Difference between revisions of "Eardington"

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== The Eardington Explorer ==
 
== The Eardington Explorer ==
On 17 April  2015, the [[The 82045 Steam Locomotive Trust|82045 Steam Locomotive Trust]] ran a special fundraising train, the [[The Eardington Explorer|Eardington Explorer]]<ref>[https://forum.svr-online.org.uk/viewtopic.php?t=3298 SVR-Online forum]</ref>. This ran between Bridgnorth and Hampton Loade, calling specially at Eardington. This was the first time that a stop had been timetabled at Eardington for several years.  The Fund ran a second 'Eardington Explorer' on 22 April 2016.
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On 17 April  2015, the [[The 82045 Steam Locomotive Trust|82045 Steam Locomotive Trust]] ran a special fundraising train, the [[The Eardington Explorer|Eardington Explorer]]<ref name=SVROnlineForum>[https://forum.svr-online.org.uk/viewtopic.php?t=3298 SVR Online Forum]</ref>. This ran between Bridgnorth and Hampton Loade, calling specially at Eardington. This was the first time that a stop had been timetabled at Eardington for several years.  The Fund ran a second 'Eardington Explorer' on 22 April 2016.
  
 
==Points of Interest==
 
==Points of Interest==
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At opening in 1970, the timetable allowed a 5 minute stop southbound at Eardington for locomotive watering; passengers frequently took the opportunity to photograph the locomotive or buy pop and sweets which were sold at the station.  Once watering facilities were installed at Bridgnorth, this was reduced to one minute, effectively ending this practice.
 
At opening in 1970, the timetable allowed a 5 minute stop southbound at Eardington for locomotive watering; passengers frequently took the opportunity to photograph the locomotive or buy pop and sweets which were sold at the station.  Once watering facilities were installed at Bridgnorth, this was reduced to one minute, effectively ending this practice.
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===Lamps===
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The 'Friends' have developed a collection of vintage [http://tilleylamp.co.uk/ Tilley lamps] with a railway provenance, to light the station after dark when open for galas and special occasions.<ref name="SVROnlineForum"/>
  
 
== Gallery ==
 
== Gallery ==

Latest revision as of 20:55, 9 August 2019

Eardington Halt (Wikimedia Commons)
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)
Hampton Loade (2¼ miles)
Bridgnorth (2¼ miles)

Eardington is a disused station, situated on Eardington Bank and located mid-way between Bridgnorth and Hampton Loade at milepost 147¾. Although the station does not currently feature in daily operations a dedicated 'Friends of Eardington Station' team lead by Steve Downs looks after and maintains this wayside gem.

Eardington history before preservation

  • 1864: A siding connection to Lower Forge was proposed but never built. Upper Forge and Lower Forge were two local ironworks, located respectively west and east of the line and joined by a 750 yard long navigable canal tunnel.[1].
  • 1868: Eardington Station opened on 1 June 1868, some six years after the opening of the Severn Valley Railway[2].
  • 1893: The station platform was extended[1].
  • 1899: The ironworks closed[1].
  • 1931: The station lost its station master, coming under the control of Highley.[3]
  • 1949: BRBritish Rail or British Railways reduced the station to unstaffed status after 1 April 1949.[2].
  • 1952: The first noted instance of the station being referred to as "Eardington Halt" in a BRBritish Rail or British Railways timetable.[3]
  • 1959: The goods loop was reduced to a siding, accessed from the south end only[2]. The station was still called "Eardington" in the 1959 BR Working Timetable.
  • 1963: The station closed when passenger traffic ceased on 9 September 1963[2].
  • 1964: The former goods loop siding was completely removed[2].


GWR Traffic statistics for Eardington, selected years prior to 1939[4]
Passenger Traffic Freight Traffic
Year Tickets issued Parcels despatched Revenue (£) Tons received & despatched Revenue (£) Total revenue (£)
1903 5,944 778 290 1,493 609 899
1913 6,690 961 311 1,704 464 775
1923 5,267 2,259 389 2,355 1,275 1,664
1933 3,361 438 150 604 217 367
1938 2,075 277 90 1,434 273 303

Historic maps of Eardington Station

  • Original GWRGreat Western Railway plan of the station.
  • 1884 map showing the position of the station in relation to the river and iron works. Unfortunately, the station lies across the join between two maps and the track detail is not very clear.
  • 1903 map on which the loop and headshunt can be seen more clearly. By this date, the iron works was disused.

Eardington in preservation

In the earliest days of the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society, when Bridgnorth and Hampton Loade formed the limit of operations, Eardington was used as an intermediate stopping point and watering place and was sometimes referred to as Eardington Halt.

During the period of Sir Gerald Nabarro's chairmanship it was closed in connection with the possible rebuilding of Eardington as the northern terminus on the line. It later re-opened in March 1981, but last appeared in the timetable as a request stop in 1982,[1] after which it was removed from regular use due to the steep gradient, short platform, and low passenger numbers[5].

It has since been cosmetically restored by the Friends and is occasionally opened to visitors on gala days. On 2-3 June 2018 it staged "Eardington 150" to mark its 150th birthday. The station was open to the public on both days with various special attractions (trains did not stop). The event coincided with the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society's Goods Gala.[6]

The platform

The southern end of the platform was cut back after it collapsed. The Friends held a fundraising appeal in 2014 to replace the missing part;[7] it was reported on 27 October 2016 that sufficient funds had been raised to purchase the required replacement GWRGreat Western Railway bricks.[8]

A project commenced during the January 2018 winter shutdown involving the partial rebuilding of the platform face.[9] Some 8000 engineering bricks recovered from the London – Bristol mainline and donated by Kier Construction have been used. These have been cleaned up by the Friends of Eardington Station over a period of time and provide a genuine connection to the GWRGreat Western Railway. The rebuild was undertaken by JSR Construction who are based less than a mile away from the station, thus keeping the work local.[10][11] Work was completed on 31 January 2019, giving the station a full length working platform of 300' - roughly 5 coaches - for the first time since 1984. The £41,000 project was aided by donations from the Charitable Trust and the Guarantee Company of £6,500 each, with the remainder being raised by the Friends. The project was completed on time and on budget. [12][13] The rebuilding of the platform improves greatly the appearance of the station and allows consideration to its possible use on gala events at some point in the future.

Proposed reopening

In November 2018, FCFM Group, the owners of nearby Astbury Hall, submitted plans to Shropshire Council for development of the hall and grounds as a 'holiday venue'. The Design Statement states "The applicant has agreed to assist in financing of the reopening of Eardington Station and to take a direct link between Astbury Estate and the Severn Valley Railway."[14][15] This would see around 300 high quality log cabins at the site adjacent to Eardington Station. FCFM submitted to the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society an outline proposal for investment such that trains could call regularly providing a link to the new development. The parties agreed to explore how public access could be provided from the estate to the station and what could be achieved while ensuring the character and feel of the station are not undermined.[16]

In February 2019, the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society submitted a 'Support Comment' in favour of the development to Shropshire Council.[17] In March 2019 the Shropshire Star reported that that plans had been approved.[18]

Eardington siding

A dead-end siding is accessed by a two-lever ground frame at the south end. This is released by the Highley-Bridgnorth long section token, and was commissioned in 1976[19]. The siding had been removed by BRBritish Rail or British Railways in 1964 after closure of the line, but was reinstated in the early days of the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society. In 1973 under Sir Gerald Nabarro's chairmanship, the siding was converted by contractors to a run-round loop at the then not insignificant cost of £8,000. This was seen as part of the plan to abandon Bridgnorth, which led to much unrest on the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society at the time. In fact the connection at the north end would have been too tight for most locomotives, and was soon removed[20].

The siding is regularly used for storing Permanent Way rolling stock.

The Eardington Explorer

On 17 April 2015, the 82045 Steam Locomotive Trust ran a special fundraising train, the Eardington Explorer[21]. This ran between Bridgnorth and Hampton Loade, calling specially at Eardington. This was the first time that a stop had been timetabled at Eardington for several years. The Fund ran a second 'Eardington Explorer' on 22 April 2016.

Points of Interest

Locomotive watering facility

The water tank at Eardington was acquired by the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society Society from Withymoor, Netherton (near Dudley) in the summer of 1967, and installed in time for the 1968 Steam Gala. The decision to install the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society’s first proper watering facility at Eardington rather than Bridgnorth was due to Eardington having naturally soft water compared with very hard water at Bridgnorth.

At opening in 1970, the timetable allowed a 5 minute stop southbound at Eardington for locomotive watering; passengers frequently took the opportunity to photograph the locomotive or buy pop and sweets which were sold at the station. Once watering facilities were installed at Bridgnorth, this was reduced to one minute, effectively ending this practice.

Lamps

The 'Friends' have developed a collection of vintage Tilley lamps with a railway provenance, to light the station after dark when open for galas and special occasions.[21]

Gallery

See also

References

  1. 1.01.11.21.3 The Severn Valley Railway, John Marshall (1989) p103
  2. 2.02.12.22.32.4 SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society Souvenir Guide, Ninth Edition
  3. 3.03.1 SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 201 'Eardington News' (Steve Downs)
  4. Nabarro (1971) p. 55.
  5. Wikipedia
  6. SVR's PR on Shropshire Live website 4 June 2018 (Retrieved 24 June 2018)
  7. SVRA Working Members Newsletter November 2014
  8. Eardington Station Twitter Feed, retrieved 1 November 2016
  9. 'Platform' magazine, 2018 Issue 4, p.5
  10. SVRLive 'Eardington Station' 13 January 2018
  11. 'SVRLive Winter Works 2018' 16 January 2018
  12. SVR Live February 2019
  13. Smith, R., 'Severn Valley Railway volunteers proud to unveil new platform', Shropshire Star, 1 March 2019 (Retrieved 3 March 2019)
  14. Article on the proposed reopening in the Shropshire Star
  15. Planning application for Astbury Hall on Shropshire Council web site
  16. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society announcement 7 December 2018
  17. SVR Support Comment on Shropshire Council web site
  18. Astbury Hall: Plans backed to transform former KK Downing estate into luxury leisure resort Shropshire Star (retrieved 25 May 2019)
  19. Severn Valley Railway S&T Department (unofficial) website.
  20. Marshall, p180.
  21. 21.021.1 SVR Online Forum

Links