- Railways of Shropshire
The English county of
Shropshirehas a fairly large railway network, with 19 National Railstations on various national lines, as well as a small number of heritage and freight lines, including the famous heritage Severn Valley Railwayrunning along its eastern border with Worcestershire.
The majority of the county's public rail services are run by
Arriva Trains Wales, the remainder are run by London Midland. There is also a direct service to London Marylebone, provided by new company Wrexham & Shropshire, which commenced on April 28, 2008.
National Rail services
National Rail services in Shropshire are centred about Shrewsbury station (all other stations in Shropshire have a direct train service to Shrewsbury, which is the
county town), which is managed by Arriva Trains Wales. The station is at the junction of the Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury Line, Shrewsbury to Chester Line, the Welsh Marches Line(between Cardiff and Manchester) and the Cambrian Line(towards Welshpool). Craven Arms station is at the junction between the Welsh Marches Lineand the Heart of Wales Line, although services on the Heart of Wales Line begin at Shrewsbury, rather than Craven Arms itself. There are direct train services from Shrewsbury (and elsewhere in the county) to the cities of Manchester, Birminghamand Cardiff, as well as the port at Holyhead.
There are no electrified railways in the county (unless you count the funicular
Bridgnorth Cliff Railway), despite the surrounding railway nodes of Crewe, Chester and Wolverhampton all being electrified. This has meant that since the mid-1990s rail privatisation there has been a reluctance to establish a direct service to London by the cross-country railway companies (previously British Railran direct trains from Shrewsbury to London), notably Virgin Trains, who previously ran services to London from the county in 2000. Direct rail services to the capital are now being operated by Wrexham and Shropshire, an open-access operator.
Freight only lines
There are two freight only lines in operation in the
Telfordarea. One is the line from Madeley Junctionon the Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton Line to Ironbridge Power Stationvia the historic industrial area of Coalbrookdale. The other is the newly restored line from Wellington to Donnington which links the Telford Railfreight Terminal at Donnington with the Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton Line.
The Gobowen to Blodwell line, which runs through
Oswestry, has been a mothballed line since the 1980s. It previously served a small number of stone quarries in the area. In 2008 the line was bought by the County Council and will likely be used in part by the Cambrian Heritage Railways being set up in the area (by the Cambrian Railways Trust and Society, see Heritage section below) and also as a cycle path from Oswestry to Gobowen.
There are many closed lines in Shropshire, including the
Minsterley branch line, the Bishop's Castle Railway, the Stafford to Newport line and the Snailbeach light railway. Many were closed in the 1960s, although the county did not fare too badly under Dr Beeching's massive nationwide railway cuts. However, some previously major railway centres, such as Oswestry and Market Drayton, now have no public railways.
There are three
heritage railways in Shropshire: the Severn Valley Railwayfrom Bridgnorthto Kidderminster(in Worcestershire), the Telford Steam Railwayat Horsehay, and a restored section of the Cambrian Railways, as being run by the Cambrian Railways Trustbetween Llynclysand Pant. The Telford Steam Railway and the Cambrian Railways Trust's line are both expanding at the present.
Cambrian Railway Society, based in Oswestry, plans to restore part of the Potteries, Shrewsbury & North Wales Railwayat Nantmawrfor use as a heritage railway. The Society currently have an operating base in Oswestry, by the side of the Gobowen to Blodwell line, with a small collection of locos and rolling stock. There are also some moves underway to recreate a narrow gauge tourist line on part of the former Snailbeach District Railways.
As well as the heritage only lines, the national lines of Shropshire witness a regular number of special charter trains with heritage diesel and steam locomotives and historic carriage stock in operation.
Shropshire's current railway network has three tunnels in use -
Oakengates Tunneland the short Ludlow Tunnelon the national network along with the very short Knowlesands Tunnel on the Severn Valley Railway. There is also a further tunnel on the Telford Steam Railway which will bring the total in use to four when they complete their northern extension to Lawley.
Here are listed in alphabetical order the 19 'national rail' stations in the county.
Albrighton railway station- Bridgnorth
Broome railway station- Broome ‡
Bucknell railway station- Bucknell ‡
Church Stretton railway station- Church Stretton
Cosford railway station- Cosford(alight here for RAF Cosford)
Craven Arms railway station- Craven Arms(change here for the Heart of Wales Line)
Gobowen railway station- Gobowen(for Oswestry- bus service to Oswestry)
Hopton Heath railway station- Hopton Heath1 ‡
Knighton railway station- Knighton2
Ludlow railway station- Ludlow
Oakengates railway station- Oakengates
Prees railway station- Prees ‡
Shifnal railway station- Shifnal
Shrewsbury railway station- Shrewsbury
Telford Central railway station- Telford Central
Wellington (Shropshire) railway station- Wellington
Wem railway station- Wem
Whitchurch (Shropshire) railway station- Whitchurch
Yorton railway station- Yorton ‡
1 Sometimes written as "Hoptonheath".
2 Although the town of Knighton is in
Powys, Wales, the railway station is in Shropshire, England.
‡ Request stop
Rail transport in Great Britain
History of rail transport in Great Britain
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