Station Name: WAVERTON (2nd site)

[Source: Paul Wright]


Date opened: 6.6.1898
Location: On the west side of Saighton Lane
Company on opening: Grand Junction Railway
Date closed to passengers: 15,.6.1959
Date closed completely: 1.3.1965
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Station building on the Crewe bound line still extant and in good condition in use as offices. The building has some ornate carving above the front door and barley twist chimney stacks. Platforms and building on Chester platform are demolished. A weather boarded goods shed with a canopy on two sides stands in the goods yard to the rear of the station building.
County: Cheshire
OS Grid Ref: SJ449635
Date of visit: 9.2.2006 & 28.5.2006
Notes:The station was sanctioned by the Duke of Westminster, who had his home nearby, as a replacement for an earlier Waverton Station that had opened with the Crewe to Chester line in 1840 (41 chains to the east). The second Waverton Station was a grand affair consisting of two platforms with stylish brick built buildings on each. A notable feature was the
ornamental brickwork on the chimneys. Generous canopies were provided to shelter waiting passengers. It is probable that many of the Duke's important guests would have used this station and he would have wanted to make a good impression. The Duke had special facilities built at the station to ease his passage on his many trips to and from London.

The station would have been served by local trains running between Crewe and Chester and by long distance services running on to Holyhead and London.

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.

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.

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.
Following the closure of the branch Tennenhall Road reverted to its original name of Tattenhall.


Despite its grandeur the station was located in a rural area of little population and although it survived closure of the branch to Whitchurch this was to be short lived and it too closed on 15.6.1959. Goods traffic was retained until 1.3.1965 with a private siding remaining in use after that date.

The busy main line between Crewe and Chester had five stations in all but none of them have survived, the last two closing in 1966. The line is still very busy with local and long distance services. The station building on the Crewe bound line has survived in very good condition as the offices of Morrey Transport a haulage company.

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 Crewe - Chester line click on the station name: Worleston, Calverley, Beeston Castle & Tarporley & Waverton 1st

See also stations on the Whitchurch branch:
Tattenhall, Broxton, Malpas, Grindley Brook Halt & Whitchurch


Waverton station looking south east before September 1908
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection




The second Waverton station seen on a 1899 map.

A diverted 1V83 Liverpool to Plymouth service is seen passing through Waverton on its way to Crewe on 5 December 1971. At the head of the train is Brush Type 4 (later class 47) D1618.
P
hoto by Keith Holt from the KDH Flickr photostream

Waverton station looking north west in May 1978. The goods shed can clearly be seen behind the station building.
Photo by Alan Young

Waverton station looking north west in May 2006
P
hoto by Paul Wright

Steam special passing through Waverton station on 16 August 2007 hauled by GWR locos 4965 Rood Aston Hall and 4936 Kinlet Hall.
P
hoto by Phil Jones

1969

1971

May 1977 + ticket

May 1978

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2006

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2006


Click on thumbnail to enlarge

 

 

 

[Source: Paul Wright]



Last updated: Saturday, 14-Sep-2013 10:51:52 BST
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