Witney railway station (goods)

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Witney (Goods)
Location
Place Witney
Area West Oxfordshire
Coordinates 51°46′38″N 1°28′50″W / 51.7772°N 1.4806°W / 51.7772; -1.4806Coordinates: 51°46′38″N 1°28′50″W / 51.7772°N 1.4806°W / 51.7772; -1.4806
Grid reference SP357090
Operations
Original company Witney Railway
Pre-grouping Great Western Railway
Post-grouping Great Western Railway
Platforms 2
History
14 November 1861 Station opens
15 January 1873 Station closes to passengers
2 November 1970 Station closes to goods
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

Witney goods station served the Oxfordshire town of Witney on the Oxford, Witney and Fairford Railway. It consisted of seven sidings, a goods shed, a wooden parcel office and a cattle dock. It also had an engine shed, which was demolished early in the twentieth century. Following the opening of the East Gloucestershire Railway in 1873, the station became a goods depot, with passengers using the second station situated to the south. The original station remained open to goods traffic until 1970.

History[edit]

The station was opened by the Witney Railway on 4 November 1861 as the western terminus of its line from Yarnton.[1][2] A single platform was provided in addition to a run-around loop and a carriage siding.[3] A large stone goods shed was served by two sidings, one of which was accessed by a short spur from a wagon turntable.[3] The station building was a small weather-boarded structure with a hipped roof and a platform canopy.[3] At the end of the line stood a single-road engine shed and water tank.[4][5][6][7] The shed, which lost its locomotive allocation when the new Witney station opened, was demolished during November 1905 after having been used for storage purposes.[8][6]

When the East Gloucestershire Railway opened an extension of the line in 1873,[9] a new passenger station was constructed on a different site to the south,[10] opening on 15 January 1873.[1][2][11][12][13][14] This left the old station on a spur line, and it became the town's goods depot on the same date.[1][2][15] The directors of the Witney Railway had first been opposed to the downgrading of their station but the Great Western Railway, which was to work the new line,[16] insisted that agreement would need to be reached between the East Gloucestershire and the Witney as to a new station which would be operated on a joint basis.[17][12] Following its conversion to a goods depot, the station's basic layout remained essentially intact, so much so that it continued to resemble the old passenger station.[8] The Great Western made several later additions including extensions to the goods shed, a stable block to accommodate the shunting and dray horses, a wood store, a corrugated iron warehouse and a stationmaster's house.[8][18] The house is said to be the last to have been constructed by the Great Western before the Second World War.[8][19] The station canopy was boarded in to increase the storage space for parcels.[7]

The station remained busy right up until the later years of the line.[20] In 1957, over 44,000 tons of goods were handled as well as 66,000 parcels.[20] 99,000 bales of blankets were dispatched by rail every year,[20] the main source of traffic.[14] After the withdrawal of services on the East Gloucestershire Railway, British Railways began deliberately running down the Witney Railway to ensure its closure; it offered the Witney Blanket Company a cheaper rate if it agreed to transfer its goods to road.[21][22] Staff at the station was reduced to a single person as the service was cut back to a coal train on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and subsequently only Tuesdays and Fridays.[21] The sidings in the goods yard were lifted in Winter 1968, leaving the large goods shed and siding to fall derelict.[21] The remaining traffic was dealt with behind the station building or in the coal sidings.[21]

Witney goods station was closed along with the Witney Railway on 2 November 1970.[1][2][23] The last train to traverse the line was the "Witney Wanderer" on 31 October, but this did not actually enter the Witney terminus.[24][22]

Preceding station Disused railways Following station
Terminus   Great Western Railway
Witney Railway
  South Leigh
Line and station closed

Present day[edit]

The station building survived into the 1980s engulfed by an industrial estate constructed on the site of the former goods depot.[25] It was accidentally damaged in 1980 when a chimney stack was brought down after a tractor-mounted loading shovel became caught up in an electric cable attached to the chimney.[26] The station building was subsequently moved to Wallingford on the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway.[27][28] The goods yard, weighbridge and parcel shed continued to be used by Marriott's coal merchants until May 1995 when they were demolished and subsequently replaced by a Sainsbury's supermarket.[29][30][23]

The former goods shed was converted into a club known as "Sidings" which used a 1955 British Railways Mark 1 coach as its entrance.[31] Both the goods shed and the stationmaster's house remain.[23]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Butt (1995), p. 253.
  2. ^ a b c d Quick (2009), p. 416.
  3. ^ a b c Jenkins (1985), p. 17.
  4. ^ Jenkins (1985), pp. 91-92.
  5. ^ Simpson (1997), p. 175.
  6. ^ a b Waters (1986), p. 25.
  7. ^ a b Mitchell, Smith & Lingard (1988), fig. 48.
  8. ^ a b c d Jenkins (1985), p. 92.
  9. ^ "Witney Junction". The Fairford Branch Line. Martin Loader. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2009. [dead link]
  10. ^ Simpson (1997), p. 177.
  11. ^ Simpson (1997), p. 172.
  12. ^ a b Clark (1976), p. 176.
  13. ^ Clinker (1988), p. 177, note 3795.
  14. ^ a b Mitchell, Smith & Lingard (1988), fig. 44.
  15. ^ Jenkins (1985), p. 32.
  16. ^ Awdry (1990), p. 25.
  17. ^ Jenkins (1985), p. 34.
  18. ^ Mitchell, Smith & Lingard (1988), figs. 50-51.
  19. ^ Mitchell, Smith & Lingard (1988), fig. 52.
  20. ^ a b c Jenkins (1985), p. 109.
  21. ^ a b c d Jenkins (1985), p. 115.
  22. ^ a b Waters (1986), p. 28.
  23. ^ a b c "Closure". The Witney & East Gloucestershire Railway. David M Howse. 11 February 2007. para. 2. Archived from the original on 1 February 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2009. 
  24. ^ Jenkins (1985), p. 119.
  25. ^ Jenkins (1985), p. 147.
  26. ^ Mitchell, Smith & Lingard (1988), fig. 54.
  27. ^ Simpson (1997), p. 176.
  28. ^ Stretton (2006), p. 86.
  29. ^ Mitchell, Smith & Lingard (1988), fig. 49.
  30. ^ Waters & Doyle (1992), p. 97.
  31. ^ Mitchell, Smith & Lingard (1988), fig. 53.

Sources[edit]

  • Awdry, Christopher (1990). Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies. Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0049-7. OCLC 19514063. 
  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0508-1. OCLC 60251199. 
  • Clark, R.H. (1976). An Historical Survey of Selected Great Western Stations: Layouts and Illustrations 1. Headington: Oxford Publishing. ISBN 0-902888-29-3. 
  • Clinker, C.R. (1988) [1978]. Clinker's Register of Closed Passenger Stations and Goods Depots in England, Scotland and Wales 1830–1980 (2nd ed.). Bristol: Avon-Anglia Publications & Services. ISBN 0-905466-91-8. OCLC 655703233. 
  • Jenkins, Stanley C. (1985) [1975]. The Fairford Branch. Headington: Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-853613-16-8. LP86. 
  • Mitchell, Victor E.; Smith, Keith; Lingard, Richard (April 1988). Branch Line to Fairford. Midhurst: Middleton Press. ISBN 0-906520-52-5. 
  • Quick, Michael (2009) [2001]. Railway passenger stations in Great Britain: a chronology (4th ed.). Oxford: Railway and Canal Historical Society. ISBN 978 0 901461 57 5. OCLC 612226077. 
  • Simpson, Bill (1997). A History of the Railways of Oxfordshire; Part 1: The North. Witney: Lamplight Publications. ISBN 978-1-89924-602-1. 
  • Stretton, John (2006). British Railways Past and Present: Oxfordshire; A Second Selection. Kettering: Past & Present Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85895-203-1. No. 55. 
  • Waters, Laurence; Doyle, Tony (1992). British Railways Past and Present: Oxfordshire. Wadenhoe: Silver Link Publishing. ISBN 978-0-94797-187-8. No. 15. 
  • Waters, Laurence (1986). Rail Centres: Oxford. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 978-0-7110-1590-6. 

External links[edit]