Station Name: ELTON

[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: First in timetable January 1847
Location: North side of an unnamed minor road
Company on opening: London & Birmingham Railway
Date closed to passengers: 7.12.1953
Date closed completely: 7.12.1953
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Both platforms are extant but heavily overgrown. The level crossing gate of the south side of the crossing is also still in place complete with a substantial gate post. Some stones lying around the site might be from the station building.
County: Huntingdonshire
OS Grid Ref: TL079948
Date of visit: July 2005

Notes: Elton station didn't open with the line, first appearing in company timetables in January 1847. The station had two facing platforms with a small two storey building incorporating the stationmaster's house, waiting room and booking office on the down side of the line adjacent to the level crossing. A gents toilet was attached to the building. A timber ladies waiting room was provided on the up platform.

There was a small goods yard comprising one siding and a weighbridge. Although the station survived into British Railways ownership it was little used with five down trains and three up trains on weekdays with no Sunday service. Many trains didn't stop at Elton. The station closed to all traffic on 7 December 1953.

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE NENE VALLEY RAILWAY
The London & Birmingham railway was completed by the autumn of 1838 and immediately started considering expanding its territory to Northampton (which it by-passed by some 5 miles due to the hilly nature of the town) and then down the Nene valley to Peterborough. In 1843 the L&BR was given parliamentary assent to construct a line from Blisworth in Northamptonshire to Peterborough.

Twelve stations were built in an old English or Tudor style: the names on opening (some changed later) were Northampton, Castle Ashby, Wellingborough, Ditchford, Higham Ferrers (later renamed Irthlingborough), Ringstead, Thrapston, Thorpe, Barnwell, Oundle, Wansford and Overton. The line shared the Peterborough terminus with the Eastern Counties Railway in return for 'running powers' over the line to Northampton, giving it access to the Midlands and the North.

The Northampton to Blisworth section was officially opened on Tuesday 13 May 1845 and the complete track was opened on Monday 2 June 1845.

On 16 July 1846 the London and North Western Railway was formed by merging the London & Birmingham Railway with a number of other companies and during the mid 1800's, the development of iron ore mining in the area was reactivated having been suspended for 200 years by law due to the lack of wood for charcoal. All available wood being required for the Navy.

The Great Northern Railway opened a line from Stamford to a junction with the Nene Valley line just east of Wansford on 9th August 1867 and Wansford became a major junction when the LNWR opened their new line from Yarwell Junction (just west of Wansford) to Seaton on 1st November 1879. The 1923 grouping took the line into the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS).

During the first half of the 20th century the line formed an important connection from Norwich, Cambridge and eastern England to

Northampton and the Midlands. The line was generally acknowledged to be a secondary mainline and regularly saw heavy through traffic but operating costs were high with a large number of manned level crossings.

With the closure of many of the mines and the popularity of the car both passenger and freight traffic was in decline after WW2 and in July 1963 the withdrawal of passenger service between Northampton Castle and Peterborough East was announced. Despite a vigorous campaign against closure culminating in a public meeting at Thrapston, little could be done. A petition was started and action committee appointed but when the committee asked for a collection to meet their expenses only £1 18s 3d was raised! The line was formally closed on Monday 4 May 1964.

Iron Ore trains continued to use the line until 1966 with through freight traffic finally being withdrawn by British Rail in 1972.

In 1974 the Peterborough Development Corporation bought a section of the Nene Valley line between Longville and Yarwell Junctions and leased it to the Peterborough Railway Society to operate the railway. Between 1974 and May 1977 the line was upgraded to passenger standards and on 24 May the Railway Inspector passed the railway as fit for passenger carrying operations and the Nene Valley Railway between Wansford and Orton Mere was officially opened on 1 June 1977.

In 1986 the line was eastwards to a new terminus at Peterborough Nene Valley just short of the East Coast Main Line making a total running length of 7.5 miles and a new station is currently under construction at Yarwell Junction at the western end of the line. There are also proposals for a link with the ECML which would allow trains to run into Peterborough Station.

Tickets from Michael Stewart. Bradshaw from Nick Catford. Route map drawn by Alan Young.

See also: Nene Valley Railway web site
Further reading: The Nene Valley Railway by Christopher Awdry ISBN: 1 85895 170 4

To see other stations on the Nene Valley Railway click on the station name: Northampton Bridge Street, Billing, Castle Ashby & Earls Barton, Wellingborough London Road, Ditchford, Irthlingborough, Ringstead & Addington, Thrapston Bridge Street, Thorpe, Barnwell, Oundle, Wansford, Castor, Orton Waterville, Peterborough Nene Valley & Peterborough East


Elton station looking north from the up platform in 1953
Photo from John Mann collection



1901 1:2,500 OS map

Elton station looking north from the up platform in the late 1960s. All the buildings
have been demolished.

Elton station looking south in August 1974.
P
hoto by John Mann


Looking south from the same viewpoint as the picture above in July 2005. The level crossing gate is still there although heavily overgrown
Photo by Bruce Varney

The up platform at Elton station in March 2008.
P
hoto by Bob Rushby

The up platform at Elton station in August 2011.
Photo by Michael Burton

 

 

 

[Source: Nick Catford]


Home Page
Last updated: Thursday, 18-May-2017 10:15:59 BST
© 1998-2005 Disused Stations