Shropshire Railways History Past and present

                       Bewdley to Hartlebury Junction

This line is not in Shropshire, but forms a major part of the counties railway system as this was the most southerly stretch of the Severn Valley Railway. Many people think that the Severn Valley Railway ran, as it does today, from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster. However, it was actually built to join the county towns of Shropshire and Worcestershire, running from Shrewsbury in the north down to Hartlebury Junction in the south, joining the Kidderminster to Worcester line several miles north of the county town. The line got paliamentary clearance in 1853, but it was in a further nine years in 1862 before regular services began between the county towns. The official opening saw a train of dignatries leave Worcester Shrub Hill bound for Shrewsbury on 31st January 1862. On the return leg an opening ceremony with a vast meal took place at Bridgnorth Station.  The first public services between Shrewsbury and Worcester started the following day, February 1st 1862, worked by the West Midland Railway. The line through Stouport required several engineering feats, including a 480 yard tunnel between Bewdley and Stourport and an impressive viaduct just to the south of Stourport (see picture above) There was also a branch line built on a raised embankment to serve the former Stourport Power Station. This section of the Severn Valley Railway has real contrasts today; while many parts are very well preserved, such as the viaduct and the path south, some other stretches show absolutely no evidence that a railway ever existed there. The area in and around Stourport Station is now a modern housing estate and plenty of imagination is required here! This southern section of the Severn Valley Railway survived longer than the section north of Bewdley up to Shrewsbury. The northern section closed to all services on 9th September 1963, but services south of Bewdley, to both Kidderminster and Hartlebury Junction, continued right up to 1970, the last day of passenger service being January 3rd. Even then, coal trains continued to run to the power station until it closed in 1981. Future restoration of this section of the line looks highly unlikely. This section would make a great direct link to the main line but navigation through Stourport a second time would seemingly be impossible. However, never say never again! writing.
The SVR viaduct South East of Stourport