Train lovers are to recreate the moment regular passenger services stopped on the old branch line linking Wallingford to the national railway network, 50 years ago to the day and minute.

Members of Wallingford Town Council will don their traditional robes and climb aboard a specially hired locomotive to mark the last run of what became known locally as The Bunk on June 13, 1959.

Hundreds of residents and town councillors – including the then mayor Clifford Atwell – rode on the Last Bunk.

Members of the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway Preservation Society will re-enact the event at 11.10am on Saturday, June 13.

Town council members and current mayor Dee Cripps will be on board the train pulled by a GWR 0-6-0 light passenger engine, built in 1932 and one of just three surviving, which was used on the Cholsey to Wallingford line during the late 1950s.

CWRPS member Bob Harrington said: “Lots of local people will remember being on the train at the last Bunk as children, so it would be nice for them to come along.”

Margaret Simmons, 85, of Old Moor Close, Wallingford, was 35 when she travelled on the last run in her role as town councillor.

She said: “It was sad when it closed, the town didn’t like it happening. Many people used it to get to work and to get to London. My husband used it to travel daily up to London for his job.

“It was very much missed. I think a lot of people would like to see it back up and running again as a regular thing.” She added: “I remember it was a nice day, it was hot. We all got on and talked about it all and rode back again. It only took about 10 minutes.”

Bob Wyatt, 57, former publican of Wallingford’s Cross Keys, who still lives in the town, said: “I remember being shoved on the train with lots of people and it being quite exciting. I was only about seven at the time. There were flags and things like that.

“I grew up in Cholsey and loved The Bunk.

“We used to run up to the top of the hill and stand in the steam as it came through underneath. When I think about what happened on that day, it’s quite sad.”

Construction of the railway began in 1864, the original intention being to link the Great Western Railway line at Princes Risborough to the main Paddington to Bristol line via Watlington, Benson Wallingford and Cholsey.

The Cholsey to Wallingford section opened in 1866, but attracted fewer passengers than expected, and the planned link was abandoned.

In 1872 the line was sold to the GWR, but, in later years, as cars grew more affordable, the number of people using the train began to fall and passenger services ceased in 1959.

The line remained open to freight until 1981.

The da they stopped the preservation society was formed to save the line.