Arley

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Arley station building
Running in board, down platform.
Next stations
UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) (towards Kidderminster) DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) (towards Bridgnorth)
Bewdley (3¾ miles)
via Northwood Halt
Highley (2¼ miles)

The Station

Arley station has two platforms and a signal box, allowing trains travelling in opposite directions to pass.

Barrow crossings are located at both ends of the platforms, but may not be used by the general public. Bridge 17 is located at the south end of the station, immediately south of the barrow crossing, and is the main passenger route between the platforms. Skeet's Farm crossing is also located in the station area, immediately north of the goods yard.

During periods of lighter traffic, when Arley signal box is switched out, all trains use the platform adjacent to the main station building.

In February 2017 the waiting room at Arley Station became licensed to hold civil marriages and partnerships, with space for up to 21 people. Further information on packages for dates in 2018 onwards may be found on the SVR website Wedding Day Packages page

The village itself is named Upper Arley (also historically Over Arley[1][2]), which differentiates it from the similarly named, but differently spelled Areley Kings less than six miles away near Stourport.

Photos at Arley, showing station building, signalbox & gardens

Facilities

Arley station does not have a public car park. There is a small cafe building behind the station which serves hot and cold drinks and snacks.

Points of Interest

Station buildings

The main station building at Arley dates from the opening of the Severn Valley Railway in 1862. Extensions were later added, consisting of a Ladies waiting room authorised in 1892 and an additional bedroom in the Station Master’s house added in 1901.

The shelter on Platform 2 is also original, dating from the opening of that platform in 1883.

The café building behind the station was built during the summer of 1992 on the site of the former weighbridge.

In 2016, a number of stone sills, coping stones and quoins were replaced.

Restoration

When the SVRSevern Valley Railway first re-opened the line between Hampton Loade and Bewdley in 1974, there was no facility to pass trains, the UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) loop (the running line nearer the station building) having been removed by BRBritish Rail or British Railways in the 1960s. This was re-laid over the next year and re-opened on 25 May 1975.

Telephone Kiosk

The telephone kiosk on Platform 1, which can be seen in the main picture above, was acquired from the P.O. in Birmingham circa late 1981, having been vandalised ‘beyond economic repair’[3]. Once at Arley it was duly repaired, and within a year had been returned to full working order[4].

Anderson Shelter

An Anderson Shelter was erected in the picnic garden in 2018, where it could be seen during that year’s ‘Step Back to the 1940s’ weekends. More than 3.5 million of these shelters were issued to the public before and during World War II to provide shelter from bombs and shrapnel. This particular example was originally installed at a house in Weoley Castle, Birmingham, and was donated to the SVRSevern Valley Railway by Lisa Priest of Birmingham City Council and Mrs Dorothy Sigures of Weoley Castle.[5][6]

Arley history before preservation

  • 1862: Arley station opened with the rest of the Severn Valley Line on 1 February, but had only one platform and no facility for crossing trains. Control of train movements was by single needle telegraph only
  • 1883: A second platform was brought into use in June 1883. Installation of a signal box and interlocking of points and signals were completed around this time.
  • 1891: ‘Train staff and ticket’ working in conjunction with a single-needle block telegraph was introduced throughout the line, replacing the earlier simple telegraph working arrangements. Henceforth drivers could not enter a section without possession of a physical staff, or a paper ticket stating the staff would follow on a succeeding train. Those used at Arley were for Arley to Bewdley North (hexagonal staff, yellow ticket) and Arley to Hampton Loade (square staff, red ticket).
  • 1894: ‘Electric staff’ working replaced staff and ticket working. Highley also became a staff station, breaking the long section to Hampton Loade.
  • 1898: An accident occurred when a train overran signals when entering the station and was derailed.
  • 1907: The platforms were lengthened and the up platform widened.
  • 1913: Following the building of a signal box at Kinlet and Billingsley Sidings, Arley to Kinlet (when switched in) was worked by electric staff but Arley to Highley was worked by electric tablet, probably Tyers No 7.
  • 1938: A GWRGreat Western Railway camping coach was based at Arley.
  • 1950: By this date, Electric Train Token working had been introduced, becoming the fifth method of train control.
  • 1963: Through passenger services ceased on 9 September, with through freight services ending at the end of November.
  • 1964: The signal box closed on 28th June. The up line and sidings were lifted, and the edge of the down platform was removed to give greater clearance for coal trains from Alveley. The original signal box was later demolished.
GWR Traffic statistics for Arley, selected years prior to 1939[7]
Passenger Traffic Freight Traffic
Year Tickets issued Parcels despatched Revenue (£) Tons received & despatched Revenue (£) Total revenue (£)
1903 17,295 2,453 914 881 178 1,092
1913 15,796 3,219 761 1,399 301 1,062
1923 12,898 1,341 862 1,828 996 1,858
1933 8,663 997 477 54 47 524
1938 11,623 926 526 44 24 550

Historic maps of Arley Station

  • GWRGreat Western Railway plan of Arley station showing the original single line with later amendments in red
  • 1885 map (survey date 1883) showing the single line through the station
  • 1904 map showing the passing loop and second platform opened in June 1883
  • 1927 map showing the 1907 extensions to both platforms
  • 1960 map showing no significant changes in over 30 years

Gallery

See also

List of stations

References

  1. Handbook to the Severn Valley Railway, by J. Randall 1863
  2. 1579 map of Shropshire on the Shropshire Star web site
  3. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 62
  4. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 66
  5. Information board next to the shelter
  6. Anderson shelter on Wikipedia
  7. Nabarro (1971) p. 54.

Links