Station Name: TATTENHALL

[Source: Paul Wright]


Date opened: 1.10.1872
Location: North side of Frog Lane
Company on opening: London & North Western Railway
Date closed to passengers: 16.9.1957
Date closed completely: 16.9.1957
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: The station building survives as a private residence although it has been substantially altered and extended.
County: Cheshire
OS Grid Ref: SJ479586
Date of visit: 28.5.2006

Notes: Tattenhall Station 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 the market town of Whitchurch. The line was opened by the LNWR on 1st October 1872 and 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.

Tattenhall station opened on the same day as the line. It was provided with two platforms and a substantial two storey sandstone station building on the southbound (Whitchurch) platform. The building provided booking facilities, waiting rooms and a house for the station master. The overbridge acted as the station footbridge with steps down onto both

platforms. Connections were possible to Liverpool and the area became popular with many businessmen who commuted by train. The station master at Tattenhall during the late 19th century was well known for never letting a train depart if he could here a pony and trap approaching. 

Tattenhall would be one of the very few villages in England that could boast of two LNWR stations both on differing routes; however neither were conveniently near to the village itself. There were no goods facilities here, the yard at Tattenhall Road station on the main (Chester – Crewe) line serving the village despite its greater distance from it.

Passenger train services were mostly of a local nature running between Chester and Whitchurch. Connections were possible to Liverpool and the area became popular with many businessmen who commuted by train. In 1922 there were seven daily trains in each direction, by 1950 this was reduced to five daily trains with an additional service on Wednesdays running through to Shrewsbury. There was never a Sunday service.

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.

The area through which the line passed is quite rural and because of this passenger numbers were never very large and never reached expectations although it did help Tattenhall's popularity as a commuter centre for nearby Chester. 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 stations on the line 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.

Tattenhall village had another station situated on the Chester to Crewe line to the north of the village. This station was until 1957 called Tattenhall Road. When Tattenhall closed it was renamed as simply Tattenhall. It in turn closed in 1966. The station building at Tattenhall still stands today as a private residence although it has been extended. the adjoining ticket
office and waiting room were demolished in 2003.

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, Grindley Brook Halt, Malpas, Broxton & Waverton


Tattenhall Station looking north
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)



Tattenhall Station looking north in April 1978
P
hoto by Alan Young

Looking north towards Tattenhall Station in October 2005
Photo by Rick Skateboard from his Fotopic web site

Tattenhall Station looking north in May 2006
P
hoto by Paul Wright


Click on thumbnail to enlarge


 

 

 

[Source: Nick Catford]



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