Shrewsbury railway station

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Shrewsbury National Rail
Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury
Location
Place Shrewsbury
Local authority Shropshire Council
Grid reference SJ494129
Operations
Station code SHR
Managed by Arriva Trains Wales
Number of platforms 5 (numbered 3-7)
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05   1.295 million
2005/06 Increase 1.317 million
2006/07 Increase 1.343 million
2007/08 Increase 1.461 million
2008/09 Increase 1.596 million
2009/10 Increase 1.630 million
2010/11 Increase 1.677 million
2011/12 Increase 1.730 million
2012/13 Increase 1.750 million
2013/14 Increase 1.802 million
History
1848 Opened
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Shrewsbury from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Portal icon UK Railways portal
Station south end in 1962
Stopping train at Shrewsbury Station in 1965

Shrewsbury railway station (formerly known as Shrewsbury General) serves Shrewsbury, county town of Shropshire, England. It is the only remaining railway station in the town; Shrewsbury Abbey, as well as other small stations around the town, having long closed. The station was built in 1848 and has been extended several times since. It was designated as a grade II listed building in 1969. There is no platform 1 or 2, instead there are five platforms all numbered 3-7 (the first two became disused over time).

The station is 43 miles (69 km) north west of Birmingham New Street and serves as the rail 'Gateway to Wales' with many services starting at or passing through the station bound for places in Wales; it is operated by Arriva Trains Wales as one of their key network hubs.

Shrewsbury is the busiest station in Shropshire and 14th busiest in the West Midlands region (by 2011/12 usage figures).[1]

History[edit]

Shrewsbury railway station was originally built in October 1848 for the county's first railway — the Shrewsbury to Chester Line. The architect was Thomas Mainwaring Penson of Oswestry.[2] The building is unusual, in that the station was extended between 1899 and 1903 by the construction of a new floor underneath the original station building.[2] The building style was imitation Tudor, complete with carvings of Tudor style heads around the window frames. This was done to match the Tudor building of Shrewsbury School (now Shrewsbury Library) almost directly opposite. The station's platforms also extend over the River Severn. It was operated jointly by the Great Western Railway (GWR) and the London and North Western Railway (LNWR).[3]

At Shrewsbury in steam days, the GWR regularly turned its locomotives by running round the triangle formed by using the Abbey Foregate loop, which links the Wolverhampton Line with the Welsh Marches Line and enables through running for freight trains, summer Saturday specials and formerly for trains like the Cambrian Coast Express. Until 1967 Shrewsbury was served by the GWR, latterly BR Western Region, express services between London Paddington and Birkenhead Woodside railway station.

The station was given Grade II listed status in May 1969;[2] this applies to the main building on Castle Foregate, adjacent to platform 3.

Opposite platform 7 is a large concrete wall that divides the rest of the station from what could be considered to be platform 8. This platform does not see any use and was built for the use of transporting prisoners from the local prison in The Dana. (The prison gateway, surmounted by bust of prison reformer John Howard, is visible from platform 7.) It is believed that this platform was only used on several times a year between 1868 up until just before the First World War.[citation needed]

War Memorials[edit]

On Platform Three is a metal plaque listing (with their respective stations of employment) 42 employees of the London and North Western and Great Western Joint Railways who died serving in the armed forces in 'the Great War', with figures of a soldier and sailor and representations of a cannon and steamship. It was restored and rededicated in 2010. Inside the Railtrack offices is a decorative metal plaque to 14 "heroes" of the LNWR's Locomotive Department in Shrewsbury who died serving in World War I, placed there in December 1920. Also preserved is a framed Roll of Honour listing employees of the GWR nationally who also died in the war.[4]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 15 October 1907, a mail train hauled by Experiment class locomotive No. 2052 Stephenson was derailed at Shrewsbury due to excessive speed on a curve. Eighteen people were killed.[5]
  • Arwel Hughes composed Tydi a roddaist in 20 minutes during a wait between train connections in 1938. A plaque to mark this was unveiled on Platform Three in 2004.[6]

Platforms and facilities[edit]

Platform layout

There are five platforms in use, numbered 3 to 7 (platforms 1 and 2 have no track), of which platforms 4, 5, 6 and 7 are grouped on a main island, while platforms 1, 2 and 3 are separate, located by the main station building. The platforms are numbered in order from west (Shrewsbury Castle side) to east (The Dana side) from 1 to 7.

Platform 3 was until recently only used by trains running in from the Wolverhampton direction and out towards Chester. Changes recently made to the signalling and track now allow additional passenger trains (those coming in from and going out to the Hereford, Heart of Wales and Cambrian lines) to use platform 3. A passenger lift was opened on the platform in 2009 and a waiting room opened shortly after.

Platforms 4 and 7 are through platforms, usually used for trains between Holyhead (via Chester and Wrexham General) and Cardiff Central/Birmingham International and between Manchester Piccadilly (via Crewe) and Cardiff Central, Carmarthen, and Milford Haven. Platforms 5 and 6 are bay platforms, used mainly for trains to and from Aberystwyth and Birmingham, as well as trains for the Heart of Wales Line.

The island platforms are connected to the main station building and platform 3 by a pedestrian subway running underneath the station. A pedestrian footbridge over the platforms still exists but has long been disconnected from the station; instead, it is a public walkway allowing pedestrians to cross over the station area, and part of a route named "The Dana".

Services[edit]

Railway lines in Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury to Chester Line
Welsh Marches Linetowards Crewe
Shrewsbury
River Severn
Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury Line
Cambrian Line
Welsh Marches Linetowards Hereford

Arriva Trains Wales[edit]

All of the services above are operated by Class 150s, Class 153s, Class 158s or Class 175s, except the "Premier" service which is operated by a Class 67 and Mark 3 coaching stock.

London Midland[edit]

Virgin Trains[edit]

Signalling[edit]

Some shots of Shrewsbury station and the signal box in 2010.

Severn Bridge Junction signal box, at the south end of the station and built by the LNWR, is the largest surviving mechanical signal box in the World, with a frame accommodating 180 levers, and is a listed building. Whilst the line beyond Abbey Foregate signal box to Wolverhampton has been updated to electronic signalling, Shrewsbury itself is set to remain lever operated for the foreseeable future.[8] As a result of Shrewsbury's joint (GWR/LNWR) history, and having been transferred at different times between the Western and London Midland regions of BR and more recently Network Rail - it is now in the Great Western territory again - the signalling is a diverse mixture of lower-quadrant and upper-quadrant semaphore signals, with a few colour lights too. Crewe Junction, on the north end of the station, accommodates around 120 levers and is of the same design as Severn Bridge Junction.

The other Shrewsbury signal boxes are at Abbey Foregate (to a GWR design), controlling the eastern corner of the triangle, Sutton Bridge Junction where the Aberystwyth line diverges from the Hereford line, Crewe Bank (was to have been closed in April 2009,[9] but now due to close in 2012) just beyond the station towards Crewe, and Harlescott Crossing, slightly further on towards Crewe.

In Autumn 2010 changes were made to allow Cambrian and Welsh Marches line trains to depart in a southerly direction from Platform 3 — an upper quadrant signal replaced the previous shunting disc and a facing point lock was added to the points. Though the track layout could already accommodate this, until the lock was added only non-passenger movements southbound from Platform 3 could be made.[10]

Station usage[edit]

According to the Office of Rail Regulation statistics for the 2011/12 financial year, the total number of entries and exits at the station was 1,730,390 (based on tickets sold at Shrewsbury, and tickets sold to Shrewsbury); with an estimated 205,148 passengers interchanging between services. This makes Shrewsbury the 14th busiest in the West Midlands region and the 6th busiest on the Arriva Trains Wales network.[11]

Future development[edit]

In 2013 Arriva Trains Wales proposed to redevelop part of the station's facilities between platforms 4 and 7, involving the waiting room and customer information office located at the top of the main stairs.[12]

Virgin Trains was granted permission from ORR (Office of Rail Regulation) and Network Rail to run a twice-daily direct service to London Euston, which it hoped would be running by May 2014.[13] This was scrapped by Virgin in January 2014, because the times given were "not economically viable".[14] Since then, Virgin have re-applied for the two-daily service to London Euston which started in December 2014.[citation needed]

New stations[edit]

It has been proposed that Shrewsbury should have a Parkway railway station built on the Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury Line, east of the town in the Preston Boats/Emstrey area, adjacent to the A5 road. This new station would be co-located with a fourth bus-based Park & Ride site for the town[15] to simultaneously serve shoppers and commuters heading both to and from Telford and the West Midlands conurbation. Reasons cited for this project include the poor provision of car parking at Shrewsbury's current only railway station and the lack of a park and ride site to serve visitors to the town from the east, who presently need to use Meole Brace in the south or Harlescott in the north of the town.

As well as the poor provision of car parking previously mentioned, the town's geographic location in a tight meander of the River Severn, combined with the one-way systems for motor traffic in the town (particularly the need to go under the low and congested Cross Street arch bridge), make the station difficult and time-consuming to reach by car from many parts of the town. Indeed from many locations in southern Shrewsbury, e.g. Shrewsbury Business Park, Shrewsbury College on London Road and the Sutton Farm area, it often actually takes less time to drive to Telford Central railway station, along the fast A5 and M54, than to Shrewsbury station.

Further proposed station locations are at Harlescott in the north of the town and Meole Brace in the south.

Images[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Office for Rail Regulation Estimates of station usage
  2. ^ a b c "HER no. 10126 - Shrewsbury Railway Station, Castle Foregate, Shrewsbury". Heritage Gateway. English Heritage. Retrieved 13 March 2010. A railway station built in 1849, and extended circa 1900, which is protected by Grade II Listing. The station became very congested in the later 19th century and was extensively rebuilt between 1899 and 1903 to cope with increased traffic. The bridge was widened, and the platforms extended onto it, and a basement story added. 
  3. ^ Denton, John Horsley (1986). Shrewsbury Railway Station: a brief history. Welshpool: J.H. Denton & T. Smith. 
  4. ^ Francis, Peter (2013). Shropshire War Memorials, Sites of Remembrance. YouCaxton Publications. pp. 194–195. ISBN 978-1-909644-11-3. 
  5. ^ Trevena, Arthur (1980). Trains in Trouble. Vol. 1. Redruth: Atlantic Books. p. 24. ISBN 0-906899-01-X. 
  6. ^ Shropshire War Memorials, Sites of Remembrance. p. 194. 
  7. ^ BBC News, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-29313965
  8. ^ "Signal boxes removed and updated". BBC News. 1 October 2006. 
  9. ^ "ncg12007west409v1 crewe bank - closure of signal box". Network Rail. 
  10. ^ Adrian the Rock - Signals at Severn Bridge Junction
  11. ^ "Estimates of station usage" (XLS). Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  12. ^ Shropshire Star 28 March 2013
  13. ^ "Direct Shrewsbury-to-London train services to restart". BBC News Shropshire. 14 November 2013. 
  14. ^ "Anger as Virgin Trains axes Shrewsbury-London service plans". BBC News Shropshire. 17 January 2014. 
  15. ^ Shrewsbury Place Plan 2011-2012

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Terminus   Arriva Trains Wales
Shrewsbury to Wrexham General Line
  Gobowen
Church Stretton   Arriva Trains Wales
Welsh Marches Line
  Yorton
Arriva Trains Wales
South-North Wales
Gobowen
Arriva Trains Wales
Heart of Wales Line
Terminus
Newport   Arriva Trains Wales
North-South "Premier" service
  Wrexham General
Wellington   Arriva Trains Wales
Cambrian Line
  Welshpool
Arriva Trains Wales
Chester to Birmingham
Gobowen
Wellington   London Midland
Wolverhampton-Shrewsbury
Mondays-Saturdays only
  Terminus
Terminus   Virgin Trains
London Euston-Shrewsbury
  Wellington
Historical railways
Terminus   Great Western Railway
Shrewsbury to Chester Line
  Leaton
Line open, station closed
Terminus   Great Western Railway
Severn Valley Railway
  Berrington
Terminus   Shrewsbury and Welshpool Railway   Hanwood
Line open, station closed

Coordinates: 52°42′43″N 2°45′00″W / 52.712°N 2.75°W / 52.712; -2.75