Bath Green Park railway station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bath Green Park
BathGreenParkStationFrontMay2006WON.jpg
Bath Green Park station from James Street West
Location
Place Bath
Area Bath and North East Somerset
Coordinates 51°22′53″N 2°22′01″W / 51.3815°N 2.367°W / 51.3815; -2.367Coordinates: 51°22′53″N 2°22′01″W / 51.3815°N 2.367°W / 51.3815; -2.367
Grid reference ST745647
Operations
Original company Midland Railway
Pre-grouping Midland Railway
Post-grouping London, Midland and Scottish Railway
Platforms 2
History
7 May 1870 (1870-05-07) Station opened as Bath
18 June 1951 Renamed Bath Green Park
7 March 1966 (1966-03-07) Station closed
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain
A B C D–F G H–J K–L M–O P–R S T–V W–Z
Portal icon UK Railways portal

Green Park railway station is a former railway station in Bath, Somerset, England. For some of its life, it was known as Bath Queen Square.

Architecture and opening[edit]

Green Park station was opened in 1870 as the terminus of Midland Railway's Mangotsfield and Bath Branch Line.

Bath Green Park railway station in 1962

Originally named Queen Square station, it was built in an elegant style which blends well with the Georgian buildings around it and includes a vaulted glass roof in a single-span wrought iron arch structure.

The platform accommodation in the station was modest, having an arrival platform and a departure platform, with two sidings between them. The siding adjacent to the arrival platform was equipped with ground frame points to release an arriving train engine.

The station is on the north bank of the River Avon. The locomotive shed was about half a mile from the station to the north side of the main tracks. The goods yard was on the opposite side of the tracks from this.

The Midland Railway's Bath branch had opened in 1869, but the river Avon bridge and the new station were not ready, so for a year the terminus was at a temporary station to the west of the river.

The Avon Bridge[edit]

Immediately outside the station,trains crossed a bridge over the Avon. This bridge is a Town truss, a design patented by the American architect Ithiel Town in 1820 with the aim of reducing the labour costs in constructing timber bridges. From the late 1840s the design was adapted in Britain for construction in wrought iron, and the Avon Bridge is a fine surviving example. Since closure of the railway, the bridge has been adapted to provide vehicular and pedestrian access to Sainsbury's supermarket.

The Somerset & Dorset Railway[edit]

When the Somerset and Dorset Railway completed its Bath extension line in 1874, they connected into the Midland line at Bath Junction via the newly constructed Midland Bridge, a half mile outside the station, and in friendly co-operation with the Midland company they used the station. This created considerable additional through traffic, and as well as heavy volumes of freight, through passenger journeys from the Midlands to the South Coast were created. Through trains had to reverse at Bath, and the most famous of these was the named Pines Express from Manchester (and at times other northern originating points) to Bournemouth West.

Bath Green Park railway station in 1962

Motive power depots[edit]

BR Standard Class 4-6-0 75073 at Bath Green Park shed

Both the Midland Railway and the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway opened locomotive depots near the station on the west side of the river Avon. The Midland Depot opened in 1869 and the SDJR in 1874. Both closed in March 1966.

Express arriving from the Somerset and Dorset line in 1962

Subsequent history[edit]

Queen Square station was operated by the Midland Railway. At the grouping it passed to the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. For almost all of its life, it was usually referred to as Bath Queen Square station, after the prestigious square about a quarter of a mile away. It became Bath Green Park under British Railways in 1954, and still bears that name today.

Parts of the distinctive glass roof were damaged during bombing raids in April 1942, and the glazing was not re-instated during railway usage after the war.

The atmosphere of the station was always powerfully nostalgic, and at most times of the day a short local train could be seen simmering in the platform waiting for departure time. On summer Saturdays the station became very busy, passing numerous holiday trains between northern towns and Bournemouth; all of them had to be reversed in the station.

Ordinary services were local Midland trains to Bristol St Philips and Clifton Down, later to Bristol Temple Meads, and S&D trains to Templecombe and beyond.

Closure[edit]

Following the Beeching Report, passenger trains ceased from 1966 and the last goods train ran in 1971. In the 1980s the rail approaches to the station were redeveloped as a major supermarket opened in December 1982, and the station itself is used as a pedestrian passageway to and from the city; there are a number of small shop units in the former station buildings.

Current uses[edit]

Saturday markets at Green Park Station.

A Grade II listed building,[1] Green Park Station has become an active retail and events space.

Run for many years by Envolve Partnership, a local sustainability enterprise, The Ethical Property Company PLC took over management in November 2008, and now manage all activity on the site, beyond the car park and the Sainsbury's supermarket, which is run by J Sainsbury PLC. The former booking hall is now Green Park Brasserie. The old station concourses are used as a covered market and events space, with a farmers' market, and other regular Saturday traders operating in the market square. Local events and performances are scheduled throughout the year as well, and have included performances for the Bath Fringe Festival. Green Park Station also includes office space in the converted vaults of the station's lower floor, now the base to several local charities and social businesses.

Services[edit]

Preceding station Disused railways Following station
Midford
Line and station closed
  Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway
LSWR and Midland Railways
  Terminus
Weston (Bath)
Line and station closed
  Mangotsfield and Bath Branch Line
Midland Railway
  Terminus

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Limited. ISBN 1-85260-508-1.
  1. ^ "Green Park Railway Station". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 28 February 2010. 

External links[edit]