Bridgnorth Station was opened by the original Severn Valley Railway in 1862, as the main intermediate station between Hartlebury Junction and Shrewsbury.
The original Severn Valley Railway Company was absorbed by the Great Western Railway and then in 1948 by British Railways (Western Region). Closure between Shrewsbury and Bewdley came in 1963.
In 1965 the Severn Valley Railway Society was formed by a group of railway enthusiasts who met in The Coopers Arms in Kidderminster. Initial efforts succeeded in raising 25% of the £25,000 purchase price for the closed five-mile section of the Severn Valley line from Bridgnorth to Alveley Colliery. By 1967 the first rolling stock - an engine and four coaches - had been received.
The next three years were spent restoring the line to operating condition, and obtain the legal authority, a Light Railway Order, from the Department of Environment, gained only after experiencing considerable difficulties. The section from Bridgnorth to Hampton Loade was opened for public passenger services in May 1970, and the remainder of the purchase price was paid shortly afterwards.
Bridgnorth Station Timeline
Bridgnorth is one of the few places in the country to have a railway tunnel immediately below the medieval heart of the town. The tunnel, 550 yards long, runs below High Town.
Bridgnorth Station Building is made of stone in a restrained Jacobean architectural style.
20 August 1853: The first Severn Valley Railway Act received the Royal Assent.
26 May 1858: Contract for building the railway completed between the company and the contracting engineers. Work began on 14 August.
Autumn 1861: Line complete and ready to receive traffic, although opening was delayed for another six months to obtain a permanently substantial formation for the permanent way.
31 January 1862: First official train, of 22 carriages, left Worcester Shrub Hill at 11.30am, reaching Shrewsbury at 2pm.
1 July 1872: Great Western Railway Act - Severn Valley Railway Branch becomes part of God's Wonderful Railway.
1887: Original down platform extended, a passenger shelter erected, and a cast-iron and wrought-iron lattice footbridge built to connect it to the up platform.
1887: Town Corporation pays for a new approach road to the station.
1892: Two fully interlocked signalboxes opened at the north and south ends of the station, superceded in 1923 by a single central box on the up platform.
1895: Town Corporation pays for a lattice footbridge to shorten the route from High Town to the railway, at a cost of £1,400.
7 November 1904: Bridgnorth - Wolverhampton omnibus passenger service initially using three Clarkson steambuses, soon replaced by petrol-engined Milnes-Daimler buses from 1 April 1905 until 2 June 1923, when Wolverhampton Corporation took over.
August 1922: Knowle Sand Brick Works siding opened, with ground frames at either end of loop, capable of accommodating 35 standard wagons plus engine and brake van.
June 1962: The Western Region of British Railways announces that passenger trains between Shrewsbury and Bewdley would be withdrawn. Bridgnorth Town Council objects to proposals, believing the line could be promoted as a holiday attraction.
27 March 1963: British Transport Commission's report The Reshaping of British Railways, colloquially known as The Beeching Report.
August 1963: Official notice of withdrawal of passenger services north of Bewdley, to be effective from 9 September 1963. Freight and parcels continued until the end of the year, after which time there was only coal traffic to and from Alveley Colliery.
8 September 1963: The last British Railways passenger train to run into Bridgnorth from the south, double headed by ex-GWR 0-6-0 Pannier Tanks Nos 9624 and 4665.
2 December 1963: All Severn Valley line stations except Bewdley and Stourport closed completely, and track taken up between Buildwas and Bridgnorth.
6 July 1965: Meeting at Cooper's Arms in Kidderminster.
25 July 1965: Inspection of the line between Hampton Loade and Bridgnorth followed by contact with British Railways to get demolition work stopped.
February 1966: Price of £25,000 agreed for purchase of line.
1 January 1967: Purchase by Severn Valley Railway Society of track southwards from Bridgnorth to Alveley Colliery from British Railways.
24 May 1967: Severn Valley Railway Company Limited incorporated, to enable application for a Light Railway Order.
1 June 1967: Contracts exchanged on sale of line from Bridgnorth to Alveley.
3 February 1969: Alveley to Bewdley section officially closed by British Railways.
December 1969: Severn Valley Railway Society merges with the Severn Valley Railway Company.
5 January 1970: Passenger service withdrawn between Bewdley, Kidderminster and Hartlebury.
May 1970: Second Light Railway Order granted.
23 May 1970: Re-opening Day - first public trains between Bridgnorth and Hampton Loade. Locos 3205, 46443, 43106 and 48773 used over the weekend. Trains run at weekends to the end of October.
10 April to 30 October 1971: Summer timetable operated between Bridgnorth and Hampton Loade.
April 1974: Services extended to Highley and, six weeks later...
May 1974: Services extended to Bewdley; daily running during the summer season extended to five weeks.
31 July 1984: First preservation-era trains between Bridgnorth and Kidderminster.
18 June 2007: Exceptionally severe weather causes damage at forty five places between Bridgnorth and Bewdley. Services reduced to Bewdley - Kidderminster only. Major appeal launched to fund £2.5M in repairs.