road when first opened. Also included in the set is a sheet entitled Dorchester Road Goods Shed - Abbingdon [sic]. The ticket office (on platform 2) and the waiting shelter (on platform 1) drawings do not indicate the relevant platform as we might now expect, but the ticket office is appended Departure and the waiting shelter Arrival.

It is interesting to note that the drawings show the Ticket Office to be constructed with stone or flint walls and not brick infill as actually built. Although of a different design, similar construction was used for the station building at Chinnor, home of the Chinnor & Princess Risborough Railway, which has been beautifully rebuilt with stone infill as per the original. As with the stone/brick infill differences, these early drawings do not precisely reflect the station buildings as built.

Contractor drawing of 1843 Contractor drawing of 1843
Oxford Railway - Dorchester Road Station © Network Rail Corporate Archive

~~~~~~ Pangbourne Station ~~~~~~

The station at Pangbourne was opened on 1st June 1840, predating that at Culham by just four years. Those original buildings at Pangbourne were replaced when the main line was quadrupled in 1893. Whilst there were many similarstations built around the same time, the ticket office at Culham was identical to that at Pangbourne and so, although no very early images of Culham have been found, these of Pangbourne do give a good idea of what Culham might have looked like during its broad gauge days.

Pangbourne station in 1846
Pangbourne in 1846
Lithographic print originally published by J.C.Bourne
Author's collection
Pangbourne station in about 1890
Pangbourne in about 1890
courtesy of David Bowman
Pangbourne station in 1846
Pangbourne in 1846
Print originally published by J.C.Bourne
Author's collection
Pangbourne station in about 1890
Pangbourne in about 1890
courtesy of David Bowman

The first image was produced by J.C.Bourne for his book The Great Western Railway which was published in 1846, and gives some idea of what Culham station might have looked like when it first opened. David & Charles produced a limited edition large format, but abridged, monochrome reprint of the original book in 1969, a copy of which is in our collection. They also published a limited edition of 500 to celebrate their 21st anniversary in 1981. This print, which is in our collection, does not originate from any of those books but is understood to be one of very few known examples of a hand coloured lithograph produced from the original lithograph stones circa 1860.

The second is a scan of an old photograph which was taken in about 1890. Whilst almost 50 years separate the two images they are strikingly similar. The main running lines have been converted to mixed gauge track to allow both broad and standard gauge (called narrow gauge by the GWR at the time) trains to operate along the same lines, with the standard gauge being nearest to the platforms. Interestingly, it looks as if some of the crossovers have only been laid to the standard gauge.

~~~~~~ ooooooOOOoooooo ~~~~~~
Navigate between pages using the drop down list on the right of the secondary menu bar
~~~~~~ ooooooOOOoooooo ~~~~~~