Heritage railway volunteers have teamed up with a local college to renovate a semi-derelict signal box in Princes Risborough.

Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway volunteers and students from the Bucks UTC in Aylesbury have begun a series of projects to restore the Princes Risborough North signal box, which has become dilapidated since it went out of use in 1991.

The students will start by designing and manufacturing replacement window sashes, but other projects to improve the brickwork are being considered.

With consent from owners Network Rail, volunteers from the Railway Association have been working since 2013 to save the listed building, which dates back to 1901, and restore it so it can be used as a museum and to operate a planned extension of the heritage railway from Chinnor.  

Steve Growcott, project leader and railway volunteer said: “Amongst other problems, almost half of the 420 window panes were broken and some of the frames had rotted.

"Some sashes have been replaced with renovated spares which the Association has saved from other Signal Boxes (Aynho and Gerrards Cross) when they closed, and others have been repaired by the volunteers.

"Some replacements need to be manufactured from scratch, and as a listed building this must be done in the correct style and materials. This is where Bucks UTC has offered to help.

“For students the project gives a rare opportunity to work with a heritage building with Grade 2 listed status. The actual manufacture will be done in the college workshops at Aylesbury and the Railway Association is raising funds to pay for the materials.”