Station Name: ARDDLEEN HALT

[Source: Paul Wright]


Date opened: 2.1862
Location: East of the A483 at Arddleen
Company on opening: Oswestry & Newtown Railway
Date closed to passengers: 18.1.1965
Date closed completely: 18.1.1965
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Extant in use as a private dwelling.
County: Shropshire
OS Grid Ref: SJ261158
Date of visit: 28.6.2013

Notes: Arddleen Halt was situated on the Cambrian Railway (CR) main line that linked Aberystwyth and Whitchurch. The section of line on which the station was located was opened between Oswestry and Pool Quay by the Oswestry & Newtown Railway (O&NR) on 1 May 1860. The lines was extended to Welshpool on 14 August 1860 and through to Newtown on 10 June 1861. On 25 July 1864 the O&NR merged with the Llanidloes & Newtown Railway, the Oswestry, Ellesmere & Whitchurch Railway and the Newtown & Machynlleth Railway to form the CR (which also absorbed the Aberystwyth & Welch Coast Railway [sic] in 1865). The merger of the companies created the through route between Aberystwyth and Whitchurch.

Arddleen was a small Welsh settlement that had been served by the Montgomery Canal since 1797. The railway passed close to the canal at Arddleen passing 20yd to the east of it and it was at this location that the O&NR provided a station from February 1862. A cottage dating from the eighteenth century was purchased by the railway company and used to accommodate a staff member and his family. It is most likely that tickets were issued from the cottage. The single-track line passed to the east of the cottage and only a basic low level platform would have been provided. Access was via a driveway that connected to the Oswestry and Welshpool road (the present-day A483) which passed over the line on a bridge a short distance to the south.

At the time of opening the station, which in reality was little more than a convenient place where trains could be stopped, was simply called Arddleen and trains only called on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday so that local people could get to Welshpool Fair.

There was some sort of station building other than the cottage at Arddleen because it was reported as being destroyed by an arsonist on 3 February 1865. The destruction of the building exposed the fact that none of the CR stations were insured. The company Secretary was instructed to take appropriate action.

From April 1865 Arddleen began to be served by trains on all days except Sunday. However the majority of the trains that ran along the line simply passed through Arddleen.

At some point before 1884 a platform was added at Arddleen. It was 154ft long and was constructed from stone backfilled with earth and cinders. A small wooden waiting shelter was also provided. To the south of the shelter a running- in nameboard was provided.

During the 1890s improvements were made along the CR main line which resulted in better timekeeping and faster services. However the average speed of an express train between Whitchurch and Aberystwyth was still only 28mph.

The December 1895 timetable showed Arddleen as having only three up and two down trains on Monday-to-Saturday.

On 1 January 1922 the CR was absorbed into the Great Western Railway (GWR).

The July 1922 timetable showed that Arddleen had almost reverted to its pre-1865 state as it was not served by trains every day in both directions. Only one up train called at Arddleen on Monday-to-Saturday; it was a Whitchurch service which called at 6.27pm. There were two extra up trains on the first Monday of the month and one on other Mondays. There were also two extra up services on Wednesday. In the down direction there were three trains on the first Monday of the month and two on other Mondays. On Wednesday there were two down trains.

By the 1930s daily services had resumed (with the exception of Sunday).

On 1 January 1948 Arddleen became part of British Railways [Western Region] (BR[WR]). The Summer timetable for 1949 showed four trains in each direction Monday-to-Saturday as shown in the table below.

Up Trains - Summer 1949 Destination Down Trains - Summer 1949 Destination
7.40am Whitchurch 8.39am Aberystyth
10.40am Whitchurch 3.29pm Welshpool
1.05pm Whitchurch 5.36pm Welshpool
5.26pm Oswestry 8.28pm Welshpool

With the introduction of the summer 1954 timetable the suffix ‘Halt’ was added to the station name. A new sign was erected by the main road in June 1954 with the wording BR Arddleen Halt. It was a non-standard timber sign but it was produced in BR[WR] colours and had the corporate style lettering. On the platform the original running-in board was retained but it was painted in BR[WR] colours.

The September 1958 timetable showed four up and three down trains on Monday-to-Saturday. A further two trains would set down passengers at Arddleen if notice was given to the guard.

In the late 1950s the platform was rebuilt. The stone face was replaced with block stone and concrete paving formed the platform edge. A surface of macadam was also added.

On 1 January 1963 Arddleen passed to the operational control of British Railways [London Midland Region] (BR[LMR]). Three months later the Reshaping of British Railways report (the ‘Beeching Report’) was published. It recommended the withdrawal of all passenger trains between Buttington and Whitchurch and complete closure of the line between Buttington and Llynclys.

The timetable of 7 September 1964 showed four up and four down trains Monday-to-Friday. One of the up trains, the 4.31pm service, did not run in school holidays. On Saturdays there were three up and four down trains. In the down direction one of the trains called only upon request Monday-to-Saturday.

The last train called at Arddleen Halt at 9.35pm on Saturday 16 January 1965 and the line between Buttington and Llynclys closed completely on 18 January 1965. The track through Arddleen was lifted later that year.

The cottage and station site passed into private ownership. The waiting shelter and running-in board were removed but the platform survived.

During the 1980s the railway bridge to the south of the halt was demolished and the cutting filled in as part of the straightening of the A483 road towards Welshpool. A canal bridge at the entrance to the station access lane was also demolished at that time.

In 2013 the platform was extant and in good condition.

Tickets from Michael Stewart and route map by Alan Young

Sources:

  • A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain - Volume II North & Mid Wales - Peter E Baughan - David & Charles 1980.
  • Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies - Christopher Awdry - Guild Publishing 1990.
  • Railway Passenger Stations in Great Britain - A Chronology - Michael Quick - Railway & Canal Historical Society 2009.
  • The Cambrian Railways A New History - Peter Johnson - OPC 2013.

To see other stations on the Whitchurch - Welshpool line click on the station name: Whitchurch STILL OPEN, Fenn's Bank, Bettisfield, Welshampton,
Ellesmere, Frankton, Whittington High Level, Tinkers Green Halt,
Oswestry (Cambrian), Llynclys, Pant (Salop), Llanymynech, Four Crosses,
Pool Quay, Buttington, Welshpool (1st), Forden, Montgomery and Abermule


A view looking north towards Arddleen Halt in 1949. The single platform halt can be seen in the distance beyond the bridge.
Photo from Anthony David Jones collection reproduced from Wikipedia under creative commons licence

Arddleen Halt shown on a six-inch scale map from 1884.


The basic facilities at Arddleen Halt seen in 1958.
Photo from Anthony David Jones collection reproduced from Wikipedia under creative commons licence


Arddleen Halt looking north in the early 1960s.
Copyright photo from the Tony Harden collection


Looking north along the platform at Arddleen Halt in 1963 as a local stopping service arrives.
Copyright photo from the Tony Harden collection


Arddleen Halt looking south in 1963. The cottage at the far end of the platform pre-dated the line but it was purchased by the Oswestry & Newtown Railway and used for staff accommodation.
Copyright photo from the Tony Harden collection

A view looking north along the trackbed of the former Cambrian Railway main line at Arddleen Halt on 28 June 2013. The halt was in very good condition considering it had been closed for nearly half a century. Only the waiting shelter was missing.
P
hoto by Paul Wright

Looking south along the Arddleen Halt platform on 28 June 2013.
Photo by Paul Wright

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[Source: Paul Wright]




Last updated: Friday, 12-May-2017 18:42:29 BST
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