Castle Cary railway station
|Local authority||South Somerset, Somerset|
|Managed by||First Great Western|
|Number of platforms||3|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|Original company||Great Western Railway|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
|* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Castle Cary from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
|UK Railways portal|
Castle Cary railway station serves a largely rural area of the county of Somerset in England. The station is situated approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) north of the town of Castle Cary, and 5 miles (8 km) south of Shepton Mallet.
The station is on the Reading to Taunton line some 115.25 miles (185.48 km) south west of London Paddington and also on the Bristol to Weymouth line some 47.75 miles (77 km) south of Bristol Temple Meads. The two routes share tracks between Westbury and Castle Cary stations, and are both operated by the First Great Western train operating company, which also manages the station.
The station has three platforms. The main station building and ticket office are located on the London bound platform 1. In front of the building is a car park for 100 cars, a bus stop and a taxi rank. Platform 2 serves west bound services, whilst the shorter platform 3 can only be used by trains on the Bristol to Weymouth line. Immediately to the west of the station the Weymouth line diverges from the London to Penzance Line.
Castle Cary station is the closest station to the site of the Glastonbury Festival, which is held near Pilton about 8 miles away. During the period of the festival additional trains are provided, and special buses are run from the station to the festival site. The station also serves events at the Royal Bath & West Showground, though these are not provided with extra trains.
The station was awarded the Small Station of the Year award in the National Rail Awards 2007.
Castle Cary station was originally on the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway, a railway that linked the Great Western Railway (GWR) at Chippenham with Weymouth. The line was authorised in 1845, was acquired by the GWR in 1850, reached Castle Cary on 1 September 1856, and was completed throughout in 1857.
For the remainder of the 19th century, the GWR's principal route from London Paddington station to Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance was an indirect one via Bristol Temple Meads (the so-called Great Way Round). However, in 1895 the GWR directors announced that new lines were to be constructed to enable trains to reach Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance in a shorter time. The first stages involved improvements to the Berks and Hants Extension Railway and the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Line which reduced the distance from London to Castle Cary by 14.25 miles (23 km) and provided double track throughout.
This was followed by the construction of the Langport and Castle Cary Railway, which was opened from Castle Cary to the existing Bristol to Exeter line at Cogload Junction in 1906. This transformed Castle Cary from a station on a secondary north to south line, to one on a main east to west route. The route resulting from these improvements and extensions forms the current London to Penzance line.
The service on the London to Penzance line runs approximately every two hours, with 8 trains in each direction, although not all trains run as far as Penzance. The service on the Bristol to Weymouth line runs on a similar frequency, again with 8 trains in each direction.
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
|First Great Western|
|First Great Western|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Castle Cary railway station.|
- Coward, Andy (2008-01-30). "Castle Cary rocks". Rail (emap active). pp. 50–53.
- MacDermot, E T (1931). History of the Great Western Railway, volume II 1863-1921. London: Great Western Railway.