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Fenny Compton Station (GWR)

GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

Fenny Compton Station (SMJ) Fenny Compton Station (GWR)

The Great Western Railway opened Fenny Compton station in 1852 on its Oxford and Rugby Railway. It would have formed the junction of with its proposed Birmingham and Oxford Junction Railway. Parliament passed the Oxford and Rugby Railway Act in 1846, and a single track broad gauge line was opened in 1850 between Oxford and Banbury. In 1846 Parliamentary approval had also been sought for the Birmingham and Oxford Junction Railway. The two lines would meet 2 miles north of Fenny Compton, near Knightcote, and at Oxford the ORR would connect with the GWR line from London Paddington. Parliament considered that the lines would provide useful competition for the London and Birmingham Railway which had become part of the London and North Western Railway. It gave approval subject to the lines being bought and operated by the GWR. However, while the Railway Regulation (Gauge) Act 1846 required that all new railways should be built to standard gauge, the GWR had been given a number of dispensations to continue with its broad gauge, including its lines from Oxford.

The question arose of where the break-of-gauge should be, at Oxford or Rugby, a dilemma the LNWR doubtless exploited. If the latter it would mean the GWR having a section of standard gauge line, including part of its Birmingham line. As a result, in August 1849 the section of the Rugby line north of Fenny Compton was abandoned. Then in 1848 Parliament ordered that the Oxford to Birmingham line be relaid to mixed gauge. By 1889 it was finally laid to standard gauge. British Railways closed Fenny Compton station to passenger traffic from 2nd November 1964. The GWR line remains as the present day Didcot to Chester line. A stub of the Stratford-upon-Avon line remains as a freight line leading to the MoD Kineton Military Railway. The station trackwork remains much as it was, but the platforms and most of the buildings have gone.

The station buildings and staff

Looking towards Leamington from the up platform with the original signal box next to the down platform circa 1900
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Postcard
Looking towards Leamington from the up platform with the original signal box next to the down platform circa 1900
Close up showing some of Fenny Compton station's staff standing in line posed for the photographer
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Postcard
Close up showing some of Fenny Compton station's staff standing in line posed for the photographer
Close up showing the original signal box and the level crossing
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Postcard
Close up of the original signal box at Fenny Compton built between the under bridge and the down platform
View of Fenny Compton station's up platform with ten non-uniformed railway workers posed for the camera
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Fenny Compton Village Hall
View of Fenny Compton station's up platform with ten non-uniformed railway workers posed for the camera
Close up showing the main station building on the up platform which would have included Booking Office and waiting rooms
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Fenny Compton Village Hall
Close up of the main building on the up platform which would have included Booking Office and waiting rooms

Passengers waiting for a local passenger service to Banbury on Fenny Compton station's up platform
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R Preston Hendry
Passengers waiting for a local passenger service to Banbury on Fenny Compton station's up platform
View of Fenny Compton station looking south towards Banbury from the down platform
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HC Casserley
View of Fenny Compton station looking south towards Banbury from the down platform
Close up showing a train approaching the joint signal box and the Banbury end of the down platform
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HC Casserley
Close up showing a train approaching the joint signal box and the Banbury end of the down platform
Close up  showing the booking office, timber framed store and grounded coach body on the up platform
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HC Casserley
Close up showing the booking office, timber framed store and grounded coach body on the up platform
Looking north with the ex-SMJ lines to Stratford on the left and the ex-GWR lines to Leamington on the right
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Anon
Looking north with the ex-SMJ lines to Stratford on the left and the ex-GWR lines to Leamington on the right

Close up showing the now closed former SMJ station with timber sleepers placed on both platforms
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Anon
Close up showing the now closed former SMJ station with timber sleepers placed on both platforms
Close up showing Fenny Compton station's up platform in the last decade of its working life
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Anon
Close up showing Fenny Compton station's up platform in the last decade of its working life
Looking north showing the staggered platforms adopted by the GWR with the former SMJ station on the left
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Anon
Looking north showing the staggered platforms adopted by the GWR with the former SMJ station on the left
Close up showing the joint LMS and GWR signal box built in the early years of the grouping
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Anon
Close up showing the joint LMS and GWR signal box built in the early years of the grouping
Close up showing Fenny Compton's station's second up platform and its passenger facilities
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Anon
Close up showing Fenny Compton's station's second up platform and its passenger facilities

Looking north along the ex-SMJ lines to Stratford upon Avon on the left and the ex-GWR lines on the right
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Anon
Looking north along the ex-SMJ lines to Stratford upon Avon on the left and the ex-GWR lines on the right
Looking from the former SMJ station's goods yard across the new track layout to the GWR station's up platform
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Anon
Looking from the former SMJ station's goods yard across the new track layout to the GWR station's up platform
A view from the West of the British Railway's built signal box seen on 12th October 1963 from the former SMJ Stratford upon Avon branch
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R Fisher
A view from the West of the BR built signal box seen on 12th October 1963 from the former SMJ branch
View of the British Railways' brick built Fenny Compton signal box as seen in November 1972
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D Churchill
View of the British Railways' brick built Fenny Compton signal box as seen in November 1972
Looking across the new track layout to the GWR up platform from the SMJ goods siding
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J Evans
Looking towards Stratford upon Avon with a freight service waiting on the right in the down passing loop line

Looking on 23rd June 1966 to Fenny Compton with the recently lifted trackbed of the former SMJ on the left
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J Evans
Looking on 23rd June 1966 to Fenny Compton with the recently lifted trackbed of the former SMJ on the left
Close up showing the single line retained to run on the former SMJ route for MOD traffic to Kineton
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J Evans
Close up showing the single line retained to run on the former SMJ route for MOD traffic to Kineton
View of the 1960 revised track layout enabling GWR iron ore traffic from Banbury to join the SMJ route
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Anon
View of the 1960 revised track layout enabling GWR iron ore traffic from Banbury to join the SMJ route
Close up showing both the SMJ and GWR stations and the revised track layout adopted in 1961
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Anon
Close up showing both the SMJ and GWR stations and the revised track layout adopted in 1961

Locomotives and trains seen at or near Fenny Compton Station

Ex-GWR 53xx Class 2-6-0 No 5317 leaves the up refuge siding at the head of a goods train on 15th March 1952
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HC Casserley
Ex-GWR 53xx Class 2-6-0 No 5317 leaves the up refuge siding at the head of a goods train on 15th March 1952
GWR 38xx Class 4-4-0 No 3835 'County of Devon' passes through Fenny Compton on an up express
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LGRP
GWR 38xx Class 4-4-0 No 3835 'County of Devon' passes through Fenny Compton on an up express
Ex-GWR Hall Class 4-6-0 No 4987 'Brockley Hall' runs light engine towards Leamington on 15th March 1952
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HC Casserley
Ex-GWR Hall Class 4-6-0 No 4987 'Brockley Hall' runs light engine towards Leamington on 15th March 1952
An unknown GWR 4-6-0 'Saint' class locomotive is seen passing near Fenny Compton during the 1920s
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WoW
An unknown GWR 4-6-0 'Saint' class locomotive is seen passing near Fenny Compton during the 1920s
View of British Railways' Blue Pullman service on a Snow Hill to Paddington express on 23rd June 1966
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J Evans
View of British Railways' Blue Pullman service on a Snow Hill to Paddington express on 23rd June 1966

Maps and Signalling Diagrams for Fenny Compton Station

Copy of the notice issued by the GWR in 1927 advising staff of the changes to Distant Signal arms and coloured lens
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GWR
Copy of the notice issued by the GWR in 1927 advising staff of the changes to Distant Signal arms and coloured lens
Looking across the new track layout to the GWR up platform from the SMJ goods siding
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Ordnance Survey
OS map showing the layout of the GWR and SMJ Fenny Compton stations to each other in 1904
Looking across the new track layout to the GWR up platform from the SMJ goods siding
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Ordnance Survey
OS map showing the layout of the GWR and SMJ Fenny Compton stations to each other in 1936
Looking across the new track layout to the GWR up platform from the SMJ goods siding
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Ordnance Survey
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