Craven Arms railway station

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Craven Arms National Rail
Craven Arms Railway Station.jpg
Craven Arms railway station, looking north
PlaceCraven Arms
Local authorityShropshire Council
Grid referenceSO431830
Station codeCRV
Managed byTransport for Wales
Number of platforms2
DfT categoryF1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase 0.101 million
– Interchange Increase 3,812
2014/15Increase 0.117 million
– Interchange Increase 5,483
2015/16Decrease 0.109 million
– Interchange Decrease 3,907
2016/17Decrease 0.101 million
– Interchange Decrease 1,878
2017/18Decrease 96,996
– Interchange Decrease 2,013
Key datesOpened 1852 (1852)
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Craven Arms from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

Craven Arms railway station serves the small town of Craven Arms in Shropshire, England. Until 1974 it was known as "Craven Arms and Stokesay",[1] named after the nearby coaching inn (the town having not come into being prior to the arrival of the railways) and the historic settlement of Stokesay to the south. It is situated at the junction of the Welsh Marches Line and the Heart of Wales Line, 20 miles (32 km) south of Shrewsbury. All passenger trains calling at the station are operated by Transport for Wales, who also manage it.

The station has two platforms, connected by a footbridge. Platform 1, on the west side, serves northbound trains to Shrewsbury and beyond as well as trains from Swansea via the Heart of Wales Line. Platform 2, on the town side of the station, serves southbound trains to Hereford and Cardiff and also southbound HoW services since signalling and track alterations in October 2018.[2] Prior to these changes, southbound trains to Llanelli and beyond used platform 1 in both directions (the crossover giving access to the branch being sited to the north near Long Lane crossing - this has now been relocated to the south end of the station).

Between 1865 and 1935, Craven Arms was the junction terminus of the Bishops Castle Railway. There was also a junction serving the line that went to Wellington via Much Wenlock. Adjacent to the station once stood the now demolished carriage sheds. There continues to be a signal box at Craven Arms, to the north of the station by the level crossing.


The station in 1949

The Shrewsbury and Hereford Railway company was the first to serve the town, arriving from the north in 1852 and completing its route through to Hereford the following year.[3] The Knighton Railway constructed the first of the three branches from the main line between 1858 and 1861. The second branch was that of the Bishops Castle Railway which arrived in 1865 via a junction with the main line about 1 km to the north, whilst the route from Much Wenlock was completed by the Wenlock, Craven Arms and Lightmoor Extension railway in 1867 (joining the main line a few miles north of the town at Marsh Farm Junction). The LNWR and Great Western Railway jointly leased the main line in 1862, whilst the modest Knighton branch would eventually be extended right through to Swansea by the LNWR over the course of the next decade. The Bishop's Castle branch, which spent its entire existence in receivership closed in 1935. The Much Wenlock line by contrast would remain little altered throughout its life, although the GWR did take control of it soon after opening; its passenger trains ceased in 1951. The station's locomotive shed closed in 1964 and goods traffic ceased in May 1968.


The station is unstaffed and now has no permanent buildings other than standard metal and plexiglass waiting shelters on each platform (the main buildings on each side having been demolished by 1972).[4] A self-service ticket machine is however provided for intending passengers - this can also be used for collecting pre-paid tickets. Train running information is offered via CIS displays, timetable posters and a customer help point on each platform. A footbridge links both platforms, but step-free also offered on each side - this does though require a sizeable detour via local roads if changing platforms.[5]


The junction at the south end of the station. A Heart of Wales Line service to Swansea departs.

Mondays to Saturdays trains from Carmarthen to Manchester Piccadilly (via Cardiff Central, Hereford, Shrewsbury, and Crewe) call at the station every two hours in both directions. Most Holyhead to Cardiff trains also call here (also every two hours). On Sundays the frequency is irregular and there are no departures until just before noon.[6]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Ludlow   Transport for Wales
Welsh Marches Line
  Church Stretton
Broome   Transport for Wales
Heart of Wales Line
Disused railways
Wistanstow Halt
Line open, station closed
  LNWR and GWR joint
Shrewsbury and Hereford Railway
Line open, station closed
Terminus   GWR Wellington to Craven Arms Railway
Wenlock, Craven Arms and Lightmoor Extension Railway
  Harton Road
Line and station closed
Stretford Bridge Junction Halt
Line and station closed
  Bishops Castle Railway   Terminus

There are four trains a day (two on Sundays) in each direction between Swansea and Shrewsbury (plus a fifth as far as Llandrindod Wells, except on Saturdays) along the Heart of Wales Line.[7]


  1. ^ Christiansen (2001) Chester & North Wales Border Railways p. 53
  2. ^ "Disruption for passengers as Craven Arms railway upgrade begins this weekend" Shropshire Live news article 28 September 2018; Retrieved 13 October 2018
  3. ^ Body, p.62
  4. ^ Disused Stations - Craven Arms Disused Stations Site Record; Retrieved 7 April 2017
  5. ^ Craven Arms station facilities National Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 7 April 2017
  6. ^ GB eNRT December 2018 Edition, Table 131
  7. ^ Table 129 National Rail timetable, December 2018
  • Body, G. (1983), PSL Field Guides - Railways of the Western Region, Patrick Stephens Ltd, Wellingborough, ISBN 0-85059-546-0

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Coordinates: 52°26′33″N 2°50′15″W / 52.4425°N 2.8375°W / 52.4425; -2.8375