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Market Drayton railway station served the English town of Market Drayton in Shropshire between 1863 and 1963. It was at the junction where three railway lines met: two of them, forming the Great Western Railway route between Wellington (Shropshire) and Crewe, were met by a line from Stoke-on-Trent on the North Staffordshire Railway.[1]

Market Drayton
PlaceMarket Drayton
Coordinates52°54′34″N 2°29′21″W / 52.9095°N 2.4891°W / 52.9095; -2.4891Coordinates: 52°54′34″N 2°29′21″W / 52.9095°N 2.4891°W / 52.9095; -2.4891
Grid referenceSJ671348
Original companyNantwich and Market Drayton Railway
Pre-groupingGreat Western Railway
Post-groupingGreat Western Railway
20 October 1863 (1863-10-20)Station and line from Nantwich opened
16 October 1867Line from Wellington opened
1 February 1870Line from Silverdale opened
7 May 1956Line from Silverdale closed
9 September 1963 (1963-09-09)Station closed
1 May 1967Final closure
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain


A 1903 Railway Clearing House Junction Diagram showing (left) railways in the vicinity of Market Drayton

The Nantwich and Market Drayton Railway (N&MDR), which ran southwards to Market Drayton from a junction with the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) at Nantwich, was opened on 20 October 1863.[2][3][4] The new line was 10 miles 65 chains (17.4 km) long.[5]

Four years later, on 16 October 1867, the Wellington and Drayton Railway (W&DR) opened, which connected the N&MDR at Market Drayton to the Great Western Railway (GWR) at Wellington. The W&DR, which was 16 miles 12 chains (26.0 km) in length, had been absorbed by the GWR in 1866, the N&MDR had been worked by the GWR since opening (it was fully absorbed in 1897); and so the connection permitted GWR trains from Wolverhampton and the south to reach Crewe and Manchester (London Road) via the LNWR.[6]

On 1 February 1870, the North Staffordshire Railway (NSR) opened a line to Market Drayton from Silverdale. With the arrival of the NSR, the station had to be enlarged and was rebuilt in a French Renaissance style with ornamental iron features and square-topped pavilions at each end.[7]

The opening of the NSR line was also accompanied by reciprocal running powers. The NSR gained running powers to Wellington (for goods traffic) and Hodnet (passengers and cattle) and the GWR had running powers for freight traffic to Stoke on Trent.[8] The NSR also built its own small engine shed at Market Drayton which lasted until 1931.[9]

The line from Silverdale closed on 7 May 1956, and the station closed when the line between Wellington and Nantwich closed on 9 September 1963.[10][11][3][4] The line had been listed in Section 6 of the Beeching report as a line whose passenger services were under consideration for withdrawal before the formulation of the report, and Market Drayton station was listed in Section 7 as a passenger station already under consideration for closure before the formulation of the report.[12] Freight services continued to use the route for a further four years until 1 May 1967.[11][13]

Present day and possible reopeningEdit

Former rail tunnel at Market Drayton station site

The station site was sold in 1984 for a supermarket, but some of the buildings and artefacts were dismantled by the Nantwich and Market Drayton Railway Society and are now stored for future reuse.[14] The station site, which was situated to the east on the A529 Adderley Road, near the present site of Morrisons supermarket, is now covered by a factory complex.[15] The idea of converting the trackbed of the Wellington to Nantwich line into a footpath was rejected by Cheshire County Council which considered it not "particularly attractive for walkers".[11]

Preceding station   Disused railways   Following station
Line and station closed
  Great Western Railway
Nantwich and Market Drayton Railway
  Little Drayton Halt
Line and station closed
Terminus   North Staffordshire Railway
Stoke to Market Drayton Line
Line and station closed


  1. ^ Conolly, W. Philip (January 1976). British Railways Pre-Grouping Atlas and Gazetteer (5th ed.). Shepperton: Ian Allan. p. 15, section D2. ISBN 0-7110-0320-3. EX/0176.
  2. ^ MacDermot, E.T. (1931). History of the Great Western Railway, vol. II: 1863-1921. Paddington: Great Western Railway. p. 7. OCLC 55853736.
  3. ^ a b Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 155. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.
  4. ^ a b Quick, Michael (2009) [2001]. Railway passenger stations in Great Britain: a chronology (4th ed.). Oxford: Railway and Canal Historical Society. p. 267. ISBN 978-0-901461-57-5. OCLC 612226077.
  5. ^ MacDermot 1931, p. 595
  6. ^ MacDermot 1931, pp. 7, 43, 596
  7. ^ Oppitz, Leslie (2006) [2004]. Lost Railways of Shropshire. Newbury: Countryside Books. p. 145. ISBN 978-1-85306-866-9.
  8. ^ Christiansen, Rex & Miller, Robert William (1971). The North Staffordshire Railway. Newton Abbot, Devon: David & Charles. pp. 210–211. ISBN 0-7153-5121-4.
  9. ^ Jeuda, Basil (2010). The North Staffordshire Railway in LMS days. 1. Lydney, Gloucestershire: Lightmoor Press. p. 160. ISBN 978-1899889-48-8.
  10. ^ Oppitz 2006, p. 147
  11. ^ a b c Christiansen, Rex (1988). Severn Valley and Welsh Border. Forgotten Railways. 11. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-946537-43-3.
  12. ^ Beeching, Richard (1963). "The Reshaping of British Railways" (PDF). HMSO. pp. 129, 132.
  13. ^ Clinker, C.R. (1988) [1978]. Clinker's Register of Closed Passenger Stations and Goods Depots in England, Scotland and Wales 1830-1977. Bristol: Avon-Anglia Publications & Services. p. 93. ISBN 0-90546-619-5.
  14. ^ "Nantwich & Market Drayton Railway Society - Home Page". 24 November 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  15. ^ Siviter, Roger (2001). Shropshire. British Railways Past and Present. Kettering: Past & Present Publishing. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-85895-159-1. 35.

Further readingEdit

  • Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (25 October 2014). Branch Lines around Market Drayton: from Wellington, Nantwich and Stoke-on-Trent. Midhurst: Middleton Press. figs. 104–120. ISBN 978 1 908174 67 3.
  • Yate, Bob (2005). By Great Western to Crewe: The Story of the Wellington to Nantwich and Crewe Line. Usk: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0 85361 639 6. LP228.

External linksEdit