Chard Central railway station
Chard Central as it is today
|Original company||B&ER and LSWR|
|Post-grouping||Great Western Railway|
|1866||Chard Joint opened|
|1949||Renamed Chard Central|
|1962||Closed to passengers|
|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|
The first railway to serve Chard was the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) which opened Chard Road on its new Yeovil to Exeter line in 1860. On 8 May 1863 a second station was opened at Chard Town as the terminus of a 3.6-mile (5.8 km) branch from Chard Road.
A second railway was opened on 11 September 1866 by the Bristol and Exeter Railway (B&ER). This line terminated at a new station a short distance north of Chard Town and was served by trains from Taunton. Eleven weeks later, on 26 November, a connecting line was opened between Chard Town and the B&ER station, which was known at this time as 'Chard Joint', and the station was then used as the terminus for both railways. Both railway companies provided staff and there were even separate signal boxes controlling train movements at each end of the station The LSWR was built to 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge but the B&ER was a 7 ft (2,134 mm) broad gauge until 19 July 1891.
From 1 January 1917 the Great Western Railway (GWR, which had amalgamated with the B&ER in 1876) took over the operation of trains on the LSWR branch. This allowed some economies to be made, although the trains to Taunton and Chard Junction were still mostly advertised as separate services. In 1923 the LSWR became a part of the larger Southern Railway (SR). The SR platform and sidings were removed by the end of 1927 and the following year their signal box was closed. It was renamed as plain 'Chard' on 1 March 1928, but it appeared as such in GWR timetables before that date.
1948 saw the SR and GWR nationalised as British Railways and from 26 September 1949 it was known as 'Chard Central'. Passenger trains were withdrawn from both branches on 10 September 1962. Public goods traffic continued until 3 February 1964 but goods trains still ran until 3 October 1966 to serve a private siding. After this all track was lifted.
The station was built in stone and brick in one of the styles favoured by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, although he was not the engineer of the line as he died seven years before it was opened. The platform and offices were on the west side of the line, the side closer to the town centre. A train shed spanned the main platform and track. A terminal platform was provided at the north end for trains to Taunton, and at the south end for LSWR services. A goods shed was situated in the yard to the north west of the station and a private siding was provided behind it for B.G. Wyatt on the site of the Chard Canal wharf. A loop at the north end of the station allowed locomotives to run around their trains at the end of their journeys. The GWR signal box was on the east side of the line alongside the loop, and the LSWR one was west of the line at their end of the station.
A locomotive shed was provided opposite the north end of the passenger platform when the station opened. Built in brick, it was 70.8 feet (21.6 m) long and 23.5 feet (7.2 m) wide, covering just one track. A wooden platform outside the shed was used to store coal for the locomotives. A 41.25 feet (12.6 m) turntable was provided on its own siding south of the shed. The shed was closed as a depot on 14 July 1924 although the shed line remained in place until 1933 and the turntable until November 1935.
From Chard Branch Line
|Preceding station||Disused railways||Following station|
|Chard Town||London and South Western Railway
Chard Junction – Chard Joint
|Terminus||Bristol and Exeter Railway
Chard Joint – Taunton<.small>
|Chard Junction||Great Western Railway
Chard Junction – Chard
|Terminus||Great Western Railway
Chard – Taunton
- Oakley, Mike (2006). Somerset Railway Stations. Bristol: Redcliffe Press. ISBN 1-904537-54-5.
- Cooke, RA (1979). Track Layout Diagrams of the GWR and BR WR, Section 16: West Somerset. Harwell: RA Cooke.
- St John Thomas, David (1973). West Country Railway History. Newton Abbot: David and Charles. ISBN 0-7153-6363-8.
- MacDermot, E T (1931). History of the Great Western Railway. 2 (1863-1921) (1 ed.). London: Great Western Railway.
- Time Tables. London: Great Western Railway. 4 October 1920. p. 73.
- "Former Joint Railway Station". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
- Lyons, E; Mountford, E (1986) . Great Western Engine Sheds 1837–1947. Poole: Oxford Publishing Company. 0-8609330-19-X.