Shrewsbury railway station

Coordinates: 52°42′43″N 2°45′00″W / 52.712°N 2.75°W / 52.712; -2.75
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National Rail
Shrewsbury station frontage
General information
LocationShrewsbury, Shropshire
Grid referenceSJ494129
Managed byTransport for Wales
Line(s)Welsh Marches
Platforms5 (numbered 3-7)
Other information
Station codeSHR
ClassificationDfT category C1
Key dates
2018/19Increase 2.226 million
 Interchange  Steady 0.234 million
2019/20Decrease 2.221 million
 Interchange  Decrease 0.201 million
2020/21Decrease 0.550 million
 Interchange  Decrease 27,369
2021/22Increase 1.582 million
 Interchange Increase 0.116 million
2022/23Increase 1.848 million
 Interchange Increase 0.194 million
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Shrewsbury railway station serves the town of Shrewsbury, in Shropshire, England. Built in 1848, it was designated a grade II listed building in 1969.

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, and it is a key hub for its operator, Transport for Wales; services are also provided by Avanti West Coast and West Midlands Railway.


Station south end in 1962
Stopping train at Shrewsbury station in 1965

The station was formerly known as Shrewsbury General and is the only remaining railway station in the town; others, including Shrewsbury Abbey, have long since closed.

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[1] and the contractor was Thomas Brassey.[2] 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.[1] 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 and uphill from the station. 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).[3]

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.

The station was given Grade II listed status in May 1969;[1] this applies to the main building on Castle Foregate, adjacent to platform 3.

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 3 in 2004.[4]


Some shots of Shrewsbury station and the signal box in 2010.

Severn Bridge Junction signal box, at the south east 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.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8]

Platforms and facilities[edit]

railway station

There are five platforms in use, numbered 3 to 7 (platforms 1 and 2 have been disused since the 1980s and have no track; around 2019 platform 2 was dismantled). Of these, platforms 4 to 7 are grouped on a main island, while platforms 1 to 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. A Starbucks, toilets, and vending machines selling snacks and drinks are sited between platforms 4 and 7.[9]

Ticket gates are in operation at the entrance to platforms 4 to 7, with the nearby ticket office staffed throughout the week. Self-service ticket machines are also available for buying tickets or collecting tickets for pre-booked journeys.[9]

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 HM Prison Shrewsbury.[citation needed] (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 a few times each year between 1868 up until just before the First World War.[citation needed]


Railway lines in Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury–Chester line
Welsh Marches line
towards Crewe
Wolverhampton–Shrewsbury line
Cambrian Line
Welsh Marches line
towards Hereford

Transport for Wales[edit]

All of the services above are operated by Class 150s, Class 153s, Class 158s or Class 197s, except the Premier Service which is operated by a Class 67 and Mark 4 coaching stock.

West Midlands Railway[edit]

Avanti West Coast[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Wellington   Avanti West Coast
London Euston – Shrewsbury
Terminus   Transport for Wales
Shrewsbury–Chester line
Church Stretton   Transport for Wales
Welsh Marches line
  Transport for Wales
South – North Wales
  Transport for Wales
Heart of Wales line
Newport   Transport for Wales
Premier Service
  Wrexham General
Wellington   Transport for Wales
Cambrian Line
  Welshpool or
  Transport for Wales
Birmingham – Chester
Wellington   West Midlands Railway
Birmingham – Wolverhampton – Shrewsbury
  Historical railways  
Terminus   Great Western Railway
Shrewsbury to Chester Line
Line open, station closed
Terminus   London, Midland and Scottish Railway
Crewe and Shrewsbury Railway
Line open, station closed
Terminus   Great Western Railway
Severn Valley Railway
Line and station closed
Terminus   Shrewsbury and Welshpool Railway   Hanwood
Line open, station closed
Terminus   Shrewsbury and Wellington Joint Railway
Shrewsbury and Birmingham Railway
  Abbey Foregate
Line open, station closed

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • 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.[21]
  • On 6 November 2017, an Arriva Trains Wales Class 175 DMU, numbered 175109, caught fire, causing the station to be evacuated for approximately two hours. There were no casualties but significant travel disruption occurred.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "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.
  2. ^ "A Guide, Descriptive and Historical, Through the Town of Shrewsbury". Gutenburg. 1855. Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  3. ^ Denton, John Horsley (1986). Shrewsbury Railway Station: a brief history. Welshpool: J.H. Denton & T. Smith.
  4. ^ Shropshire War Memorials, Sites of Remembrance. p. 194.
  5. ^ "Signal boxes removed and updated". BBC News. 1 October 2006.
  6. ^ Shrewsbury – Crewe Modular Re-Signalling Pilot Network Rail Consulting Projects site; Retrieved 3 August 2017
  7. ^ "ncg12007west409v1 crewe bank - closure of signal box" (PDF). Network Rail.
  8. ^ "Adrian the Rock - Signals at Severn Bridge Junction". Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  9. ^ a b Shrewsbury Station National Rail Enquiries
  10. ^ GB eNRT December 2022 Edition, Tables 75 & 131
  11. ^ GB eNRT December 2022 Edition, Table 75
  12. ^ GB eNRT December 2022 Edition, Table 131
  13. ^ Table 130 National Rail timetable, December 2022
  14. ^ "Train times | Shrewsbury to Birmingham New Street | 10 December 2023 until 1 June 2024". West Midlands Railway.
  15. ^ "'Major' rail changes in timetable overhaul". BBC News. 19 May 2019. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  16. ^ O'Brien, Lisa (13 March 2019). "New timetable includes later rail services between Shropshire and West Midlands". The Shropshire Star. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  17. ^ GB eNRT May 2019 Edition, Table 74 (Network Rail)
  18. ^ "Blackpool and Shrewsbury direct rail services to London approved". BBC News. 22 September 2014.
  19. ^ "Scheduled timetable book for 10 December 2023 to 1 June 2024" (PDF). Avanti West Coast.
  20. ^ Page, Tim (21 February 2024). "Direct rail service to London to end". BBC News. Retrieved 21 February 2024.
  21. ^ Trevena, Arthur (1980). Trains in Trouble. Vol. 1. Redruth: Atlantic Books. p. 24. ISBN 0-906899-01-X.
  22. ^ Rowden, Nathan (6 November 2017). "Trains cancelled and delayed after Shrewsbury Railway Station blaze drama - with pictures and video". Retrieved 8 November 2017.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

52°42′43″N 2°45′00″W / 52.712°N 2.75°W / 52.712; -2.75