Exploring Telford

The Railways of Telford

Site contents © Richard Foxcroft 1996-2002

The Main Line

From the South via Madeley Junction and Wellington to Shrewsbury

Great Western and London North Western Joint Railways

This line is still open and therefore cannot be walked; but is for the same reason the only line that can actually be travelled by train. It is the main line from Birmingham to Telford and Shrewsbury.

Approaching from London, Birmingham and Shifnal, the traveller enters Telford at Madeley Junction, on Stafford Park just north of Naird Roundabout and visible from the bridge there. The left hand fork carries coal to Ironbridge Power Station; the right is the main line going forward to Shrewsbury, calling at Telford Central (which is new), Oakengates, New Hadley (but no longer - there was a halt there) and Wellington.

The new station at Telford Central is an uninspiring cheap construction without even a clock, although it does now have a snack bar. ("They" want us to believe that Public Transport matters; but the Victorians really believed that it did. Compare this station with Shrewsbury's.)

After that, there is a short tunnel before Oakengates Station, recently smartened up. There used to be extensive sidings (and a coal yard?) here, but now it is an unmanned station at which only the most-stopping trains call. The former station building has become a dental surgery.

The fine bridge at the bottom or Market Street, Oakengates is, says Dave Cromarty,

an original Shrewsbury & Birmingham Railway bridge in Oakengates (bottom of Market Street) which bears a cast iron plate 'Lilleshall Company Fect. 1848'.

The goods yard in Oakengates had two sidings for Castle Cement until very recent years. I can't remember when they were closed but certainly they were still there when the 'Donnington Farewell' ran on 6.7.91.

Proceeding in a westerly direction towards Wellington, there was at New Hadley from 1934. I have a friend who remembers trains stopping at Hadley Halt as late as 1978-80, and Dave Cromarty was on the last train to stop there on 13th May, 1985 - despite which nothing remains of it.

Next, about three quarters of a mile from Wellington, and behind what is now Furrows Car Sales parking area, came the junction with the Shropshire Union line to Newport.

We are now approaching (I included this pic just because I like it, poor quality though it is) the large and formerly busy station at the once-important, and still flourishing, market town of Wellington - its importance attested by the number of platforms and tracks. Past the station in Wellington, were sidings and a coalyard, still in business when I came to Shropshire twenty years ago, and a small locomotive yard; and past that, the junction with the Market Drayton line going north. The main line is in the cutting to the right of the picture; the tarmac path is the Market Drayton line.

The main line continues west, calling at Admaston on the way to Shrewsbury, where the platform and a house called Old Station House can still be seen. (The site of another former station at Upton Magna, on the north side of the track on the Upton Magna - Berwick Wharf lane, is visible from the A5 just west of the two canal bridges, the station building being now Old Station House.)

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