|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, sometimes referred to as "Eardington Halt", 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.
- 1 Eardington in preservation
- 2 Eardington siding
- 3 Points of Interest
- 4 TV and film
- 5 Eardington history before preservation
- 6 Historic maps of Eardington Station
- 7 Gallery
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Links
Eardington in preservation
In the earliest days of the SVRSevern Valley Railway, 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. As well as installing a run-round loop (see below), detailed plans were also prepared for the station to be enlarged and a car park provided, although this was not publicised at the time.
The station later re-opened in March 1981, but last appeared in the timetable as a request stop in 1982, after which it was removed from regular use due to the steep gradient, short platform, and low passenger numbers.
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 Railway's Goods Gala.
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; it was reported on 27 October 2016 that sufficient funds had been raised to purchase the required replacement GWRGreat Western Railway bricks.
A project commenced during the January 2018 winter shutdown involving the partial rebuilding of the platform face. 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. 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.  The rebuilt platform, which can be seen in the main photograph taken during the 2018 Goods Gala, improves greatly the appearance of the station and allows consideration to its possible use on gala events at some point in the future.
The Eardington Explorer
On 17 April 2015, the 82045 Steam Locomotive Trust ran a special fundraising train, the Eardington Explorer. 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.
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." This would see around 300 high quality log cabins at the site adjacent to Eardington Station. FCFM submitted to the SVRSevern Valley Railway 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.
In February 2019, the SVRSevern Valley Railway submitted a 'Support Comment' in favour of the development to Shropshire Council. In March 2019 the Shropshire Star reported that that plans had been approved.
A dead-end siding which 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.
The original siding at Eardington 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 Railway. In 1973 under Sir Gerald Nabarro's chairmanship, it was converted by contractors into 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 Railway at the time. In fact the connection at the north end would have been too tight for most locomotives. By winter 1974-5 the loop had been converted to a siding to for PWPermanent Way use. The two points at the north end which formed a crossover were both removed; the former point in the main line was reused at Arley while the point from the loop was taken to Bridgnorth for use in the loco yard. The single-bladed trap at the south end was not considered suitable for a siding opening onto a passenger carrying line, so was replaced by a double-bladed trap. Since that time the siding is regularly used for storing Permanent Way rolling stock.
Points of Interest
Locomotive watering facility
The water tank at Eardington was acquired by the SVRSevern Valley Railway Society from Withymoor, Netherton (near Dudley) in the summer of 1967, and installed in time for the 1968 Steam Gala. It was assisted in part by school parties from the The Royal School Wolverhampton under its history teacher, Brian Kingshott. The decision to install the SVRSevern Valley Railway’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.
Unused for some years and heavily perforated, it was removed on 22 April 2021 using the Cowans Sheldon 30-ton steam crane.
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.
TV and film
Steve Downes, the Station Master, is a member of acoustic trio 'Whalebone'. A music video of the Simon & Garfunkle classic 'The Boxer' was filmed at the station in 2011.
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..
- 1868: Eardington Station opened on 1 June 1868, some six years after the opening of the Severn Valley Railway.
- 1893: The station platform was extended.
- 1899: The ironworks closed.
- 1922: GWR staff records for 1922 show the station had a staff of 2, the station master and a Gatewoman.
- 1931: The station lost its station master, coming under the control of Highley.
- 1949: BRBritish Rail or British Railways reduced the station to unstaffed status after 1 April 1949..
- 1952: The first noted instance of the station being referred to as "Eardington Halt" in a BRBritish Rail or British Railways timetable.
- 1959: The goods loop was reduced to a siding, accessed from the south end only. The station was still called "Eardington" in the 1959 BR Working Timetable.
- 1963: The station closed when passenger traffic ceased on 9 September 1963.
- 1964: The former goods loop siding was completely removed.
|Passenger Traffic||Freight Traffic|
|Year||Tickets issued||Parcels despatched||Revenue (£)||Tons received & despatched||Revenue (£)||Total revenue (£)|
Former station masters
George Cooke was Station Master in c. 1910.
Historic maps of Eardington Station
- Original GWRGreat Western Railway plan of the station.
- 1884 OSOrdnance Survey 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 OSOrdnance Survey map on which the loop and headshunt can be seen more clearly. By this date, the iron works was disused.
- 1905 GWRGreat Western Railway schematic plan of Eardingtony giving siding capacity and other details.
Ex-GWRGreat Western Railway Pannier 3788 calls at Eardington in November 1960 (Sellick Collection)
A BRBritish Rail or British Railways DMUDiesel Multiple Unit at Eardington in September 1962 (Sellick Collection)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Marshall (1989) p. 180.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Marshall (1989) p. 103.
- ↑ Wikipedia
- ↑ SVR's PR on Shropshire Live website 4 June 2018 (Retrieved 24 June 2018)
- ↑ SVRASevern Valley Railway Association Working Members Newsletter November 2014
- ↑ Eardington Station Twitter Feed, retrieved 1 November 2016
- ↑ 'Platform' magazine, 2018 Issue 4, p.5
- ↑ SVRLive 'Eardington Station' 13 January 2018
- ↑ 'SVRLive Winter Works 2018' 16 January 2018
- ↑ SVR Live February 2019
- ↑ Smith, R., 'Severn Valley Railway volunteers proud to unveil new platform', Shropshire Star, 1 March 2019 (Retrieved 3 March 2019)
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 SVR Online Forum
- ↑ Article on the proposed reopening in the Shropshire Star
- ↑ Planning application for Astbury Hall on Shropshire Council web site
- ↑ SVRSevern Valley Railway announcement 7 December 2018
- ↑ SVR Support Comment on Shropshire Council web site
- ↑ Astbury Hall: Plans backed to transform former KK Downing estate into luxury leisure resort Shropshire Star (retrieved 25 May 2019)
- ↑ Severn Valley Railway S&T Department (unofficial) website.
- ↑ SVRSevern Valley Railway News 34
- ↑ Robert Betts and Nick Neath in Unofficial SVRSevern Valley Railway Facebook post 22 April 2021
- ↑ Heritage Railway 6 July 2011, p. 22
- ↑ The Boxer, Whalebone, music video on YouTube (2011)
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 SVRSevern Valley Railway Souvenir Guide, Ninth Edition
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 SVRSevern Valley Railway News 201 'Eardington News' (Steve Downs)
- ↑ Nabarro (1971) p. 55.
- ↑ SVRSevern Valley Railway Souvenir Guide, p.31
- Sharpo's World photos at Eardington, showing station building & yard area
- "To Eardington" by Sammy B Videography on YouTube
- Eardington Station SVR on Facebook