RAIL CHRONOLOGY : EARDINGTON station (Severn Valley Railway)

Page updated: 22 December 2015

Closed (under BR auspices) 9 September 1963

Re-opened (under SVR auspices) 23 May 1970 [SVR Holdings Ltd prospectus April 1972].
For seasons 1970 -1973 all trains between Bridgnorth and Hampton Loade advertised to call definitely. [SVR public timetables]

"Request only" from 2 March 1974 (co-terminous with extension of services to Bewdley).
For seasons 1974 - 1976 all trains advertised to call on request [SVR public timetables]

Calls "suspended" because of fire risk during 1976 season [minutes of SVR 10th Annual General Meeting; Branch Line News 313, p.3]

Dates of suspension and resumption not known.

Very limited request stops from 5 March 1977 - for 1977 season two round trips advertised to call on request, Mondays to Saturdays, except Bank Holidays; for 1978 season one round trip advertised to call on request, Saturdays only; advertised until end of 1978 season (16 September 1978) [SVR public timetables]

No calls advertised during 1979 and 1980 seasons [SVR public timetables]

Re-opened 7 March 1981, with full length platform [SVR News 59, p.4 (photo of first train); Birmingham Post 9 March 1981 (photo of Steve Downs, Station Master); Branch Line News 756.MR85].
For 1981 and 1982 seasons all trains advertised to call on request; advertised until end of 1982 season (31 October 1982). [SVR public timetables]

". . . the platform edge became dangerous . . . thus withdrawn from timetable." [source unkown].
Question as to whether trains ceased to call before end of 1982 season raised in SVR News 131, p.69 (reader's letter) and Branch Line News 840.MR239, but without response in either case.

No calls advertised from 1983 season onwards. [SVR public timetables]

By 1989 platform coping adjacent to station building removed (but shortened platform, 152 feet long, retained at northern end). [see photos in SVR News 92, p.2 (23.4.1989), SVR News 100, p.35 (Aug 1990), SVR News 109, p.19 (25.9.1993), SVR News 122, p.44 (10.5.1992), SVR News 127, p.45 (undated), SVR News 192, p. 30 (10.10.2014)]

Restoration of station by "small group of Bridgnorth C&W volunteers" started 1989 [SVR News 100, p.35 - two page report by Steve Downs; SVR News 127 Summer 1998, p.45 (photo)]

By summer 1990, Steve Downs was "unofficial stationmaster" [SVR News 100, p.31]

Landslip: portion of cutting behind station collapsed January 1991 [SVR News 100,pp.18,36, SVR News 101, p.31 (photo)]

Re-opened for visitors by pedestrian access only on certain special events weekends from War Weekend 25/26 June 1994 [SVR News 111, p.36 - one page report by Steve Downs which suggests opening date was Sunday 26th].

Continuation of this practice confirmed in 1999 [SVR News 131, p.69 (photo 24.4.1999)] - restoration work continues [SVR News 129 Spring 1999, p.71 - one page report from Steve Downs]

Re-opened for train calls for special events from 13 April 2003 (also Autumn Galas, and "40s weekend" in 2003) [SVR News 142, p.54/5 - two page report from Steve Downs] - report implies this was first such event served by train, which would make it first recorded advertised call by a publicly advertised train since 1982.

Continuation of the practice of opening for visitors by pedestrian access only on certain special events weekends confirmed in 2015, and of calls by charter special trains (such as photographers' specials) [SVR News 192, p. 30/1 - illustrated two page report from Steve Downs]

Calls by "first timetabled stopping trains for many years" [this probably means since 1982] occurred on Friday 17 April 2015 when fund-raising special service Eardington Explorer made several calls. [ibid.]

Calls by fund-raising special service Eardington Flyer advertised for Friday 22 April 2016 [SVR News 192, p. 15]

Red highlights items for which definitive answers are sought.

Summary under SVR auspices:

  • reopened 23 May 1970
  • closed again after use on 16 September 1978
  • reopened again 7 March 1981
  • closed again after use on 31 October 1982 (or earlier)
  • reopened to the public again but without train service 25 June 1994
  • reopened for occasional train calls in conjunction with specially advertised events 13 April 2003 (although this seems to have been limited to private charters - until the April calls in 2015 and 2016 - see above)

    The station being on the steep Eardington bank, against northbound trains, crews prefer not to have to stop here.

    Richard Maund

    Acknowledgements to Allan Brackenbury for help in this research

    A version of this paper appeared in Railway & Canal Historical Society Railway Chronology Group Co-ordinating Newsletter no. 49, January 2007

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