- Castle Cary railway station
Infobox UK station
name = Castle Cary
code = CLC
caption = The station viewed from the footbridge. All three platforms can be seen, with platform 1 to the right. The Weymouth line diverges to the left beyond the station.
First Great Western
South Somerset, Somerset
usage0405 = 0.183
usage0506 = 0.194
usage0607 = 0.171
platforms = 3
1 September 1856
Castle Cary railway station serves a largely rural area of the county of
Somersetin England. The station is situated approximately 1 mile north of the town of Castle Cary, and 5 miles south of Shepton Mallet.
The station is on the London to Penzance line some 186 km (115¼ miles) south west of London Paddington and also on the Bristol to Weymouth line some 77 km (47¾ miles) south of Bristol Temple Meads. The two routes share tracks between Westbury and Castle Cary stations, and are both operated by the
First Great Western train operating company, which also manages the station.
The station has three platforms. The main station building and ticket office are located on the London bound platform 1. In front of the building is a car park for 100 cars, a bus stop and a taxi rank. Platform 2 serves west bound services, whilst the shorter platform 3 can only be used by trains on the Bristol to Weymouth line. Immediately to the west of the station the Weymouth line diverges from the London to Penzance Line.cite news | first = Andy | last = Coward | title = Castle Cary rocks | work = Rail | publisher = emap active | pages = 50-53 | date = 2008-01-30]
Castle Cary station is the closest station to the site of the annual
Glastonbury Festival, which is held near Pilton about 8 miles away. During the period of the festival additional trains are provided, and special buses are run from the station to the festival site.cite news | first = Andy | last = Coward | title = Castle Cary rocks | work = Rail | publisher = emap active | pages = 50-53 | date = 2008-01-30]
The station was awarded the "Small Station of the Year" award in the National Rail Awards 2007.cite news | first = Andy | last = Coward | title = Castle Cary rocks | work = Rail | publisher = emap active | pages = 50-53 | date = 2008-01-30]
The service on the London to Penzance line runs approximately evey two hours, with 8 trains in each direction, although not all trains run as far as Penzance. The service on the Bristol to Weymouth line runs on a similar frequency, again with 8 trains in each direction.cite news | first = Andy | last = Coward | title = Castle Cary rocks | work = Rail | publisher = emap active | pages = 50-53 | date = 2008-01-30]
Castle Cary station was originally on the
Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway, a railway that linked the Great Western Railway(GWR) at Chippenham with Weymouth. The line was authorised in 1845, was acquired by the GWR in 1850, reached Castle Cary in 1856, and was completed throughout in 1857. This line forms the backbone of today's Bristol to Penzance line.
For the remainder of the 19th century, the GWR's principal route from
Londonto Exeter, Plymouthand Penzancewas an indirect one via Bristol(the so-called "Great Way Round"). However in 1895 the GWR directors announced that new lines were to be constructed to enable trains to reach Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance in a shorter time. The first stages involved improvements to the Berks and Hants Extension Railway and the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Line which reduced the distance from London to Castle Cary by 14¼ miles and provided double track throughout.cite book |last = MacDermot |first = E T |title = History of the Great Western Railway, volume II 1863-1921 |publisher = Great Western Railway|date = 1931 |location = London]
This was followed by the construction of the
Castle Cary Cut-Off, which was opened from Castle Cary to the existing Bristol to Exeter line at Cogload Junctionin 1906. This transformed Castle Cary from a station on a secondary north to south line, to one on a main east to west route. The route resulting from these improvements and extensions forms the current London to Penzance line.cite book |last = MacDermot |first = E T |title = History of the Great Western Railway, volume II 1863-1921 |publisher = Great Western Railway|date = 1931 |location = London]
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