The Severn Valley Railway is one of the premier heritage railways in the UK, and one of the best known. Many people don’t realise that the original railway ran much further, from the heritage lines current terminus in Bridgnorth, under the town to Ironbridge and ultimately Shrewsbury.
Opened in 1862, and already scheduled for closure before the Beeching Report was published, the line closed in 1963. The section of line south of Bridgnorth tunnel was taken over by the Severn Valley Railway Company from 1967, and gradually developed into a sucessful heritage line.
Meanwhile, north of the 200 yard Bridgnorth Tunnel, the line fell into disuse and private ownership. A golf course and part of a housing estate now covers part of the trackbed immediately north of Bridgnorth, further on, two of the stations survive in private ownership, Linley – featured in Paul Whitewicks ‘Remote Disused Stations‘ films is now a holiday let, and Coalport is a private house, with ex BR carriages on a short section of track available as a holiday rental.
The original station at Jackfield no longer exists, it was moved after a major landslip, and a platform on the newer site still remains, the station building at Ironbridge is now a restaurant.
I will be doing a further blog about the line north of Ironbridge later in the year. Meanwhile, it’s easy to explore, with much of the section north of Bridgnorth now part of Sustrans cycle route No 45.
There’s a more in depth history of the line on the SVR Wiki.
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