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Frome railway station serves a largely rural area of the county of Somerset in England, and is situated in the town of Frome.

Frome National Rail
2016 at Frome station - exterior.JPG
Local authorityMendip
Coordinates51°13′35″N 2°18′39″W / 51.2263°N 2.3107°W / 51.2263; -2.3107Coordinates: 51°13′35″N 2°18′39″W / 51.2263°N 2.3107°W / 51.2263; -2.3107
Grid referenceST784476
Station codeFRO
Managed byGreat Western Railway
Number of platforms1
DfT categoryD
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase 0.158 million
2014/15Increase 0.169 million
2015/16Increase 0.175 million
2016/17Increase 0.188 million
2017/18Increase 0.191 million
Original companyGreat Western Railway
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Frome from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

The station is located on a 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long branch line which loops off the main line railway, which carries services on both the Reading to Taunton line and Bristol to Weymouth route. Most of the trains which take the loop line in order to serve Frome station are on the Bristol to Weymouth route, and most trains on the Reading to Taunton line by-pass the station on the main line. The station is 22.25 miles (36 km) south of Bath Spa on the Bristol to Weymouth line, and is operated by Great Western Railway.

Frome station was designed by J R Hannaford and opened in 1850. It is one of the oldest through train shed railway stations still in operation in Britain. The unusual station structure consists of a 120 by 48 foot (36.5 x 14.6 metres) timber train shed, supported by 12 composite trusses with a span of 49 feet (15 m).[1] The station has two platforms, one of which is now unused due to the line being made into a single track.[2] It is now a Grade II listed building.[3]


Inside the train shed

Frome station was originally on the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway, a railway that linked the Great Western Railway (GWR) at Chippenham with Weymouth. The line was authorised in 1845, was acquired by the GWR in 1850, reached Frome in the same year, and was completed throughout in 1857. The original route of this line is that of the loop line through Frome station. This line forms the basis for today's Bristol to Weymouth route.[4]

A branch from Frome, authorised by the same act of 1845, opened to freight traffic in 1854, originally as a broad gauge mineral line to Radstock with a station at Mells Junction (renamed Mells Road in 1898). It was converted to standard gauge in 1874 and opened to passenger traffic in 1875.[5] At Radstock this line connected with the Bristol and North Somerset Railway, providing a more direct route to Bristol than that provided by the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway.[6] Sidings were created in Frome to service local industry: in the 1870s for the Cockey gasworks at Welshmill and the cattlemarket in the town centre, and then in the 1890s for the Cockey engineering works in Garston.[7]

For the remainder of the 19th century, the GWR's principal route from London Paddington station to Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance was an indirect one via Bristol Temple Meads (the so-called Great Way Round). However, in 1895 the GWR directors announced that new lines were to be constructed to enable trains to reach Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance in a shorter time. This involved improvements to the Berks and Hants Extension Railway and the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Line, together with the construction of the Castle Cary Cut-Off, which was opened from Castle Cary to the existing Bristol to Exeter line at Cogload Junction in 1906. This transformed Frome from a station on a secondary north to south line, to one on a main east to west route. The route resulting from these improvements and extensions forms the current London to Penzance line.[8] In 1933 a by-pass route was constructed, enabling through traffic to avoid Frome station and the junction with the Radstock branch, and leaving the station on a looped branch as at present.

In 1925, there were nine or ten trains per day between Radstock and Frome with just two on Sundays. In 1956, this had reduced to only three, with none on a Sunday. The line to Radstock was formally closed in July 1988 by the removal of two rail lengths at Hapsford.[9] The first part of the branch remains open to carry aggregate freight trains from Whatley Quarry.[6] Colliery traffic from Radstock closed in 1973.[10] This section of line is mainly used by Mendip Rail; Freightliner Group will take over the line in November 2019.[11] After the branch near Great Elm to the quarry, the rest of the route to Radstock is now the route of National Cycle Route 24, otherwise known as the Colliers Way.[12]

In February 2014, the station was refurbished.[13] In December 2014 a plaque[14] was installed at the station commemorating a journey made from Frome to London in 1912 by Leonard Woolf to propose marriage to writer Virginia Stephen.[15] The journey to make the proposal, which was initially refused until a change of heart, was the start of one the greatest literary partnerships of the twentieth century.

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On 24 March 1987, a passenger train and a freight train were in a head-on collision due to the freight train passing a signal at danger. Locomotives 33 032 and 47 202 were severely damaged. Fifteen people were injured, some seriously.[16][17]


A Great Western Railway service in 2016

The station is normally served by Bristol to Weymouth trains, although there are some services to/from Bristol and Cardiff which originate and terminate at Frome. There are trains to London Paddington [18] South Western Railway operate direct services to London Waterloo and Yeovil Junction. In 2019 additional Sunday services have been provided.[19]

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Bruton   Great Western Railway
Heart of Wessex Line
  South Western Railway
Heart of Wessex Line (limited service)
Disused railways
Mells Road
Line and station closed
  Bristol and North Somerset Railway
Great Western Railway


  1. ^ Otter, R.A. (1994). Civil Engineering Heritage: Southern England. London: Thomas Telford Ltd. p. 109. ISBN 978-0-7277-1971-3.
  2. ^ "Frome Station roof". Engineering Timelines. Retrieved 6 February 2008.
  3. ^ England, Historic. "FROME STATION (MAIN BUILDING), Frome - 1345526 | Historic England". Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Heritage Locations - South West - Somerset - Frome Station". Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Somerset HER". Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  6. ^ a b "History - Frome Signal Cabin". Great Western Society - Bristol Group. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  7. ^ "Edward Cockey and Sons". Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  8. ^ MacDermot, E T (1931). History of the Great Western Railway, volume II 1863-1921. London: Great Western Railway.
  9. ^ "History of the Line - Community Partnership railway between Radstock and Frome - North Somerset Railway Company Ltd". Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  10. ^ "Somerset HER". Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Freightliner to take over Mendip Rail operations". Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Colliers way rural tourism". Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Frome Station gets a makeover!". Frome Town Council. 18 February 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  14. ^ Plaques, Open. "Leonard Woolf blue plaque". Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Plaque unveiled at Frome Railway Station | Frome Times". Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  16. ^ Department of Transport (6 May 1988). "Report on the Collision that occurred on 24th March 1987 at Frome" (PDF). Her Majesty's Stationery Office. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  17. ^ Vaughan, Adrian (2003) [200]. Tracks to Disaster. Hersham: Ian Allan. pp. 10–11. ISBN 0 7110 2985 7.
  18. ^ "Frome Train Station | Train Times | Great Western Railway". Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  19. ^ "Frome Gains Extra Sunday Rail Services". Frome Town Council. 27 February 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2019.