Tag Archives: Titley Junction

Some Early Lines – Railways Around Titley, Herefordshire

Some Early Lines

Railways around Titley, HerefordshireG.F.Bannister

Leominster and Kington Railway was one of four branches which served the Welsh Marches border town of Kington, Herefordshire.

1420 at Titley Junction after a trip up the Presteigne branch in August 1964.  B.J.Ashworth

Opened in August 1857, its peak was during World War II, when it served two US Army hospitals. Decling post war due to competition from buses, it closed to passengers in 1955, and freight from 1964.

Today, a 1 mile (1.6 km) section is preserved at Titley Junction railway station.

Proposed in 1853, the company was formed by William Bateman-Hanbury, 2nd Baron Bateman of Shobdon Court. It received Royal Assent as a broad gauge line in July 1854, subject to provision for a junction with the standard gauge Kington and Eardisley Railway be provided.

A delightful rural picture of the Kington – Presteigne goods in August 1964, a month before its demise.  B.J.Ashworth

On 14 November 1854 the company agreed the offer of Thomas Brassey and William Field to construct the line for £70,000. Further, they would work from opening and pay the shareholders a 4% dividend per annum. Engineered by David Wylie of Shrewsbury, Lady Bateman cut the first sod at Kington, with a silver spade into a special built barrow that can be seen preserved today at the Leominster Folk Museum. Section from the Leominster railway station of the Shrewsbury and Hereford Railway to Pembridge, opened for goods traffic on the 18th October, 1855, at a cost of £7,000 per mile.

The Kington branch was single throughout and worked by electric train staff between the main line junction and the original 1857 terminus.  The New Radnor and Presteigne sections operated with train staff and ‘one engine in steam’.  GWR 0-6-0PT 7416 approaches the road crossing at Kingsland with the daily goods returning from Kington in August 1956.  The single platform with station building and small signal box was on the up side and beyond lay a small goods yard and siding.  G.F.Bannister

But, with additional costs, the company was struggling, and in April 1856 Brassey and Field, who held £20,000 or one quarter of the company’s stock, advanced the company £10,000 at 5%. The second section from Pembridge to Kington opened in August 1857. There were no tunnels or viaducts on the entire single track line of 13 miles 25 chains (21.4 km) in length, which had cost £80,000 to construct.

Inspected by Colonel Yolland for the Board of Trade on the 22nd July, 1857, a certificate authorising the opening was withheld because a level crossing had been built at Pembridge instead of the overbridge authorised by the Act of Parliament.

Eventually, it was agreed to open the line under a temporary order, subject to retrospective application and government approval of the level crossing. The line opened on Tuesday July 28, 1857, with a train consisting of 32 coaches and 2 engines travelling from the joint GWR/LNWR station at Leominster to Kington, stopping briefly at all stations along the line. When they reached Kington, the directors retired to the Oxford Arms Hotel, where with 300 guests then Rear Admiral Sir Thomas Hastings CB presided over lunch. The return journey was completed with diner for the same 300 guests at the Royal Oak Hotel, Leominster, presided over by Lord Bateman. Bateman remained chairman for 22years, and had a private station built at Ox House.

Bullock’s Mill Crossing, September 1964, 1420 is returning to Hereford from Kington.  B.J.Ashworth

In 1862 the line was leased to the West Midland Railway, which taken over by the Great Western Railway, amalgamated the line on 1 July 1898. This meant that by 1874 a journey from Kington to Leominster took 40 minutes, to Hereford 1 hour 20 minutes, and to Shrewsbury 3 hours and 30 minutes.

As the line was rural, and based in the Welsh Marches farm district, the main revenue was earned from transporting goods to the various markets. Sheep and cattle which had been driven to Kington on the various drovers trails, were now transported to their original destination of Hereford by train. Often on market days, seven or eight cattle trucks were attached to the Hereford bound passenger service, specifically for bull transportation.

Titley Junction was the busiest intermediate station on the line with up to 30 trains a day passing through. It was the connection point for the LK&R with the Kington and Eardisley Railway south to the Hay Railway, and the L&KR’s own line to Presteigne.

When the line was extended to New Radnor in 1875 the old L&KR station of 1857 was abandoned in favour of a completely new structure built on the north side.  In this view, the locomotive of the Presteigne branch freight takes water from a column adjacent to the line leading to the old station, long since converted to a goods depot.  Two wagons of coal and a van full of animal foodstuffs make up the load of the day on 11th April 1956.  G.F.Bannister

After completion of this extension, the K&ER extended north from Kington to a small station at New Radnor, in the hope of completing a cross-Wales mainline to Aberystwyth, but this never happened.

A GWR pannier tank arrives at Presteigne with the daily goods from Kington on 11 April 1956.  After the cessation of passenger services the whole system required the leisurely attention of one train per day with a locomotive provided by Hereford shed.  In the years prior to 1951, two engines and three crews were allocated to the small sub-shed at Kington, sufficient to cover all passenger turns.  The GWR Appendix to the Working Timetables stressed the importance of anticipating bad weather conditions by the operating staff on the branches under the heading ‘SNOW STORMS’.  Kington acted as the control centre for coordinating action – ‘If snow falls on Saturday and Sunday, gangers must proceed to their station and communicate with Kington.  The Station Master must arrange to run a light engine over the branch…’  G.F.Bannister

The Kington & Presteigne Railway opened on 9 September 1875. Commencing at Titley Junction, it passed through Leen farm, to Staunton-on-Arrow, in front of the Rodd farm via Corton into Presteigne.  By 1929 it was possible to join one of the three steam trains a day – each way – and make the 6 hour journey to London. The passenger service on this line ended in 1951, but a freight service continued to run every other day until the line was finally closed for good in 1961.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nowadays, Titley Junction station has been lovingly restored, and its owners have relaid one mile of the branch to Kington, making this the longest privately owned railway in Herefordshire. Group visits can be organised by prior arrangement, but casual visitors cannot always be accommodated.

Pic by Railway Ramblers

Entrance to Titley Junction Station (long disused).

© Copyright Peter Evans and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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144 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – From Chasewater News December 1991 – Part 3

144 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – From Chasewater News December 1991 – Part 3

General News from the Line

Bric a Brac Stall – The stall is still running and making money for the railway.  Suitable items are always needed to maintain the stock, so if you can help please bring your donations to Brownhills West Station.

Station Buffet – The new buffet is still a great success, to the extent that Walsall Council would now like us to apply for planning permission for it.  The CLR Company will no doubt point out that this is a temporary building which we intend to dismantle as soon as we have made a fortune out of feeding the construction workers on the new M6 Toll motorway which will be built around it at some time in the future!Advertising – This year the railway has benefited from a bit of extra advertising.  The photos show the electronic scoreboard at Walsall FC’s Bescot Stadium.  One of our members, Dave Bathurst, has access to the control panel of this machine and regularly manages to advertise our events on the day before they happen.  Ours could well be the only preserved railway in the country to benefit in this way!!

Steve Organ has also been busy publicising the railway by being interviewed on local radio just before the October Transport Rally.  With this sort of coverage, our events can only become better attended, with the resultant upturn in CLR finances.

The New Platform – Arthur Edwards

The delivery of the new platform has been on the books at Chasewater since January, but through illness and the like had to be put off until September 28th, which was a Saturday.

So there I was going towards Frank Harvey’s house at 5.30 in the morning to be at the SVR at around 7.15am.  Frank picked me up at 5.40am and off we went towards Guymer’s to pick up a trailer and two drivers, Bullet and Ken.

After a cup of coffee we set off.  Bullet and Ken took the two trailers which had been loaded the previous day back to the CLR, whilst Frank and I waited for the SVR crane driver to appear.  We also had Frank’s son Francis and daughter Ruth with us, and while we waited, Flying Scotsman rolled in.  Frank and Francis got on the footplate to have a gander while Scotsman watered up and saw City of Truro which was also there.

The SVR crane driver was a policeman on night shift, so it was only fair that he had some sleep before he came.  It took some 2½ hours to load up, and in the meantime down came the rain.  By the time we were loaded we were both soaked to the skin.

We finally arrived back on CLR territory at 6.55pm to the welcome sight of the mobile crane waiting for us.

I though it wise to include a credit list of those who helped us, so here goes:  Paul Whittaker, his son Kane, and brother-in-law Barry, who was the instigator in us getting a Hy-Ab.  Credit must also go to our own lorry driver, Frank Harvey, who borrowed the original Hy-Ab from a workmate.

Thanks must go to Guymer’s Transport, especially their manager, Mr.S.Ashton, for whose help we are most indebted.

Finally to everyone who helped, even in the pouring rain and to Dave Borthwick for a lift home.

After following the ‘New Platform Saga’ for a number of magazines, and searching for pictures of it, sadly I found that it was never erected at Chasewater.  I am not sure what happened to it but one theory is that it ended up at Titley Junction.

Titley Peckett

Titley Peckett

me2408-cam0Peckett 0-4-0ST 1738/1928

Supplied new to Birmingham Electricity Authority, Hams Hall Power Station, near Coleshill.

By 1968 the loco was disposed of by sale to a Severn Valley Railway member and the loco went to Bridgnorth on the embryonic Severn Valley Railway.

The locomotive saw very little use and was eventually sold privately, this time going to the South Devon Railway.

Later again resold, this time going to Titley Junction, Herefordshire.  The loco masquerades as the Thomas the Tank Engine character ‘Percy’ and has visited several preserved railways at Thomas events.