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Norton Bridge railway station was a railway station located four miles north-west of Stafford on the West Coast Main Line near the village of Norton Bridge, Staffordshire, England.

Norton Bridge
Norton Bridge station - 2009-03-08.jpg
Norton Bridge in 2009.
Location
PlaceNorton Bridge
AreaBorough of Stafford
Grid referenceSJ872298
Operations
Original companyGrand Junction Railway
Pre-groupingLondon & North Western Railway
Post-groupingLondon, Midland & Scottish Railway
Platformsoriginally 4 latterly 2
Annual rail passenger usage
2002/03 *Decrease 4,793
2004/05 *Decrease 2,080
2005/06 *Decrease 585
2006/07 *Decrease 341
History
4 July 1837 (1837-07-04)First station opened
14 October 1876Station resited
1960sMain line platforms closed
22 May 2004Last Train[1]
24 May 2004Services Formally Withdrawn
10 December 2017 (2017-12-10)Formally closed
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
* Annual passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Norton Bridge from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Please note: methodology may vary year on year.
Closed railway stations in Britain
A B C D–F G H–J K–L M–O P–R S T–V W–Z

The station was opened by the Grand Junction Railway in 1837.[2] Services were temporarily withdrawn in 2004 but never reinstated. The station formally closed in 2017.

The main line platforms were removed before electrification in the 1960s when the current island platform was built for Manchester via Stoke-on-Trent services.[3] Passenger services ceased in May 2004 [1] when Central Trains services between Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent were withdrawn and replaced by BakerBus route X1.[4] In December 2004 the footbridge was removed in order to improve freight clearances.[5]

From 2007, the Office of Rail Regulation did not include it in its station usage figures.[6]

The nearby junction between the Crewe and Stoke routes is an important one on the West Coast Main Line, as such during the 1960s modernisation of the line, the junction and some of the surrounding main lines were placed under the control of a new power signal box built to a similar design to that still standing at Wolverhampton. The Norton Bridge signal box was notable for its use of an experimental Westinghouse solid-state interlocking system for some years,[7] later being converted to a conventional relay-based interlocking; this signal box features briefly in the British Transport Films production Thirty Million Letters. It closed altogether in 2004,[8] control passing instead to the signal control centre at Stoke-on-Trent, although the lower storey still remains in situ as a relay room.

In March 2016, a flyover was opened to the north of the station to allow the Stoke branch to be fully grade-separated from the main line to Crewe. Services to/from Manchester now use the slow lines from Stafford, a new junction near Little Bridgeford and the new flyover instead of having to make potentially conflicting moves across the flat junction as before.[9]

In October 2016, the Department for Transport began a consultation process to formally close the station and withdraw its subsidy of the replacement bus service operated by D&G Bus.[5][10][11] The notional closure took effect on 10 December 2017 [12] coinciding with the transfer of the West Midlands franchise from London Midland to West Midlands Trains.[13] However the bus subsidy continued to give the Staffordshire County Council time to decide on the future of the service.[14][15] With the council electing not to takeover the funding of the service, it ceased in March 2019.[16]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b http://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/25486/norton-bridge-closure-document.pdf
  2. ^ Drake, James (1838). Drake’s Road Book of the Grand Junction Railway (1838). Moorland Reprints. ISBN 0903485257.
  3. ^ "Crewe-Stafford electrification" Railway Gazette 28 December 1962 page 748
  4. ^ Stations close to trains BBC News 16 May 2003
  5. ^ a b Milner, Chris, ed. (November 2016). "Norton Bridge 2017 closure plan moves step nearer". The Railway Magazine. Vol. 162 no. 1388. p. 9.
  6. ^ Cheesewright, Phil (20 April 2009). "Station usage 2007/2008" (PDF). Delta Rail. p. Page 8. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  7. ^ http://www.irse.org/knowledge/publicirsenews/IRSENews161Nov10_web.pdf
  8. ^ http://www.signalbox.org/sectionc.php?year=2004
  9. ^ £250m upgrade improves railway near Stafford as new Norton Bridge flyover opens Network Rail 30 March 2016
  10. ^ Norton Bridge Station Closure - Open Consulation Department for Transport 19 October 2016
  11. ^ "Government plans Norton Bridge station closure". Rail. No. 813. 9 November 2016. p. 25.
  12. ^ https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/norton-bridge-station-closure
  13. ^ Closure Ratification Notice - Norton Bridge Station Office of Rail & Road 26 October 2017
  14. ^ Summary to the responses to consultation to proposed closure of Norton Bridge Station Department for Transport 2017
  15. ^ Norton Bridge Closure Documents Office of Rail & Road 25 August 2017
  16. ^ "Rail-funded D&G service comes to an end". Buses. No. 769. April 2019. p. 14.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

  Media related to Norton Bridge railway station at Wikimedia Commons

Preceding station Historical railways Following station
Stafford
Line and station open
  Central Trains
Stafford to Manchester Line
  Stone
Line and station open
Bridgeford
Line open, station closed
  London & North Western Railway
Grand Junction Railway
  Standon Bridge
Line open, station closed

Coordinates: 52°51′57″N 2°11′25″W / 52.86583°N 2.19028°W / 52.86583; -2.19028