Station Name: GRINDLEY BROOK HALT

[Source: Paul Wright]


Date opened: 4.7.1937
Location: South side of an un-named minor road off the A41
Company on opening: London Midland & Scottish Railway
Date closed to passengers: 16.9.1957
Date closed completely: 16.9.1957
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state:  
County: Cheshire
OS Grid Ref: SJ522436
Date of visit: 29.2.2009

Notes: Grindley Brook Halt was located on the LNWR’s line that ran from a junction on the Crewe to Chester line, approximately two miles to the north of Tattenhall Village, to Whitchurch. The line was opened by the LNWR on 1st October 1872 and it was it was 14 miles in length and built to main line standards with double track throughout. It was intended to provide competition to the GWR route between Chester and Shrewsbury and the LNWR hoped that it would attract the majority of the coal traffic from South Wales which was destined for the Mersey Docks in Birkenhead. Some coal traffic did use the line, especially that originating from the Abergavenny - Merthyr line which was also under LNWR control .However most of the coal traffic bound for Birkenhead came from the North Wales coal fields around Wrexham which was GWR or GCR territory, this did not use the Whitchurch - Waverton line

Freight traffic was always more important that passenger traffic. When the line opened, there was a passenger service between Chester and Hereford but this didn't last long and was soon replaced by a purely local service running between Whitchurch and Chester or Rhyl.

Coal traffic from South Wales formed the bulk of early freight workings, probably passing over the branch at night en route for Birkenhead. Apart

from competition from the GWR route from the Wrexham coalfield, there was also stiff competition from coastal shipping from the 1890’s and this traffic declined after the First World War.

Grindley Brook was not one of the original stations opined with the line but was an unmanned halt added much later by the London Midland & Scottish Railway opening on 4th July 1937 and served by the local trains running between Chester and Whitchurch. The halt was located on the south side of an overbridge that crossed the line at this location. Steps led down to the platforms which were in a cutting from the overbridge; it is likely that the platforms were simple wooden affairs.

Passenger train services remained mostly of a local nature, connections were possible to Liverpool and the area became popular with many businessmen who commuted by train. By 1950 the service had been reduced to five daily trains with an additional service on Wednesdays running through to Shrewsbury. There was never a Sunday service.


The area through which the line passed is quite rural and because of this passenger numbers were never very large and never reached expectations . The branch declined rapidly after WW2 with more and more commuters abandoning railways in favour of more convenient road transport while an ever increasing amount of goods traffic switched over from
cars to lorries. Passenger services were withdrawn from all the branch stations on the 16th September 1957 although the line remained open for freight traffic which continued to use the line mainly as a corridor, latterly with oil trains from the Stanlow refinery on the joint Hooton – Helsby line accessing the West Midlands without the need to use the GWR route over Gresford Bank. The last freight was an oil train from Stanlow to Rowley Regis in January 1963 but local goods traffic continued until 4th November 1963 with both Broxton and Malpas remaining open. The track was lifted in c.1965.

An observer on the last freight through Grindley Brook in January 1963 recorded the halt as intact but with the station nameboard hanging off one of its supporting posts but all trace of the station had gone by 1978 and no photographs of the halt are known to exist either before or after closure.

Additional source: London & North Western Railway Society Journal September 2004 and Backtrack magazine March 2007, thanks to Tony Robinson for sending his text from these journals. Further reading: Down the Line by RM Bevan - A nostalgic journey along the old branch railway from Waverton (Chester) to Whitchurch, CC Publishing. Tickets from Michael Stewart

To see other stations on the Waverton - Whitchurch line click on the station name: Whitchurch, Malpas, Broxton, Tattenhall & Waverton



The site of Grindley Brook Halt looking south in c.late 1960's/early 1970's. The halt was probably of timber construction and may have been cleared when the track was lifted.
Reproduced with permission from 'Down The Line - A nostalgic journey along the old branch railway from Waverton to Whitchurch', by R.M.Bevan (www.cc-publishing.co.uk)




Looking north from the site of Grindley Brook Halt in January 2005
P
hoto by Tony Robinson


The site of Grindley Brook Halt looking south in February 2009. Nothing remains at track level to show that a halt existed here.
P
hoto by Paul Wright

May 2006

February 2009

February 2009


Click on thumbnail to enlarge


 

 

 

[Source: Nick Catford]



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