Shrewsbury railway station

Shrewsbury railway station

Infobox UK station
name = Shrewsbury

manager = Arriva Trains Wales
locale = Shrewsbury
borough = Shrewsbury and Atcham
code = SHR
years = 1848
events = Opened
platforms = 5
usage0405 = 1.295
usage0506 = 1.317
usage0607 = 1.343
other_name = Welsh: Amwythig

Shrewsbury railway station (formerly known as Shrewsbury General) is a railway station serving the county town of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. It is the only remaining railway station in the town; Shrewsbury Abbey, as well as other small stations around the town, having long closed. The station was built in 1848 and has been extended several times since. The station is convert|69|km|abbr=on north west of Birmingham New Street and serves as the rail 'Gateway to Wales' as many trains coming from the Midlands, the South-east and the North have to go through the station to reach Mid and North Wales.

Shrewsbury station is the busiest station in the county of Shropshire and sixth busiest in the West Midlands region. [ [ Website] ]


Shrewsbury railway station was originally built in October 1848 for the county's first railway - the Shrewsbury to Chester Line. The architect was T. M. Penson. The building is unusual, in that the station was later extended in 1901 by the construction of a new floor "underneath" the original station building. 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). [cite book
author = Denton, John Horsley
title = Shrewsbury Railway Station: a brief history
publisher = J.H. Denton & T. Smith
location = Welshpool
date = 1986

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.

As of June 2008, the station is operated by Arriva Trains Wales as one of their key network hubs. It has five platforms, numbered 3 to 7 (1 and 2 have no track), with a public ticket office, public enquiry office, British Transport Police offices, a platform café (between platforms 4 and 7) and offices for some of the railway companies that use the station. Platform 3 is little used, because of its remoteness from the other platforms, which together form a single island. Platform 3 is however used to increase capacity and following signalling improvements can now accommodate trains arriving from or departing to the Hereford/Machynlleth line. Platforms 4 and 7 are through platforms, usually used for trains between Holyhead (via Chester) and Cardiff Central and between Manchester Piccadilly (via Crewe) and Cardiff, Carmarthen, and Milford Haven and also for trains between Chester and Birmingham New Street. Platforms 5 and 6 are bay platforms, used mainly for trains to and from Aberystwyth and Birmingham (via Wolverhampton and Telford). The platforms are connected by a pedestrian subway running underneath the station.

Train operating companies

The station is currently served by Arriva Trains Wales (who operate trains to South Wales, Aberystwyth, Pwllheli, Chester and Holyhead, Manchester Piccadilly and fast trains to Birmingham New Street) and London Midland (who operate an hourly slow service from Shrewsbury to Birmingham New Street). Shrewsbury is also served by an open access operator, Wrexham & Shropshire. The new operator has restored a direct service between Shrewsbury and London that was last run by Virgin Trains in 2001, though the new service terminates at London Marylebone, making this the fourth London terminus (after Paddington, Euston and (briefly) Waterloo) to have served Shrewsbury.


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 Britain, 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 - [ BBC News] . 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, Sutton Bridge Junction [] where the Aberystwyth line diverges from the Hereford line, Crewe Bank [] (now to be closed [] on 4/4/2009) just beyond the station towards Crewe, and Harlescott Crossing [] , slightly further on towards Crewe.

tation usage

According to the Office of Rail Regulation statistics for the 2006/07 financial year, 674,827 people joined the railway system at Shrewsbury station, and 667,982 left it there (based on tickets sold at Shrewsbury, and tickets sold to Shrewsbury; with 247,741 passengers interchanging between services. [cite web
title = Station usage - 2006/2007
work = Rail statistics
publisher = Office of Rail Regulation
date =
url =
format = XLS
accessdate = 2008-06-15

Future development

It has been proposed that Shrewsbury should have a Parkway railway station built on the Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury Line, east of the town at either Preston or Emstrey, adjacent to the A5 road. This new station would act as a fourth Park & Ride site to simultaneously serve shoppers and commuters from Telford and the West Midlands as well as provide parking for commuters on their way from the county town to the West Midlands and beyond. 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. Another proposed station is at Harlescott in the north of the town - a recent masterplan drawn up for the area includes the potential provision of a halt near to Harlescott Crossing. One local councillor has mooted the idea of reinstating the Severn Valley Line from Bridgnorth, via Ironbridge, to the southern outskirts of the town. However, a connection to the railway station following the original route would now be prohibitively expensive due to a new housing estate having been built over the line just south of Sutton Bridge Junction.


External links

* [ Signalling around Shrewsbury station]


Notes and references

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