Kidderminster Town Station

History

 

 

Gateway to the Severn Valley Railway

 

Great Western Railway

The former Severn Valley Line was fully built by 1862 and provided a link from Hartlebury to Shrewsbury via Stourport-On-Severn, Bewdley, Arley, Highley, Hampton Loade, Bridgnorth, Coalport, Ironbridge, Buildwas, Cressage & Berrington. A distance of about 40 miles. However, at this time, there was no direct link to Kidderminster. And that remained true until 1878, when GWR built a section, known as 'The Loop' that connected Kidderminster Goods Sidings and the Mainline to Bewdley. 

The line peaked in traffic between 1888 and 1920, where the number of passengers started to drop. However, this was mitigated by the construction of the West Midlands Sugar Company (Later known as the British Sugar Corporation) at Foley Park in 1925. 

Preservation

When the preserved Severn Valley Railway reached Bewdley in 1974, the line to Foley Park was also purchased. And, with BR's co-operation, rail tours started running from (& to) the SVR. In the summer, BR often put on DMU's from the mainline station at Kidderminster to Bewdley. When the British Sugar Corporation factory shut down, its sidings fell into disuse. This prompted the purchase of the rest of the modern day line from Foley Park, to Kidderminster as well as the leasing of 3 acres of land where the former Kidderminster Goods Yard was located. As BR wouldn't allow for SVR services to run from the Mainline, a second station had to be built in Kidderminster on the land. This new station, which is a replica of the former Ross-On-Wye Station, was completed in 1984 and received the name of Kidderminster Town Station.  

British Railways

After the Nationalisation of Britain's railways in 1947, The Severn Valley Line went under British Railways. Passenger & freight traffic continued to decline however, which lead to a decision made by BR in 1962 to close the line. Bridgnorth Town Council made an appeal against the decision however, it was unsuccessful. Passenger Services ended on September 9th 1963, with freight services ending in December of the same year. 'The Loop' also closed at the same time, however, British Sugar Corporation traffic from Foley Park continued until 1982, when the factory closed.

 

The Severn Valley Line was put down for closure during the infamous 'Beeching Axe', however, as it was already planned to be closed by BR before this point, it wasn't wholly responsible for the closure.   

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