Bath Green Park railway station
|Bath Green Park|
Bath Green Park station from James Street West
|Area||Bath and North East Somerset|
|Original company||Midland Railway|
|Post-grouping||London, Midland and Scottish Railway|
|7 May 1870||Station opened as Bath|
|18 June 1951||Renamed Bath Green Park|
|7 March 1966||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
|UK Railways portal|
Green Park railway station is a former railway station in Bath, Somerset, England. For most of its life, it was known as Bath Queen Square.
Architecture and opening
Green Park station was opened in 1870 as the terminus of Midland Railway's Mangotsfield and Bath Branch Line. The station buildings were designed by the Midland Railway architect John Holloway Sanders.
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. Access to the goods yard from central Bath was via the newly constructed Midland Bridge.
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
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
When the Somerset and Dorset Railway completed its Bath extension line in 1874, they connected into the Midland line at Bath Junction 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.
Motive power depots
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.
Railway Stations in Bath
It 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 1951, 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.
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.
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.
|Preceding station||Disused railways||Following station|
Line and station closed
|Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway
LSWR and Midland Railways
Line and station closed
Mangotsfield and Bath Branch Line
- Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Limited. ISBN 1-85260-508-1.