Roade railway station

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Place Roade
Area South Northamptonshire
Grid reference SP755515
Original company London and Birmingham Railway
Pre-grouping London and North Western Railway
Post-grouping London Midland and Scottish Railway
London Midland Region of British Railways
Platforms 3
17 September 1838[1] Opened
1881 Relocated 220m south
6 July 1964[2] Goods facilities withdrawn
7 September 1964 Closed
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Roade was a railway station serving the Northamptonshire village of the same name on the West Coast Main Line. Roade Station opened in 1838 as the principal station for Northampton (which the main line had bypassed), but its importance diminished upon the opening of the Northampton and Peterborough Railway in 1845. The construction of the Northampton Loop Line in 1875 made Roade a junction station, and it survived until 1964.


The station for Northampton[edit]

The London and Birmingham Railway (L&B) opened Roade station in 1838 as part of its line from London to Birmingham. Hostility to the railway in Northampton[3] and steep gradients in the suggested route[4] prevented the line from running through the town and so Roade was announced as its nearest station – even though the county town is some 6 miles (9.7 km) away. It lost this status in 1845 when the L&B opened a branch linking Northampton and Peterborough allowing services to run directly into Northampton from Blisworth. This had an immediate effect on Roade: the refreshment room was removed by 1865, while the daily stopping services fell to seven.

Northampton Loop Line[edit]

Northampton Loop Line
Birmingham Loop Line
Trent Valley Line
Hillmorton Junction
Rugby Parkway(proposed)
Kilsby and Crick
Daventry International Rail
Freight Terminal (DIRFT)
Daventry South Junction
Crick Tunnel
Watford Lodge Tunnel
Long Buckby
Althorp Park
Church Brampton
Northampton to
Market Harborough Line
Northampton to Peterboro’ Line
& Bedford to Northampton Line
Hunsbury Hill Tunnel
Hanslope Junction
Milton Keynes Central
West Coast Main Line

In 1875, the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) (which had acquired the L&B in 1846) increased the main line to four tracks as far as Roade and then onwards from Rugby. The direct route to Rugby was increased to two tracks and a two-track direct main line link to Rugby via Northampton (known as the Northampton Loop Line) was added. This deviates from the L&B line at Roade, running through Northampton to rejoin the main line at Rugby,[5] where four track running resumed. Roade, by then a junction for fast trains north as well as services through Northampton, saw its facilities considerably enlarged to include three platforms.[6] In 1881, the station was resited 200m to the south of a bridge carrying the Northampton to London road over the line.[1]

East and West Junction Railway[edit]

In 1890-91 a new east-west single-track line - the East and West Junction Railway (E&WJR) - was built across Roade and, although there was initially no connection between the two lines, the LNWR agreed to the construction of a single line connecting spur (660 yards (600 m) long) which made a junction with its main line on the down side just to the south of Roade station. The spur saw its first use on 13 April 1891 with a goods working.[7] The spur soon became an important means of exchanging coal and minerals with the LNWR which was charging as much as £50 per half year for its use. Although the LNWR had refused a request to allow passenger services on the spur, the line did run into a bay platform at Roade. Sidings were installed at Roade in 1909 to handle the E&WJR's limestone traffic. The spur became less important with the formation of the Stratford-upon-Avon and Midland Junction Railway and the strengthening of the connection with the main line at Blisworth.[8] The spur was eventually closed in May 1917, the southern part being retained as a siding.[9]


Roade station was reprieved from closure in 1959 due to the efforts of local MP Sir Frank Markham, remaining open until 1964.[10] The West Coast Main Line and Northampton Loop Line were rebuilt as a 25 kV. overhead electrified route.[6] The footbridge and platforms were demolished but the ticket office building survived in various uses for several years until it was also demolished in 2013.


A 1911 Railway Clearing House map of railways in the vicinity of Roade

Preceding station Historical railways Following station
Line and station open
  London and North Western Railway
Northampton Loop Line
Line open, station closed
Line open, station closed
  London and North Western Railway
West Coast Main Line
Line and station open
Disused railways
Stoke Bruern
Line and station closed
  Stratford-upon-Avon and Midland Junction Railway   Terminus

Present day[edit]

The West Coast Main Line runs through the site of the station, no traces remain.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations, Patrick Stephens Ltd, Sparkford, ISBN 1-85260-508-1, p. 198.
  2. ^ Clinker, C.R. (October 1978). Clinker's Register of Closed Passenger Stations and Goods Depots in England, Scotland and Wales 1830-1977. Bristol: Avon-AngliA Publications & Services. p. 116. ISBN 0-905466-19-5. 
  3. ^ History of Kilsby Tunnel
  4. ^ Peter H Elliot, Rugby's Railway Heritage,(1985) ISBN 0-907917-06-2
  5. ^ Kingscott, Geoffrey (2008). Lost Railways of Northamptonshire (Lost Railways Series). Newbury, Berkshire: Countryside Books. pp. 10–12. ISBN 978-1-84674-108-1. 
  6. ^ a b 'Roade', Victoria History of the Counties of England, A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 5: The Hundred of Cleley (2002), pp. 345-374. URL: Date accessed: 15 June 2009.
  7. ^ Dunn, J.M. (1977). The Stratford & Midland Junction Railway. Blandford, Dorset: The Oakwood Press. p. 7. ISBN 0-85361-036-3. 
  8. ^ Riley, R.C.; Simpson, B. (1999). A History of the Stratford-upon-Avon & Midland Junction Railway. Witney, Oxon: Lamplight Publications. p. 84. ISBN 978-1-899246-20-5. 
  9. ^ Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (November 2008). Branch Lines Around Towcester. Midhurst, West Sussex: Middleton Press. Plate 9. ISBN 978-1-906008-39-0. 
  10. ^ Castlethorpe Station Closure - 6 September 1964.

Coordinates: 52°09′25″N 0°53′49″W / 52.157068°N 0.897062°W / 52.157068; -0.897062