Shropshire Routes to Roots
|Routes | Transport and communication | Abbey Station|
1. Introduction: Abbey Station - Tracing local changes.
How has a local area changed over time?
How can we trace those changes?
By focusing on a specific local area we can trace the changes which have occurred. As part of this Transport and communication learning package we shall look at the history of Abbey Station, the end station of the "Old Potts" line opposite the Abbey Church in Shrewsbury.
You can find the site of Abbey Station on an OS map, reference SJ498124 (Link courtesy of Streetmap.co.uk. Opens in a new window).
For an excellent article on the history of the "Potts Line" visit the BBC History site (Opens in a new window).
About Abbey Station
Abbey station was originally built as the main terminus of the Potteries, Shrewsbury and North Wales Railway (hence the name "Old Potts"), an ill-fated merged company formed during the great railway boom of the second half of the nineteenth century. The line was to carry passengers and freight (particularly minerals) to and from Llanymynech, a small village near Oswestry. When the company was refused use of the main Shrewsbury station, the terminus at Abbey Foregate was built, with a station at Meole Brace and the line was opened on Monday 13th August, 1866. Unfortunately the railway was never successful, and after various closures and relaunches the line became completely dormant in 1890.
The station saw the return of rail traffic when the railway engineer Colonel Holman Stephens formed the Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Light Railway Company and reopened the line on Thursday April 13th, 1911. Although the Criggion branch attracted some interest from hikers travelling from Shrewsbury, the isolated nature of the line and lack of significant freight traffic meant that the line was to close again in 1933.
The line achieved a brief revival when the War Department requisitioned it during the Second World War. It was used to service the huge ammunition depot built at Kinnerley. British Railways took over the line after the war but the last scheduled train from Shrewsbury to Llanymynech ran on 26th February 1960 and three days later the line was finally closed.
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Page created January 2004 and last updated 1 August 2007