Shropshire Railways History Past and present

                           Wellington to Coalport

The history of this line centres around the competition between rival rail companies in the area during the mid 1850’s. The GRW had control of the industrial areas, where as the LNWR had only the canal which ran from Trench to Coalport. This situation would not have been so bad for the LNWR had the canal not been going into disrepair and suffering from water shortages and subsidence. Therefore in order to avoid the high costs of repair the LNWR agreed to build a line from Hadley Junction to Coalport. The development of the line saw part of the old canal being converted into track bed for the new railway. It followed the course of the old canal to the East side of Dawley and then through what is now the Town Park past Aqueduct, Madeley and onto Coalport by the River Severn. The building of this line and the subsequent Severn Valley Railway led to the interesting conundrum of having two Coalport stations with the same name (both called Coalport surprisingly enough) After eight months of passenger confusions the LNWR decided to call their station on the north bank of the river Coalport East. Ambitious plans to join the two stations together by a bridge sadly never happened. The line opened as a single track on 17 th  June 1861. Unfortunately passenger numbers were low, but did the railway company expect anything different? More likely they were relying on freight traffic to make the line profitable. The slow speed of the trains didn’t help encourage passengers to use the service, not to mention the steep incline down to Coalport which some passengers were frightened to go on in case the train didn’t stop at the bottom! The line closed on 2 nd  June 1952 becoming an early victim of competition from the roads. Freight traffic continued until 1964, at which point the line closed completely. The southern section of the line from Telford Town Park is now on the Silkin Way, a walkway named after Lord Silkin who was a pioneer of the Telford New Town development in the 1960’s. Sadly there is virtually nothing left of the northern section of the line as this has become a victim of modern developments. Part of this northern section of the line which started its life as a canal, and then turned into a railway, has now had its third transport reincarnation as a duel carriageway. This stretch north of Oakengates is now occupied by the North/South Queensway known locally as the Eastern Primary (The EP) You can still trace the end of the line at Hadley, although any untrained eyes would not see anything to suggest a railway junction ever existed.
Heading South of Aqueduct