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Witney railway station (goods)

whitney railway station (goods)
Witney goods station served the Oxfordshire town of Witney on the Oxford, Witney and Fairford Railway It consisted of seven sidings, a goods shed, a wooden parcel office and a cattle dock It also had an engine shed, which was demolished early in the twentieth century Following the opening of the East Gloucestershire Railway in 1873, the station became a goods depot, with passengers using the second station situated to the south The original station remained open to goods traffic until 1970

Contents

  • 1 History
  • 2 Present day
  • 3 References
    • 31 Notes
    • 32 Sources
  • 4 External links

Historyedit

The station was opened by the Witney Railway on 4 November 1861 as the western terminus of its line from Yarnton12 A single platform was provided in addition to a run-around loop and a carriage siding3 A large stone goods shed was served by two sidings, one of which was accessed by a short spur from a wagon turntable3 The station building was a small weather-boarded structure with a hipped roof and a platform canopy3 At the end of the line stood a single-road engine shed and water tank4567 The shed, which lost its locomotive allocation when the new Witney station opened, was demolished during November 1905 after having been used for storage purposes86

When the East Gloucestershire Railway opened an extension of the line in 1873,9 a new passenger station was constructed on a different site to the south,10 opening on 15 January 18731211121314 This left the old station on a spur line, and it became the town's goods depot on the same date1215 The directors of the Witney Railway had first been opposed to the downgrading of their station but the Great Western Railway, which was to work the new line,16 insisted that agreement would need to be reached between the East Gloucestershire and the Witney as to a new station which would be operated on a joint basis1712 Following its conversion to a goods depot, the station's basic layout remained essentially intact, so much so that it continued to resemble the old passenger station8 The Great Western made several later additions including extensions to the goods shed, a stable block to accommodate the shunting and dray horses, a wood store, a corrugated iron warehouse and a stationmaster's house818 The house is said to be the last to have been constructed by the Great Western before the Second World War819 The station canopy was boarded in to increase the storage space for parcels7

The station remained busy right up until the later years of the line20 In 1957, over 44,000 tons of goods were handled as well as 66,000 parcels20 99,000 bales of blankets were dispatched by rail every year,20 the main source of traffic14 After the withdrawal of services on the East Gloucestershire Railway, British Railways began deliberately running down the Witney Railway to ensure its closure; it offered the Witney Blanket Company a cheaper rate if it agreed to transfer its goods to road2122 Staff at the station was reduced to a single person as the service was cut back to a coal train on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and subsequently only Tuesdays and Fridays21 The sidings in the goods yard were lifted in Winter 1968, leaving the large goods shed and siding to fall derelict21 The remaining traffic was dealt with behind the station building or in the coal sidings21

Witney goods station was closed along with the Witney Railway on 2 November 19701223 The last train to traverse the line was the "Witney Wanderer" on 31 October, but this did not actually enter the Witney terminus2422

Preceding station Disused railways Following station
Terminus   Great Western Railway
Witney Railway
  South Leigh
Line and station closed

Present dayedit

The station building survived into the 1980s engulfed by an industrial estate constructed on the site of the former goods depot25 It was accidentally damaged in 1980 when a chimney stack was brought down after a tractor-mounted loading shovel became caught up in an electric cable attached to the chimney26 The station building was subsequently moved to Wallingford on the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway2728 The goods yard, weighbridge and parcel shed continued to be used by Marriott's coal merchants until May 1995 when they were demolished and subsequently replaced by a Sainsbury's supermarket293023

The former goods shed was converted into a club known as "Sidings" which used a 1955 British Railways Mark 1 coach as its entrance31 Both the goods shed and the stationmaster's house remain23

Referencesedit

Notesedit

  1. ^ a b c d Butt 1995, p 253
  2. ^ a b c d Quick 2009, p 416
  3. ^ a b c Jenkins 1985, p 17
  4. ^ Jenkins 1985, pp 91-92
  5. ^ Simpson 1997, p 175
  6. ^ a b Waters 1986, p 25
  7. ^ a b Mitchell, Smith & Lingard 1988, fig 48
  8. ^ a b c d Jenkins 1985, p 92
  9. ^ "Witney Junction" The Fairford Branch Line Martin Loader Archived from the original on 23 February 2012 Retrieved 21 June 2009 
  10. ^ Simpson 1997, p 177
  11. ^ Simpson 1997, p 172
  12. ^ a b Clark 1976, p 176
  13. ^ Clinker 1988, p 177, note 3795
  14. ^ a b Mitchell, Smith & Lingard 1988, fig 44
  15. ^ Jenkins 1985, p 32
  16. ^ Awdry 1990, p 25
  17. ^ Jenkins 1985, p 34
  18. ^ Mitchell, Smith & Lingard 1988, figs 50-51
  19. ^ Mitchell, Smith & Lingard 1988, fig 52
  20. ^ a b c Jenkins 1985, p 109
  21. ^ a b c d Jenkins 1985, p 115
  22. ^ a b Waters 1986, p 28
  23. ^ a b c "Closure" The Witney & East Gloucestershire Railway David M Howse 11 February 2007 para 2 Archived from the original on 1 February 2012 Retrieved 21 June 2009 
  24. ^ Jenkins 1985, p 119
  25. ^ Jenkins 1985, p 147
  26. ^ Mitchell, Smith & Lingard 1988, fig 54
  27. ^ Simpson 1997, p 176
  28. ^ Stretton 2006, p 86
  29. ^ Mitchell, Smith & Lingard 1988, fig 49
  30. ^ Waters & Doyle 1992, p 97
  31. ^ Mitchell, Smith & Lingard 1988, fig 53

Sourcesedit

  • Awdry, Christopher 1990 Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd ISBN 1-8526-0049-7 OCLC 19514063 
  • Butt, R V J 1995 The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present 1st ed Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7 OCLC 60251199 
  • Clark, RH 1976 An Historical Survey of Selected Great Western Stations: Layouts and Illustrations 1 Headington: Oxford Publishing ISBN 0-902888-29-3 
  • Clinker, CR 1988 1978 Clinker's Register of Closed Passenger Stations and Goods Depots in England, Scotland and Wales 1830–1980 2nd ed Bristol: Avon-Anglia Publications & Services ISBN 978-0-905466-91-0 OCLC 655703233 
  • Jenkins, Stanley C 1985 1975 The Fairford Branch Headington: Oakwood Press ISBN 0-853613-16-8 LP86 
  • Mitchell, Victor E; Smith, Keith; Lingard, Richard April 1988 Branch Line to Fairford Midhurst: Middleton Press ISBN 0-906520-52-5 
  • Quick, Michael 2009 2001 Railway passenger stations in Great Britain: a chronology 4th ed Oxford: Railway and Canal Historical Society ISBN 978-0-901461-57-5 OCLC 612226077 
  • Simpson, Bill 1997 A History of the Railways of Oxfordshire; Part 1: The North Witney: Lamplight Publications ISBN 978-1-89924-602-1 
  • Stretton, John 2006 British Railways Past and Present: Oxfordshire; A Second Selection Kettering: Past & Present Publishing ISBN 978-1-85895-203-1 No 55 
  • Waters, Laurence; Doyle, Tony 1992 British Railways Past and Present: Oxfordshire Wadenhoe: Silver Link Publishing ISBN 978-0-94797-187-8 No 15 
  • Waters, Laurence 1986 Rail Centres: Oxford London: Ian Allan ISBN 978-0-7110-1590-6 

External linksedit

  • Photos and details of the station
  • Archived page with post-closure details of stations

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