Wolverhampton–Shrewsbury line

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Wolverhampton–Shrewsbury line
Locale Shropshire
Shrewsbury and Atcham
West Midlands (region)
Telford and Wrekin
Owner Network Rail
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury Line
Chester line
Welsh Marches line
Welsh Marches line
Abbey Foregate
Wellington to
Craven Arms Railway
Upton Magna
Power Station
Severn Valley Railway
Nantwich and
Market Drayton Railway
Green Bank Halt
Lightmoor Platform
Stafford to
Shrewsbury line
Wellington to
Craven Arms Railway
New Hadley Halt
Coalport branch line
Telford Central
Stafford Road
branch line
Stafford line
Dunstall Park
Victoria Basin
(High Level)
Low Level
Midland Railway
Stafford line
goods depot
Oxford, Worcester &
Wolverhampton and
Walsall Railway
Wolverhampton Line
Walsall to
Wolverhampton Line

The Wolverhampton–Shrewsbury line is the railway line from Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury via Wellington; it was originally built by the Shrewsbury and Birmingham Railway. The line is double track throughout, with rarely used relief sidings at Cosford and 4 tracks through Wellington station.

Electrification from Stafford Road Junction to Oxley, is provided solely to enable electric stock to access Alstom's Oxley TRSMD, and is therefore constructed as a "trolley wire" suitable for low speeds only.[1]

Signalling was centred in the panel box at Madeley Junction until 2012[2], but following the closure of the box there the West Midlands Signalling Centre at Saltley has taken control of most of the route via its Oxley/Telford Workstation (previously Oxley signal box controlled the depot access and sidings until it closed on Saturday 27 November 2010 under the West Midlands Resignalling scheme). Towards Shrewsbury, Abbey Foregate signal box takes over for the last few miles beyond Wellington.


The towns and villages served by the route are listed below, East to West.

Passenger services[edit]

Cosford loops with a measurement train waiting a path


Arriva Trains Wales, London Midland and Virgin Trains operate passenger trains on this line. Westbound, some trains go beyond Shrewsbury to Chester, Holyhead, Aberystwyth and Wrexham General while eastbound, services continue beyond Wolverhampton to Birmingham New Street and/or Birmingham International.[3]

As of December 2014, Virgin Trains run two daily services between Shrewsbury and London Euston.[4]


There are no London Midland services in operation on this line on Sundays. Virgin Trains services only operate one of their direct trains in each direction on Sundays. Arriva Trains Wales services operate as normal with infrequent additional stopping services in lieu of the London Midland services.


From December 2017, West Midlands Trains take over the franchise which covers trains stopping at all stations (the local service) between Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury. As of December 2018, these trains will run half-hourly instead of the present hourly service.[5]


Telford Railfreight Depot

The Coalbrookdale line, which serves Ironbridge Power Station to the south of Telford near Ironbridge, joins the Wolverhampton–Shrewsbury line at Madeley Junction, which is between Telford Central and Shifnal stations.[6] Coal trains run by EWS up to 2012 and by Fastline up to 2010[7] used the route, supplying the power station. Between 2012 and 2015, the power station was converted to run on biomass which was supplied mostly via Liverpool Docks by GBRf trains until closure of the plant in November 2015.[8]

In 2008 the former Wellington to Stafford line was rebuilt as far as Donnington, for freight use. Telford International Railfreight Park is located at a 48 acres (0.19 km2) site just off the Hortonwood Roundabout near Donnington which opened in 2009. The reopened line is single track and runs for 2 miles 68 chains (4.6 km) from the junction with the Wolverhampton–Shrewsbury line at Wellington ( 0.25 miles (0.40 km) east of Wellington station). Currently the only rail business to and from the site is Ministry of Defence traffic[9] which runs down from Warrington so only uses a brief portion of the line between Shrewsbury and Wellington.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Slater, J N, ed. (January 1972). "Trolley wire for sidings". The Railway Magazine. Vol. 118 no. 849. London: Transport Press. p. 42. ISSN 0033-8923. 
  2. ^ "Madeley Junction" The Signal Box discussion forum; Retrieved 3 August 2017
  3. ^ GB eNRT May 2017 Edition, Table 74 & 75
  4. ^ BBC News, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-29313965
  5. ^ "Near £1 billion investment to bring new trains, extra seats and more frequent services | West Midlands Rail". www.westmidlandsrail.com. Retrieved 24 September 2017. 
  6. ^ Bridge, Mike (2013). Railway Track Diagrams – Midland and North West. Bradford-on-Avon: Trackmaps. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-9549866-7-4. 
  7. ^ Buck, Martin (2010). Loco Review 2011. Swindon: Freightmaster Publishing. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-9558275-4-9. 
  8. ^ Shannon, Paul (20 January 2016). "Feeding the nations power stations". Rail Magazine. No. 792. p. 49. 
  9. ^ Shannon, Paul (December 2013). "On government business". Railways Illustrated. 11 (12): 84. ISSN 1479-2230. 
  10. ^ Rawlinson, Mark (November 2015). "Freighmaster 80". Freightmaster (80): 75. OCLC 904391334. 

External links[edit]