Station Name: WHITCHURCH
This station is still open but is included for completeness

[Source: Paul Wright]

Date opened: 2.9.1858
Location: North side of Waymills (B5398)
Company on opening: London & North Western Railway
Date closed to passengers: Still open
Date closed completely: Still open
Company on closing: Still open
Present state: Station much altered from its original form.
County: Shropshire
OS Grid Ref: SJ550414
Date of visit: 21.2.2009

Notes: Whitchurch station was opened by the LNWR on the 2nd September 1858. The station was located on the companies Shrewsbury to Crewe line. Initially it is likely that the station had only two platforms. Initially the station was named Whitchurch but at some time 'Salop' was added to the name to avoid confusion with Whitchurch in Hampshire; this was later dropped.

On the 4th May 1863 the Cambrian Railway opened a line from Oswestry to Whitchurch via Ellesmere. This new line joined the Shrewsbury to Crewe line, to the south of Whitchurch Station.. Rather than open their own station the Cambrian ran their trains into the LNWR station. It is likely that it was at this time that the station was extended to cater for the extra traffic.

On the 1st of October 1872 the LNWR opened a direct line from Whitchurch to Chester. This line joined the Shrewsbury to Crewe line to the north of Whitchurch station. Initially Chester trains used a single road bay platform sandwiched between the Crewe bound platform and a high wall. 

In its final form Whitchuch Station had four platform faces, three of which were through platforms. The forth was a bay platform at the north end of the station on the Crewe direction platform. The main station facilities were situated on the Crewe direction platform but a substantial brick built waiting room was provided on the island platform which served trains running
towards Shrewsbury/Oswestry.  All of the platforms were provided with canopies. The platforms were connected by a footbridge. Whitchurch Station also had extensive goods facilities. In later years Chester trains used either platform 2 or 3 of the island platform. Whitchurch Station also had extensive goods facilities which were withdrawn in the 1970's; the goods shed still stands and is in use as a garage.

Main line train services operated from Crewe and points further north to Shrewsbury and South Wales. Main line services also operated onto the Cambrian network which ultimately stretched all the way to the mid Wales coast. Local services operated to Shrewsbury, Crewe, Oswestry and Chester.

At the grouping in 1923 the Shrewsbury to Crewe and the Chester direct lines became part of the LMS network. The line to Oswestry became part of the GWR. Even after nationalization in 1948 this situation persisted with the LMS lines becoming part of British Railways Midland Region and the Oswestry line was allocated to the Western Region.

Whitchurch Station was a very busy junction station for many years and well into the 20th century. On the 16th of September 1957 the direct line to Chester closed to passenger services. On the 18th January 1965 the line to Oswestry also lost its service and Whitchurch reverted to serving only the Shrewsbury to Crewe line once again.

Today the station has only two platform faces with one of the island platform faces now being out of use. A footbridge still connects the two platforms. The station buildings were demolished many years ago. The train service is provided by Arriva Trains Wales and the station is now unstaffed.

A single road engine shed was provided alongside the station on 1st October 1872. This was replaced by a new four road brick shed in 1883. This remained in use until September 1957 when the Waverton - Whitchurch line was closed. It was later used as a wagon shop but has subsequently been demolished.

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 stations on the Waverton - Whitchurch line click on the station name: Grindley Brook Halt, Malpas, Broxton, Tattenhall & Waverton

To see stations on the Oswestry - Whitchurch line click on the station name: Fenn's Bank, Bettisfield, Welshampton, Ellesmere, Frankton, Whittington High Level, Tinkers Green Halt & Oswestry

Looking south at Whitchuch Station in August 1954 shows a busy scene. On the right of the picture a train stands in the bay platform, when the Chester line first opened the bay was used by Chester trains. but in later years they used the island platform  On the left of the picture a train has just arrived, this service has most probably come in from the Cambrian network and will terminate at Whitchurch.
Copyright p
hoto by HC Casserley

Looking north at Whitchurch Station in March 1978. The island platform can clearly be seen and at this time both of its platform faces were still in use. Up until 1965 the platform to the far right of the picture was used by services heading along the Cambrian line towards Oswestry and beyond. Cambrian services terminated at Whitchurch which was the eastern most part of their network.
hoto by Alan Young

Looking north along the disused island platform face at Whitchurch in July 1993
Photo by Martin Potter

Looking south at Whitchurch Station in August 1999 shows the rationalisation
that had taken place by this time.
Photo by Alan Young

Whitchurch Station looking north in February 2009. The island platform can clearly be seen even though it now has only one platform face in use. Cambrian services that ran from here to Oswestry and beyond used the now derelict platform face. Taken from a similar viewpoint to the 1978 picture above.
hoto by Paul Wright