Ironbridge and Broseley

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An Eastbound passenger train calls at Iron Bridge and Broseley in August 1961 (Sellick Collection)
Another view of the station looking westward in 1963
An aerial view of Ironbridge in 1934, looking West. The station is visible on the left near the famous Iron Bridge, and the Albert Edward Bridge can just be seen at the top. Image from Britain from Above
Next stations pre-closure
Towards Hartlebury and Kidderminster Towards Shrewsbury
Coalport (2 miles)
via Jackfield Halt (from 1934)
Buildwas (1½ miles)

Ironbridge and Broseley, re-named "Iron Bridge and Broseley" in 1895 and often abbreviated to simply "Ironbridge", was a station situated 27 miles from Hartlebury and 13¾ miles from Shrewsbury.


Ironbridge, like all the stations north of Victoria Bridge, was built on the west bank of the River Severn. The river runs almost due east-west at Ironbridge, and thus the station was situated on what was effectively the south bank, immediately south of Abraham Darby’s bridge after which the town was named. The Gorge is very narrow at this point, and much of the station lay on an embankment and plateau supported by a 15 metre high retaining wall.[1]

The station was probably used more by the people of Broseley, situated about ½ mile away on the same side of the river, and the site of tile and clay pipe making industries. The 1861 census showed the population of Broseley as 4,724, larger than Ironbridge (3,154). Ironbridge town itself is on the north bank, and crossing the bridge required payment of a toll until 1950, a fact that undoubtedly would have discouraged passengers from Ironbridge using the station.[1] Nearby Coalbrookdale, also on the north bank, had its own station on the Wellington-Much Wenlock line.

OS Map IronBridge.JPG


At opening on 1 February 1862, the station was the second of five crossing points south of Shrewsbury (Buildwas being the first and Bridgnorth the next). Like all the main stations, Ironbridge had a goods yard and goods shed, although the latter was built of wood rather than stone.[2]

The station had a footbridge, adjacent to the station building, connecting the two platforms. The station building was on the platform to the north of the line (nearer Ironbridge), while the goods shed was to the south of the line. A road level crossing was situated immediately west of the station which led to the Iron Bridge and also to Bower Yard.

On 9 November 1895 the name of the station was changed from 'Ironbridge and Broseley' to 'Iron Bridge and Broseley' on the recommendation of the General Manager.[3] The reason for this is unclear as the town is normally referred to as 'Ironbridge'; however the latter name for the station continued in use as may be seen in working timetables and on the running-in board in the Sellick photograph.

On 5 October 1898 the GWRGreat Western Railway's Traffic Committee approved the installation of a telephone between the station, Jackfield sidings and Maw and Co's Siding at a cost of £22, with Maw & Co being responsible for half the ongoing maintenance cost.[3]. Maw & Co made extensive use of the goods facilities at Ironbridge, and in 1905 their Board of Directors gave stationmaster Charles William Coldicott a retirement gift of £10 in recognition of "…his long connection with the Company, and his untiring courtesy…"[4]

The commercial postcard below shows a view of the station in the early 1900s, with a Shrewsbury-bound 2-4-0 standing on the station's level crossing. The 1894 signal box (see below) is on the left, and the wooden goods shed is on the right behind the footbridge.

Provision of an additional goods siding at Ironbridge at a cost of £90 was authorised in April 1908[3].

GWR staff records for 1922 show the station had a staff of 17, including those working at Jackfield sidings and Maw and Co's Siding.

In 1926 a truck weighbridge was installed.[5]

On 25 November 1956 the down line and platform were taken out of use, ending Ironbridge's use as a crossing point.[6]

The station closed to passenger traffic on 9 September 1963 when through traffic ended on the Severn Valley Line between Shrewsbury and Bewdley. However the goods yard remained open until 1 December 1963 when all goods services ended.[7]

The site today has become a pay and display car park for Ironbridge visitors. Few traces of the station remain, apart from sections of rail in the road crossing and a level crossing gatepost.

Early Station Masters at Ironbridge prior to 1939
Name Born From To Comments
Richard Young 22 September 1839, Shipton, Oxfordshire August 1863 October 1866 Joined West Midland Railway September 1853. Station Master at Stourport in September 1866. Died 26 July 1906
Charles William Coldicott 26 June 1844, Honeybourne, Gloucestershire October 1871 October 1905 Joined West Midland Railway July 1859.
Robert George Eaton 19 September 1861, Witney, Oxfordshire January 1906 1913 Retired 1913. Died 23 March 1936
George William Chadwick 1862, Marple, Cheshire By 1917 Joined Manchester Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway July 1876. Died January 1934


From opening in 1862, trains on the Severn Valley branch were worked using a single needle telegraph. Primitive signals, operated from the platform, controlled entry into the station, but departure into the section was authorised by verbal instruction only, given to the footplate crew after the appropriate telegraph messages had been exchanged.

Starting signals began to be introduced in the early 1870s; those at Bewdley and Ironbridge were authorised by the GWRGreat Western Railway Board on 30 August 1871 at a cost of £55.

The first 'proper' signal boxes on the branch were those at Bewdley which were authorised in 1877. All the other signal boxes dated from after 1880. At Ironbridge, a Great Western Type 5The British Railways classification for diesel locomotives of 3000 bhp or more brick signal box was commissioned in 1894 at a cost of around £1,545.[8] This was located adjacent to the level crossing on the west side, and can be seen in the postcard view of Ironbridge above. Electric staff working came into use between Hartlebury and Buildwas in the same year. Electric token working (of the type used on the present day SVRSevern Valley Railway between Bridgnorth and Bewdley North) was not introduced until after the Second World War.[9]

The signal box interlocking frame, level crossing gates, point and signal connections were renewed in 1916 at an estimated cost of £1,050.[9].

The box was closed on 25 November 1956 when crossing of trains at Ironbridge ended.[6] By 1962 the upper floor of the box had been removed and a small ground frame was installed outside the door.

Traffic statistics

Traffic statistics in commercial service for Ironbridge, selected years 1903 to 1952
Passenger Traffic Freight Traffic
Year Tickets issued Parcels despatched Revenue (£) Tons received & despatched Revenue (£) Total revenue (£)
1903 29,845 19,240 3,314 75,457 24,895 28,209
1913 24,247 19,681 2,719 65,253 18,948 21,667
1923 32,384 17,827 4,742 62,216 29,153 33,895
1933 19,195 21,354 3,276 40,780 18,322 21,596
1938 23,637 23,712 3,151 27,170 11,969 15,120
1942 33,466 16,395 5,083 27,794 X X
1947 30,767 13,278 4,533 13,792 X X
1952 16,392 18,953 4,656 X X X

X: Information not recorded

Historic maps of Ironbridge and Broseley station

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Vanns (1998/2013) p. 38.
  2. Vanns (1998/2013) p. 41.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Marshall (1989) p. 110.
  4. Vanns (1998) p. 100.
  5. Great Western Railway Magazine, January 1927
  6. 6.0 6.1 Mitchell & Smith (2007) 91
  7. Mitchell & Smith (2007) 93
  8. Marshall (1989) p. 131.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Marshall (1989) p. 134.