Challow railway station

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Class 43 Challow stn.jpg
Challow station in 2007, with little remaining of the original station
Place West Challow
Area District of Vale of White Horse
Grid reference SU355905
Original company Great Western Railway
Pre-grouping Great Western Railway
Post-grouping GWR
Western Region of British Railways
Platforms 2
20 July 1840 Opened
7 December 1964 Closed
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Challow railway station is a former railway station about 2 miles (3 km) south of Stanford in the Vale on the A417 road between Wantage and Faringdon. It is named after the villages of West Challow and East Challow, which are 1.5 miles (2.4 km) and 2.5 miles (4 km) southeast respectively of the former station.

When the Great Western Railway extended its main line from Reading through the Vale of White Horse in 1840 it opened the station as Faringdon Road station. After the Faringdon Railway between Uffington and Faringdon opened in 1864, the GWR renamed Faringdon Road "Challow" to avoid confusion.[citation needed]

Four tracks ran through the station, two fast straddled by two slow. The station's platforms stood outside the slow lines, with at least one of them having a "Pagoda" building, apparently for use as a waiting room.[1]

On 7 December 1964 British Railways withdrew passenger services from Challow and all other intermediate stations between Didcot and Swindon.

The station today[edit]

Few parts of the station survive. The northern platform has almost disappeared completely and the southern platform is used by Network Rail, although no buildings remain and the buildings used by Network Rail are only small portable cabins, including a relay room. New buildings have been built around the site. The most noticeable is the bail depot on the site of the northern platform. One nearby public house, the Prince of Wales, was burnt down in 1999 and the site has been levelled.

Freight trains now use the relief lines from between Challow and Wantage Road to wait for High Speed Trains to overtake them.


  • Robertson, Kevin (2004) [1999]. Odd Corners of the GWR: From the Days of Steam. Stroud, Glos: Sutton Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0 7509 3458 1. 
  • Vaughan, Adrian (1984). Signalman's Morning/Signalman's Twilight. Pan Books. ISBN 0-330-28345-6. 

In the omnibus edition of his memoirs, Vaughan describes his time in the early 1960s as a Lad Porter at Challow station. Appendices show track layout and signalling.

Preceding station National Rail Historical railways Following station
Wantage Road
Line open, station closed
  British Rail
Western Region

Great Western Main Line
Line open, station closed

Coordinates: 51°36′44″N 1°29′19″W / 51.61222°N 1.48872°W / 51.61222; -1.48872

  1. ^ Robertson 2004, p. 4.