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Challow railway station

Challow railway station is a former railway station about 2 miles (3 km) south of Stanford in the Vale on the A417 road between Wantage and Faringdon. It is named after the villages of West Challow and East Challow, which are 1.5 miles (2.4 km) and 2.5 miles (4 km) southeast of the former station.

Class 43 Challow stn.jpg
Challow station in 2007, with little remaining of the original station
PlaceWest Challow
AreaDistrict of Vale of White Horse
Grid referenceSU355905
Original companyGreat Western Railway
Pre-groupingGreat Western Railway
Western Region of British Railways
20 July 1840Opened as Faringdon Road
1864Renamed Challow
7 December 1964Closed to passengers
29 March 1965Closed to freight
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal



When the Great Western Railway extended its main line from Reading through the Vale of White Horse in 1840 it opened the station as Faringdon Road station. After the Faringdon Railway between Uffington and Faringdon opened in 1864, the GWR renamed Faringdon Road "Challow" to avoid confusion.[1]

The main station buildings and goods yard were on the up side of the line. A loading dock was provided.[2] The line was originally double track. In 1932, the line was quadrupled between Challow and Wantage Road.[3] The 1840-built timber station building on the up side was demolished, replaced by a new brick building. The 1873-built signal box on the down side of the line was also demolished and replaced by a new building. The down side platform was demolished and rebuilt to allow four tracks to run through the station, two fast straddled by two slow, designated Main and Relief. The station's platforms were on the slow lines, with the down platform having a "Pagoda" building, apparently for use as a waiting room.[4][5] A loading dock was provided at the Uffington end of the down platform.[2] In the goods yard, a grounded coach body served as a Methodist Church from the 1930s.[6][7]

On 7 December 1964 British Railways withdrew passenger services from Challow and all other intermediate stations between Didcot and Swindon. The last passenger train ran on 5 December.[8] The station closed to freight traffic on 29 March 1965.[9] The signal box closed on 30 May 1965. The goods shed was demolished the next month.[10]

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On 4 September 1876, a postal train struck a log which was being loaded onto a wagon and was foul of the running line. The locomotive of the postal train was severely damaged, its smokebox door ending up in the goods yard.[11]
  • On 1 November 1962, a freight train was derailed whilst being shunted, blocking all four lines through the station.[12]
  • In late November 1962, A Hall Class locomotive and a wagon were derailed in a shunting accident.[13]

The station todayEdit

Few parts of the station survive. The northern platform has almost disappeared completely and the southern platform is used by Network Rail, although no buildings remain and the buildings used by Network Rail are only small portable cabins, including a relay room. New buildings have been built around the site. The most noticeable is the bail depot on the site of the northern platform. One nearby public house, the Prince of Wales, was burnt down in 1999 and the site has been levelled.

Freight trains now use the relief lines from between Challow and Wantage Road to wait for High Speed Trains to overtake them.


  1. ^ Vaughan 1981, p. 57.
  2. ^ a b Vaughan 1983, Appendix 1.
  3. ^ Vaughan 1983, p. 55.
  4. ^ Robertson 2004, p. 4.
  5. ^ Vaughan 1981, Illustrations 2 & 3, between pp. 84-85.
  6. ^ Vaughan 1983, p. 56.
  7. ^ Vaughan 1983, Illustration 20, between pp. 84-85.
  8. ^ Vaughan 1983, p. 171.
  9. ^ Brooksbank, Ben (23 August 2012). "Remains of Challow station". Geograph. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  10. ^ Vaughan 1983, p. 176.
  11. ^ "Railway Accidents". The Times (28727). London. 6 September 1876. col F, p. 5.
  12. ^ Vaughan 1983, pp. 88-89.
  13. ^ Vaughan 1983, pp. 91-92.


  • Robertson, Kevin (2004) [1999]. Odd Corners of the GWR: From the Days of Steam. Stroud, Glos: Sutton Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0 7509 3458 1.
  • Vaughan, Adrian (1981). Signalman's Morning. London: John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-3827-0.
  • Vaughan, Adrian (1983). Signalman's Twilight. London: John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-3973-0.
Preceding station Historical railways Following station
Wantage Road
Line open, station closed
  British Rail
Western Region

Great Western Main Line
Line open, station closed

Coordinates: 51°36′44″N 1°29′19″W / 51.61222°N 1.48872°W / 51.61222; -1.48872