Bewdley railway station

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Bewdley
BewdleyRailwayStation(AndyAndHilary)Sep2004.jpg
Location
Place Bewdley
Area Wyre Forest
Grid reference SO791753
Operations
Managed by Severn Valley Railway
Platforms 3
Stations on heritage railways in the United Kingdom
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Coordinates: 52°22′31″N 2°18′22″W / 52.37528°N 2.30611°W / 52.37528; -2.30611

Bewdley Station in 1963

Bewdley railway station serves the town of Bewdley in Worcestershire, England. It is the administrative headquarters of the Severn Valley Railway, and is the principal intermediate station on the line.

History[edit]

Bewdley station originally opened in 1862 as one of the main intermediate stations on the 40¾-mile line between Hartlebury and Shrewsbury. The station was operated by the SVR company before being absorbed into the Great Western Railway (GWR).

In 1864 the Tenbury & Bewdley Railway opened, with its route through the Wyre Forest branching off the SVR 1 mile north of Bewdley station, before crossing the River Severn over the now partially dismantled Dowles Bridge. Thus Bewdley became a junction.

In 1878, GWR opened a "loop-line" to Kidderminster meaning Bewdley had a direct link with the town and became a double junction. As a legacy of its former junction status Bewdley station is unique on the SVR in that it has two signal boxes, Bewdey north and Bewdley south, to this day.

Bewdley station was at its busiest at weekends and local holiday periods, and traffic declined only with the introduction of the family car in the 1950s. As a consequence, the rationalisation resulted in the end of through passenger traffic — firstly on the Wyre Forest line in 1962, followed by the Severn Valley in 1963. Although thought by some people to have been part of the Beeching axe these closures pre-dated his report.

British Rail passenger services clung on until January 1970 around the last remaining stations of Stourport-on-Severn, Hartlebury, Bewdley and Kidderminster.

Preservation[edit]

Bewdley was disused for only four years before preservationists from the new SVR Company bought the land, track and buildings in 1974 enabling the SVR to extend from BridgnorthHampton Loade to Highley and eventually Bewdley that same year. Bewdley forms the administrative headquarters of the Severn Valley Railway (Holdings) Company.

From 1980 onwards, occasional bank holiday services were operated to Bewdley, originally from Kidderminster and later from Birmingham New Street. The SVR's own services to Kidderminster could not commence until sugar beet traffic to Foley Park ceased in 1982 and the opening of its own station — Kidderminster Town in 1984.

During and after preservation:

  • The station clock on platforms 2/3 was brought from Stourbridge Junction railway station.
  • The longer valancing pieces on the east side of the island platform canopy came from Birmingham Snow Hill station, this is marked on the canopy. The canopy itself was constructed for the opening of the line to Kidderminster and was later extended, it was not brought in from elsewhere as previously reported here.
  • Until recently, there was a Gentlemen's toilet on platform's 2/3, but it was closed as it had no wash hand basin. The structure remains to this day for historical reasons.

Bewdley Tunnel[edit]

Just to the East of the station lies the 480 yard long Bewdley Tunnel, (spanning 480 yards in length, marking it the Seventh longest tunnel on a UK Heritage Railway within Preservation.[citation needed]

Future services[edit]

Due to heavy congestion in the Wyre Forest, there have been calls for Bewdley station to be returned to the National Rail network once more. The idea of Kidderminster to Bewdley trains has been discussed at meetings with Central Trains, its successor London Midland and Chiltern Railways. The obstacle always seems to be who provides the infrastructure and staff. New services could run further than Kidderminster to Birmingham, Dudley or London.[1]

Gallery[edit]

Famous Media Appearances[edit]

Bewdley Railway Station is also noted as a filming location for a number of television and cinema productions. These include 1992 Film 'Howard's End', and 2007 film 'Woes of the Departed', and can also be seen as Musborough Junction station from the opening scenes of the 1984 BBC Television adaptation of the John Masefield novel 'The Box of Delights'.(Keen eyed viewers can even spot the Bewdley sign in a reflection in a window in the opening scene.) [2]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceding station Heritage Railways  Heritage railways Following station
Northwood Halt   Severn Valley Railway   Kidderminster Town