Shrewsbury railway station
Platforms 3 and 4 at Shrewsbury
|Local authority||Shropshire Council|
|Managed by||Transport for Wales|
|Number of platforms||5 (numbered 3-7)|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections|
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
The station is 43 miles (69 km) north west of Birmingham New Street. Many services starting at or passing through the station are bound for Wales; it is operated by Transport for Wales, although the station is also served by Avanti West Coast and West Midlands Railway services, and is one of the key network hubs of Transport for Wales.
Shrewsbury railway station was originally built in October 1848 for the county's first railway — the Shrewsbury to Chester Line. The architect was Thomas Mainwaring Penson of Oswestry. The building is unusual, in that the station was extended between 1899 and 1903 by the construction of a new floor underneath the original station building. The building style was imitation Tudor, complete with carvings of Tudor style heads around the window frames. This was done to match the Tudor building of Shrewsbury School (now Shrewsbury Library) almost directly opposite. The station's platforms also extend over the River Severn. It was operated jointly by the Great Western Railway (GWR) and the London and North Western Railway (LNWR).
At Shrewsbury in steam days, the GWR regularly turned its locomotives by running round the triangle formed by using the Abbey Foregate loop, which links the Wolverhampton Line with the Welsh Marches Line and enables through running for freight trains, summer Saturday specials and formerly for trains like the Cambrian Coast Express. Until 1967 Shrewsbury was served by the GWR, latterly BR Western Region, express services between London Paddington and Birkenhead Woodside railway station.
The station was given Grade II listed status in May 1969; this applies to the main building on Castle Foregate, adjacent to platform 3.
On Platform Three is a metal plaque listing (with their respective stations of employment) 42 employees of the London and North Western and Great Western Joint Railways who died serving in the armed forces in 'the Great War', with figures of a soldier and sailor and representations of a cannon and steamship. It was restored and rededicated in 2010. Inside the Railtrack offices is a decorative metal plaque to 14 "heroes" of the LNWR's Locomotive Department in Shrewsbury who died serving in World War I, placed there in December 1920. Also preserved is a framed Roll of Honour listing employees of the GWR nationally who also died in the war.
Accidents and incidents
- On 15 October 1907, a mail train hauled by Experiment class locomotive No. 2052 Stephenson was derailed at Shrewsbury due to excessive speed on a curve. Eighteen people were killed.
- Arwel Hughes composed Tydi a roddaist in 20 minutes during a wait between train connections in 1938. A plaque to mark this was unveiled on Platform Three in 2004.
- On 6 November 2017, an Arriva Train Wales Class 175 DMU, numbered 175109, caught fire at the morning. This caused the station to be evacuated for approximately two hours. There were no fatalities.
Platforms and facilities
There are five platforms in use, numbered 3 to 7 (platforms 1 and 2 have been disused since the 1970s and have no track; around 2019 platform 2 was dismantled). Of these, platforms 4, 5, 6 and 7 are grouped on a main island, while platforms 1, 2 and 3 are separate, located by the main station building. The platforms are numbered in order from west (Shrewsbury Castle side) to east (The Dana side) from 1 to 7.
Platform 3 was until recently only used by trains running in from the Wolverhampton direction and out towards Chester. Changes made in 2010 to the signalling and track now allow additional passenger trains (those coming in from and going out to the Hereford, Heart of Wales and Cambrian lines) to use platform 3. A passenger lift was opened on the platform in 2009 and a waiting room opened shortly after. A lift has also been built for access to platforms 4-7, making the station fully accessible for wheelchair and mobility-impaired users.
Platforms 4 and 7 are through platforms, usually used for trains between Holyhead (via Chester and Wrexham General) and Cardiff Central/Birmingham International and between Manchester Piccadilly (via Crewe) and Cardiff Central, Carmarthen, and Milford Haven. Platforms 5 and 6 are bay platforms, used mainly for trains to and from Aberystwyth and Birmingham, as well as trains for the Heart of Wales Line and local stopping trains to Birmingham New Street.
The island platforms are connected to the main station building and platform 3 by a pedestrian subway running underneath the station. A pedestrian footbridge over the platforms still exists but has long been disconnected from the station; instead, it is a public walkway allowing pedestrians to cross over the station area, and part of a route named "The Dana". All platforms are fitted with CIS screens and automatic announcement speakers and there are customer help points on platforms 3 and 4. Ticket gates are in operation, with the ticket office here manned throughout the week (Monday - Friday 05:20 - 20:40, Saturday 05:20 - 19:30, Sunday 07:30 - 19:30). Ticket machines are available for use when this is closed and for collecting pre-paid tickets. A buffet, toilets, and vending machines selling snacks and drinks are sited between platforms 4 & 7.
Opposite platform 7 is a high concrete wall that divides the rest of the station from what could be considered to be platform 8. This platform does not see any use and was built for the use of transporting prisoners from the local prison in The Dana. (The prison gateway, surmounted by bust of prison reformer John Howard, is visible from platform 7.) It is believed that this platform was only used on several times a year between 1868 up until just before the First World War.
Railway lines in Shrewsbury
Transport for Wales
- Alternate hourly service from Holyhead via Chester and Wrexham General to Birmingham International or Cardiff Central.
- Two-hourly services from Aberystwyth and Pwllheli via the Cambrian Line to Birmingham International which merge at Machynlleth. Some additional Aberystwyth trains start and finish here at certain times of day. Some late evening services also terminate at Machynlleth.
- Hourly services from Manchester Piccadilly to Cardiff Central via the Welsh Marches Line. Most services on this route extend to Swansea and Carmarthen, with through running to Milford Haven every two hours. Some services terminate at Tenby, Maesteg or Pembroke Dock. There is also a two-hourly local stopping service to Crewe on this route.
- Services via the Heart of Wales Line to Swansea. Four trains per day each way Monday–Saturday (plus one early morning service to Llandrindod Wells except Saturdays) and two trains each way on Sundays. Two of these each way run to and from Crewe on weekdays.
- Locomotive-hauled Premier Service between Holyhead and Cardiff Central via Chester. One train each way per day.
- Local Stopping services to Wrexham General (morning & late evening only)
- On a Sunday, Transport for Wales operate stopping services from Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton in lieu of the fact that West Midlands Railway only operate Shrewsbury to Birmingham New Street services from Mondays to Saturdays.
West Midlands Railway
- Hourly stopping service to Birmingham New Street, operated by a Class 170, from Monday to Sunday
- Hourly limited stopping service to Birmingham New Street, calling at Wellington, Telford, Shifnal, Codsall and Wolverhampton.
Avanti West Coast
- Two daily services (one on Sundays) to and from London Euston via Birmingham New Street and Coventry, operated by Class 221s.
Shrewsbury bus routes 2, 24, 25, 64, 501, 511, 519, 524 and 576 all serve the station heading towards Shrewsbury bus station.
Severn Bridge Junction signal box, at the south end of the station and built by the LNWR, is the largest surviving mechanical signal box in the world, with a frame accommodating 180 levers, and is a listed building. Whilst the line beyond Abbey Foregate signal box to Wolverhampton has been updated to electronic signalling, Shrewsbury itself is set to remain lever operated for the foreseeable future. As a result of Shrewsbury's joint (GWR/LNWR) history, and having been transferred at different times between the Western and London Midland regions of BR and more recently Network Rail - it is now in the Great Western territory again - the signalling is a diverse mixture of lower-quadrant and upper-quadrant semaphore signals, with a few colour lights too. Crewe Junction, on the north end of the station, accommodates around 120 levers and is of the same design as Severn Bridge Junction.
The other Shrewsbury signal boxes are at Abbey Foregate (to a GWR design), controlling the eastern corner of the triangle and Sutton Bridge Junction where the Aberystwyth line diverges from the Hereford line (the now closed Severn Valley Railway to Bridgnorth and Hartlebury also left the main line there).
Two other boxes at Crewe Bank and Harlescott Crossing (slightly further on towards Crewe) were both abolished (and subsequently removed) in October 2013, when the Crewe line had its signalling replaced by a new modular system controlled from the South Wales Rail Operating Centre in Cardiff. The former box had been "switched out" of use for several years previously and had been proposed for abolition by Network Rail back in 2009.
In Autumn 2010 changes were made to allow Cambrian and Welsh Marches line trains to depart in a southerly direction from Platform 3. An upper quadrant signal replaced the previous shunting disc and a facing point lock was added to the points. Though the track layout could already accommodate this, until the lock was added only non-passenger movements southbound from Platform 3 could be made.
According to the Office of Rail Regulation statistics for the 2011/12 financial year, the total number of entries and exits at the station was 1,730,390 (based on tickets sold at Shrewsbury, and tickets sold to Shrewsbury); with an estimated 205,148 passengers interchanging between services. This makes Shrewsbury the 14th busiest in the West Midlands region and the 6th busiest on the Transport for Wales network.
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It has been proposed that Shrewsbury should have a Parkway railway station built on the Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury Line, east of the town in the Preston Boats/Emstrey area, adjacent to the A5 road. This new station would be co-located with a fourth bus-based Park & Ride site for the town to simultaneously serve shoppers and commuters heading both to and from Telford and the West Midlands conurbation. Reasons cited for this project include the poor provision of car parking at Shrewsbury's current only railway station and the lack of a park and ride site to serve visitors to the town from the east, who presently need to use Meole Brace in the south or Harlescott in the north of the town.
As well as the poor provision of car parking previously mentioned, the town's geographic location in a tight meander of the River Severn, combined with the one-way systems for motor traffic in the town (particularly the need to go under the low and congested Cross Street arch bridge), make the station difficult and time-consuming to reach by car from many parts of the town. Indeed, from many locations in southern Shrewsbury, e.g. Shrewsbury Business Park, Shrewsbury College on London Road and the Sutton Farm area, it often actually takes less time to drive to Telford Central railway station, along the fast A5 and M54, than to Shrewsbury station.
The station's main frontage, here viewed from The Dana walk by Shrewsbury Castle, is remarkable for its architecture.
A Transport for Wales train standing at the platform
- Listed buildings in Shrewsbury (southeast central area)
- Shrewsbury Traction Maintenance Depot
- Railways of Shropshire
- Office for Rail Regulation Estimates of station usage
"HER no. 10126 - Shrewsbury Railway Station, Castle Foregate, Shrewsbury". Heritage Gateway. English Heritage. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
A railway station built in 1849, and extended circa 1900, which is protected by Grade II Listing. The station became very congested in the later 19th century and was extensively rebuilt between 1899 and 1903 to cope with increased traffic. The bridge was widened, and the platforms extended onto it, and a basement story added.
- Denton, John Horsley (1986). Shrewsbury Railway Station: a brief history. Welshpool: J.H. Denton & T. Smith.
- Francis, Peter (2013). Shropshire War Memorials, Sites of Remembrance. YouCaxton Publications. pp. 194–195. ISBN 978-1-909644-11-3.
- Trevena, Arthur (1980). Trains in Trouble. Vol. 1. Redruth: Atlantic Books. p. 24. ISBN 0-906899-01-X.
- Shropshire War Memorials, Sites of Remembrance. p. 194.
- Rowden, Nathan. "Trains cancelled and delayed after Shrewsbury Railway Station blaze drama - with pictures and video". www.shropshirestar.com. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
- Shrewsbury station facilities National Rail Enquiries
- GB eNRT May 2017 Edition, Tables 75 & 131
- GB eNRT May 2017 Edition, Table 76
- GB eNRT May 2017 Edition, Table 131
- Table 129 National Rail timetable, May 2017
- "'Major' rail changes in timetable overhaul". BBC News. 19 May 2019. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
- O'Brien, Lisa (13 March 2019). "New timetable includes later rail services between Shropshire and West Midlands". The Shropshire Star. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
- GB eNRT May 2019 Edition, Table 74 (Network Rail)
- BBC News, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-29313965
- GB eNRT May 2017 Edition, Table 65
- "Signal boxes removed and updated". BBC News. 1 October 2006.
- Shrewsbury – Crewe Modular Re-Signalling Pilot Network Rail Consulting Projects site; Retrieved 3 August 2017
- "ncg12007west409v1 crewe bank - closure of signal box" (PDF). Network Rail.
- "Adrian the Rock - Signals at Severn Bridge Junction". Roscalen.com. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
- "Estimates of station usage" (XLS). Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
- Shrewsbury Place Plan 2011-2012 Archived 31 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (2009). Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury. Middleton Press. figs. 111-120. ISBN 9781906008444. OCLC 286385795.
- Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (2007). Kidderminster to Shrewsbury. Middleton Press. figs. 112-120. ISBN 9781906008109. OCLC 154801530.
- Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (2008). Shrewsbury to Ludlow. Middleton Press. figs. 1-12. ISBN 9781906008215. OCLC 520487698.
- Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (2010). Shrewsbury to Chester. Middleton Press. figs. 1-12. ISBN 9781906008703. OCLC 495274299.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shrewsbury railway station.|
- Train times and station information for Shrewsbury railway station from National Rail
- Signalling around Shrewsbury station
- Shrewsbury station on navigable 1946 O.S. map
- Grade II listing entry