Station Name: WIGSTON SOUTH

[Source: John Stevenson]


Date opened: 30.6.1840
Location: The main station building and 'down' platform was located north of the Blaby Road (B582), on the eastern edge of South Wigston.
Company on opening: Midland Counties Railway
Date closed to passengers: 1.1.1962
Date closed completely: 2.5.1966
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: All evidence of the station has been removed.  A health centre now occupies the site of the 'down' platform and main station buildings, and on the other side of the road the South Leicestershire College stands where the staggered 'up' platform was located.
County: Leicestershire
OS Grid Ref: SP591984
Date of visit: 2.4.2012

Notes:  This station was situated about four miles south of Leicester and was the first stop on the Midland Counties Railway (MCR) line to Rugby. The first building at the station consisted of a standard design MCR single-storey structure in brick with a hipped tile roof. This was on the 'down' platform side, with an 'up' platform directly opposite. Both platforms were just to the north of a level crossing over the road between Wigston Magna and Blaby


In 1844 the MCR became a constituent part of the Midland Railway (MR). Being the first railway to serve the nearby village of Wigston Magna, the station was initially identified simply as Wigston, but in 1857 the MR opened their new line to Hitchin (for London via the GNR) and, in so doing, provided the second station on their new main line a few hundred yards to
the east of the original MCR station. Wigston Magna now had two stations, and both carried the same name between 1857 and October 1868, at which time the MR decided to distinguish the two by renaming the first MCR station Wigston South, and their more recent station Wigston (L&H).


Wigston South station received a number of improvements during its lifetime, particularly in 1862 when a second storey was added to the main station building. The most significant alteration came in 1890 when the 'up' platform was relocated to the south of the level crossing to reduce delays experienced by the increased road traffic between Wigston and Blaby.
The signal box, originally situated on the south side of the crossing, was moved, but in the opposite direction; a footbridge was also added at this time.
 
Almost from the outset, a small goods yard with limited facilities (parcels and livestock) had been established to the east of the station on the north side of the road. It had a rail-served corrugated iron shed (after 1886) and other miscellaneous small buildings, from which a merchant supplied coal and building materials to the locality. In 1904 private sidings served Dunmore and
Son's Biscuit Manufactory, Leicester Brick Co's Knighton June Works, Leicestershire Dairy Co. Chas. Redshaw, Orson Wright and Co. and Wigston Foundry, all to the south of the station.


Wigston South can claim to be one of the few stations after which a suburb later became named. This came about because in 1840 the MCR built their station in open countryside over a mile from the old village of Wigston Magna. The coming of the railway and the Industrial Revolution encouraged the development of new housing, and so it was that in the 1880s a new settlement grew to the east of the station and became known as South Wigston.

Eventually, the greater area of Wigston was to be served by no fewer than three railway stations, and of these the original MCR station proved to be the least used. Nevertheless the signage at Wigston South was renewed in 1957 (or shortly after) when the station received LMR vitreous enamel running-in boards, and fully-flanged totems which were fixed to the gas lamp
standards.

In July 1959 Railway Magazine gave details of lines and stations proposed for closure, and theLeicester - Rugby route, including Wigston South, was among those listed. In the body of the London Midland Region timetable of June 1961 (Table 204) the Leicester - Rugby service was shown as withdrawn, but an addendum (see below) corrected this and printed the summer service (weekdays only) of six ‘up’ trains and seven ‘down’ (but six ‘down’on Saturdays). The stay of execution was short, as the Leicester – Rugby service ceased and the intermediate stations at Wigston South, Countesthorpe, Broughton Astley, Leire Halt and Ullesthorpe were closed on 1 January 1962.


Although goods services were withdrawn at the same time the coal depot remained in use for a number of years longer closing on 2 May 1966 and the line to Rugby was used to store surplus wagons.  The track was lifted and the station buildings demolished in 1970.

In May 1986 British Rail potentially gave rise to confusion when a new station, South Wigston, was opened on the Leicester - Nuneaton line. It is about a quarter of a mile north-west of Wigston South, on a site adjacent to the former Wigtson Glen Parva station.

Tickets from: Michael Stewart and John Stevenson (087), timetables from John Stevenson and (BR-LMR) Alan Young,

Further reading: Leicestershire's stations by Andrew Moore (Laurel House 1998).

See also: Wigston Magna and Wigston Glen Parva

See also Wigton Motiver Power depot


Wigston South station seen from the down platform, looking south. c.1900.
P
hoto from John Stevenson collection


1886 1:2,500 OS map showing the original layout if the station with two facing platforms.

1904 1:2,500 OS map showing the new up platform south of the level crossing. The signal box has also been relocated - although not identified on this map - and a footbridge has been provided on the south side of the level crossing, Note also the realignment of sidings in the goods yard to
serve a new goods shed.

Wigston south station looking north from the footbridge c.1920
Photo from John Stevenson collection

A similar view to the picture above in 1952. A Stanier-designed 2-6-4 passenger tank No 42615 is seen departing from the station. Built for the LMS in February 1937 by the North British Loco Company in Glasgow, this loco first carried the number 2615, the 4 prefix being added at nationalisation in 1948. After a working life of over 25 years, it was withdrawn from 1A, Willesden Shed on 23.6.1962 and scrapped by Crewe Works in September of that year.
Photo by H. Gamble from John Stevenson collection

Wigston South station looking south from the level crossing c. 1950s. The LMS ‘Hawkseye’ nameboard is prominent, mounted diagonally to the line of the platform; this positioning was rarely
seen outside the LMS system.
Photo from John Mann collection

A local train from Rugby pulls into Wigston South station in August 1961. 42331 is an ex-LMS 2-6-4 tank, built at Derby in February 1929 to a design by Sir Henry Fowler. One of a class of 125 class 4 locos, it lasted until 1.9.1962 when it was withdrawn from 15C, Leicester Midland shed and cut up by Cashmores of Great Bridge in May 1963.
Photo by H Gamble from John Stevenson collection

Seen from the footbridge, a class B stopping train from Leicester approaches the staggered up platform at Wigston South station in 1961. 42062 is a Fairburn-designed, 2-6-4, class 4 passenger tank. Built by BR at Derby in 1950 to a design for the LMS, this loco entered service at 5D, Stoke shed on 15 December. After spells at Bletchley, Rugby and Bushbury sheds it was withdrawn from Aston shed in April 1965 and scrapped by Cashmores of Great Bridge in September of the same year.
Photo by H. Gamble from John Stevenson collection

Looking north from Wigston South station up platform in 1961. The BR(LMR) running-in nameboard is on the right.
Copyright photo from Stations UK

Looking south from Wigston South station down platform c.1970, shortly after the track was lifted.
Photo from John Mann collection

To the left a health centre has been built on the site of the down platform and
main station buildings. (April 2012).
P
hoto by John Stevenson



Click on thumbnail to enlarge


 

 

 

[Source: John Stevenson]




Last updated: Thursday, 22-Nov-2012 07:43:30 GMT
© 1998-2012 Disused Stations