Stourport Power Station
Stourport Power Station was built by the Shropshire & Worcestershire Electric Power Co., and opened in June 1927 by the Prime Minister, and MP for Bewdley, Stanley Baldwin. Unusually the power station did not have the customary cooling towers, drawing cooling water directly from the adjacent River Severn and River Stour.
Association with the Severn Valley Railway
Coal was initially delivered to the power station via the River Severn or the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (which can be seen passing under the SVR at Falling Sands Viaduct). The additional sidings and canal basin built at Stourport Station in 1885 allowed coal to be brought there by rail, then transshipped to boats for the final leg of its journey to the power station. The majority of the coal came via the canal by barge direct from collieries in the Cannock Coalfield. The coal was unloaded from the barges at the 'Furthermost Basin' by two electric grabs, and transferred to the power station via hoppers along a short length of aerial ropeway.
Authorisation for construction of the power station granted in 1918 included a branch railway of 7.3 furlongs along an embankment, joining the Severn Valley branch 25 yards east of the bridge over the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal. This was not built at the time and the powers lapsed. They were renewed in 1938 and the branch line constructed so that coal could be brought in directly by rail. From Stourport the branch successively crossed Mill Road, the River Stour, Hartlebury Road and Worcester Road on plate girder bridges. Main line locomotives were not allowed beyond this last bridge.
The branch opened in early 1940 and by 1949 all but 5% of the coal arrived by this route. A portion of the coal for Stourport Power Station came from the collieries served by the Severn Valley line, with approximately 30% of the output of Alveley Colliery being sent to the power station. The majority of the coal continued to come from Cannock Chase, with such coal arriving at Hartlebury from Stourbridge, often behind a Midland engine. A shunting locomotive was stationed at Hartlebury to shuttle coal wagons between there and Stourbridge. A former NCB employee's recollections of coal workings can be found in Tales from the Severn Valley.
After closure of a nearby sand quarry, the siding which had served it was used to hold trains of coal wagons waiting to enter the power station.
A second power station on the site was opened on 26 September 1950; this became known as Stourport B with the earlier station becoming Stourport A.