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Henley in Arden - North Warwickshire Railway

GWR Route: North Warwickshire Line

Henley in Arden's new station was the most prestigious on the North Warwickshire line and was opened in 1908. The station consisted of three platforms, two formed by an island platform on the up line and the other, containing the main station facilities, on the down line. Platform 3 on the island platform was accessible only to traffic from Birmingham and was used by services to Birmingham that terminated at Henley-in-Arden. Platform 3 (the Bay Platform) was only accessable from the North end. A Loop siding parallel to the bay siding was also provided to release the engine, so it could run round the train for the return journey. Local passenger services to Birmingham were, for a period of less than seven years, available via both the new North Warwickshire route and the original branch line accessed via a connecting spur some fifty-chains long which connected with the branch line just East of the terminus. Goods services were concentrated upon the original terminus with goods services being routed via both the branch line to Lapworth as well as the new line via the North Warwickshire line. Passenger services via the spur temporarily ceased on 1st January 1915 as a wartime economy measure whilst goods traffic temporarily ceased on 1st January 1916. The decision was made permanent and the branch line closed for good on 1st January 1917 with the track to the East of the terminus being lifted during the summer of the same year. The goods yard continued to be used until it was a casualty of the competition with road traffic as was the case with most of the goods facilities along the line, and indeed across the country, in the 1960s.

The new station was built on the gentle slopes of open land on the western edges of the town. Situated on a sweeping curve, the station was located on the descending gradient of 1 in 150 from Wood End to Wooten Wawen, though the gradient eased to 1 in 264 through the station itself. It was the principal intermediate station on the line between Tyseley and Stratford, serving as it did, the largest town en route. In the 1920s and 1930s the station was in the charge of a Class 4 station master who had under his command the following staff: one general clerk; two leading porters; one goods checker; one motor parcel vanman; three signalmen and one part-time charwoman who worked one day each week. The goods yard at the old terminus was also part of the station master's domain although on a day to day to basis this would have been the preserve of the goods checker. The original passenger building at the branch terminus was converted to provide the station master with his family accommodation. The route through Henley-in-Arden was a very busy line resulting in the signal box being manned continuously from 6:00am each Monday to 9:30pm on Sunday the only time when there were no passenger trains and only a couple of goods movements.

Local Passenger services through Henley-in-Arden were almost entirely worked with autocars and steam railmotors, around fifteen trains calling in each direction on the main line, and seven or eight over the branch via Lapworth. Approximately half of the services to and from Birmingham terminated at Henley-in-Arden. Roger Carpenter and Chris Turner noted in their article on the station, that a Tyseley autocar worked four return trips daily to Henley-in-Arden or Bearley, two Tyseley Steam Railmotors four similar duties each, whilst a Stratford on Avon Steam Railmotor carried out three round trips to Birmingham as well as a return trip via the branch to Lapworth. The branch auto worked five return journeys up the branch, including the 6:18am goods service to Lapworth. Two return trips from Birmingham formed of six and eight-wheel coaching stock, departing Moor Street 6:45am arriving at Henley-in-Arden at 7:50am and Snow Hill 4:15pm arriving 5:28pm) also ran via the branch. Both through services had been withdrawn by the outbreak of the First World War. A late morning fast service between Stratford upon Avon and Birmingham called at Henley-in-Arden, the only intermediary stop on its journey. The balancing return service which departed Snow Hill at 5:55pm also only stopped at Henley-in-Arden. The great majority of of local services ran to and from the new Moor Street station although until it was opened in July 1909 the services terminated at Snow Hill station.

Most of the content to the captions in the linked photographs below and the potted history above has been derived from the excellent and substantial article on both Henley-in-Arden stations and the branch engine shed which was published in Great Western Railway Journal No 11 Summer 1994 and written by Roger Carpenter and Chris Turner.

Original Henley-in-Arden Station (37) New Henley-in-Arden Station (46) Henley-in-Arden Shed (6)

Select an image below to view the larger version with accompanying text:

View from the down platform of Henley-in-Arden's new station being built and looking in the direction of Stratford on Avon in 1907
Ref: gwrha1383
L&GRP
View from the down platform of Henley-in-Arden's new station being built and looking in the direction of Stratford on Avon in 1907
Looking towards Birmingham showing the down platform building on the right accommodating the main facilities of the station
Ref: gwrha474
Postcard
Looking towards Birmingham showing the down platform building on the right accommodating the main facilities of the station
Close up showing the single unit railcar standing at Henley-in-Arden's up through platform and the island platform's passenger building
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Postcard
Close up showing the single unit railcar standing at Henley-in-Arden's up through platform and the island platform's passenger building
Close up showing the down platform building and the array of signs suspended beneath the canopy for the comprehensive facilities
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Postcard
Close up showing the down platform building and the array of signs suspended beneath the canopy for the comprehensive facilities
Looking from the through down island platform towards the junction with the spur to the original branch line to Lapworth
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J Marks Collection
Looking from the through down island platform towards the junction with the spur to the original branch line to Lapworth

Close up showing the original junction with the spur to the branch line and the standard hip-roofed signal box controlling the station area
Ref: gwrha1384a
J Marks Collection
Close up showing the original junction with the spur to the branch line and the standard hip-roofed signal box controlling the station area
Close up of the Birmingham end of the down platform and the brick-built hut provided for the station porter's known as the 'summer house'
Ref: gwrha1384b
J Marks Collection
Close up of the Birmingham end of the down platform and the brick-built hut provided for the station porter's known as the 'summer house'
Looking North in 1908 from the Stratford on Avon end of the down platform towards Birmingham showing the grandness of the station
Ref: gwrha470
Postcard
Looking North in 1908 from the Stratford on Avon end of the down platform towards Birmingham showing the grandness of the station
Close up showing the island platform on the left and the down platform on the right being connected by a steel covered passenger footbridge
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Postcard
Close up showing the island platform on the left and the down platform on the right being connected by a steel covered passenger footbridge
Looking North towards Birmingham from the Stratford on Avon end of the down platform with the bicycle shed seen on the right
Ref: gwrha471
CL Mowat
Looking North towards Birmingham from the Stratford on Avon end of the down platform with the bicycle shed seen on the right

Close up showing the island platform's passenger facilities with the through up line on the right and on the left the up 'bay' platform
Ref: gwrha471a
CL Mowat
Close up showing the island platform's passenger facilities with the through up line on the right and on the left the up 'bay' platform
Close up of the down platform building showing the timber built bicycle shed provided by the Great Western in the early 1930s
Ref: gwrha471b
CL Mowat
Close up of the down platform building showing the timber built bicycle shed provided by the Great Western in the early 1930s
Looking northwards towards Birmingham along the down platform from the Stratford upon Avon end of Henley-in-Arden station
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Postcard
Looking northwards towards Birmingham along the down platform from the Stratford upon Avon end of Henley-in-Arden station
Looking towards Birmingham with the short spur connection to the original station and the former branch line in the distance
Ref: gwrha467
CL Mowat
Looking towards Birmingham with the short spur connection to the original station and the former branch line in the distance
Close up showing an unidentified ex-GWR 2-6-2T Prairie tank engine at the head of a four-coach passenger train waiting for the right away
Ref: gwrha467a
CL Mowat
Close up showing an unidentified ex-GWR 2-6-2T engine at the head of a four-coach passenger train waiting for the right away

View of the up platform water crane serving both the up and bay lines and which was located at the Birmingham end of the platform
Ref: gwrha1406
JH Russell
View of the up platform water crane serving both the up and bay lines and which was located at the Birmingham end of the platform
Close up of the up platform's water crane being used to fill an unidentified ex-GWR 2-6-2T Prairie locomotive with water
Ref: gwrha1410a
JH Russell
Close up of the up platform's water crane being used to fill an unidentified ex-GWR 2-6-2T Prairie locomotive with water
Looking southwards towards Stratford on Avon with the down platform in the distance and the island platform in the foreground
Ref: gwrha473
Lens of Sutton
Looking southwards towards Stratford on Avon with the down platform in the distance and the island platform in the foreground
Looking towards Stratford upon Avon and the down bay from the Birmingham end of the down platform during the 1960s
Ref: gwrha472
Lens of Sutton
Looking towards Stratford upon Avon and the down bay from the Birmingham end of the down platform during the 1960s
Close up showing the Stratford upon Avon end of the down platform buildings and the water crane located at the end of the platform
Ref: gwrha472a
Lens of Sutton
Close up showing the Stratford upon Avon end of the down platform buildings and the water crane located at the end of the platform

Close up showing Henley-in-Arden's up island platforms and the Birmingham end of the building housing the passenger facilities
Ref: gwrha472b
Lens of Sutton
Close up showing Henley-in-Arden's up island platforms and the Birmingham end of the building housing the passenger facilities
Henley-in-Arden's water tower dominated the approach to the station towering above two sets of steps to the passenger footbridge
Ref: gwrha1395
PJ Garland
Henley-in-Arden's water tower dominated the approach to the station towering above two sets of steps to the passenger footbridge
View of the gantry signal with the signal on the left controlling the loop line, which runs parallel to the bay line behind the up platform
Ref: gwrha1391
PJ Garland
View of the gantry signal with the signal on the left controlling the loop line, which runs parallel to the bay line behind the up platform
View of the down bay and water crane located at the Stratford upon Avon end of Henley-in-Arden's down platform in April 1950
Ref: gwrha1396
PJ Garland
View of the down bay and water crane located at the Stratford upon Avon end of Henley-in-Arden's down platform in April 1950
View of one of the many flower beds sited and maintained around station name boards and other areas of Henley-in-Arden station
Ref: gwrha1412
E Castle
View of one of the many flower beds sited and maintained around station name boards and other areas of Henley-in-Arden station

View of the Birmingham end of the down platform showing the porter's summer house on the right and the signal box in the distance
Ref: gwrha1413
E Castle
View of the Birmingham end of the down platform showing the porter's summer house on the right and the signal box in the distance
View of another of the flower beds that on a number of occasions, won an annual certificate and later secured the coveted shield
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E Castle
View of another of the flower beds that on a number of occasions, won an annual certificate and later secured the coveted shield
A pose view of Betty Castle who is seen preparing one of the many flower beds during the spring months in the 1950s
Ref: gwrha1393
E Castle
A pose view of Betty Castle who is seen preparing one of the many flower beds during the spring months in the 1950s
View of two unidentified GWR 2-6-2T 41xx class tank engines are seen standing at Henley-in-Arden two up platforms
Ref: gwrha1410
JH Russell
View of two unidentified GWR 2-6-2T 41xx class tank engines are seen standing at Henley-in-Arden two up platforms
An aerial view of Henley-in-Arden with the North Warwickshire line on the left and the spur to the former branch line at the top
Ref: gwrha1387
Aerofilms
An aerial view of Henley-in-Arden with the North Warwickshire line on the left and the spur to the former branch line at the top

An aerial view of the North Warwickshire station and the approach road from the town's High Street seen at the top of the photograph
Ref: gwrha1388
Aerofilms
An aerial view of the North Warwickshire station and the approach road from the town's High Street seen at the top of the photograph
An unidentified GWR 4-4-0 Atbara class locomotive is seen approaching Henley-in-Arden on an up West of England express service
Ref: gwrha1386
GM Perkins
An unidentified GWR 4-4-0 Atbara class locomotive is seen approaching Henley-in-Arden on an up West of England express service
View of GWR 4-4-0 Atbara class No 3382 'Mafeking' lying severly damaged on its side after the accident at Henley-in-Arden
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NRM
View of GWR 4-4-0 Atbara class No 3382 'Mafeking' lying severly damaged on its side after the accident at Henley-in-Arden
Another view of the derailed Atbara class locomotive and the coaching stock being attended by Tyseley shed's breakdown crane
Ref: gwrha761
NRM
Another view of the derailed Atbara class locomotive and the coaching stock being attended by Tyseley shed's breakdown crane
View of Tyseley shed's breakdown gang inspecting the damage caused to the first coach immediately behind the tender
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NRM
View of Tyseley shed's breakdown gang inspecting the damage caused to the first coach immediately behind the tender

Ex-GWR 4-6-0 Grange class No 6844 'Penhydd Grange' is seen near Henley-in-Arden whilst at the head of a down freight in March 1950
Ref: gwrha1390
PJ Garland
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 Grange class No 6844 'Penhydd Grange' is seen near Henley-in-Arden whilst at the head of a down freight in March 1950
An unidentified GWR Railcar is seen passing through Henley-in-Arden on a down Moor Street to Stratford on Avon local passenger service
Ref: gwrha469
P Hopkins
An unidentified GWR Railcar is seen passing through Henley-in-Arden on a down Moor Street to Stratford on Avon local passenger service
An unidentified ex-GWR Railcar is seen standing at Henley-in-Arden's down platform whilst on a local  Stratford on Avon service
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M Moran Collection
An unidentified ex-GWR Railcar is seen standing at Henley-in-Arden's down platform whilst on a local Stratford on Avon service
GWR railway photo
Ref: gwrha1407
MEJ Deane
Ex-GWR 2-6-2T 51xx class Large Prairie No 4110 is seen on a down Moor Street to Stratford on Avon local passenger service
GWR 2-6-2T Prairie No 8108 is seen running tender first on a down Moor Street to Stratford on Avon local passenger service in 1947
Ref: gwrha1408
PJ Garland
GWR 2-6-2T Prairie No 8108 is seen running tender first on a down Moor Street to Stratford on Avon local passenger service in 1947

Ex-GWR 2-6-2T 5101 class Prairie No 8103 is seen arriving tender first at the station's up through platform with a service to Moor Street
Ref: gwrha466
Anon
Ex-GWR 2-6-2T 5101 class Prairie No 8103 is seen arriving tender first at the station's up through platform with a service to Moor Street
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 Hall class No 5982 'Harrington Hall' doubleheads an unidentified 2-6-0 on an up excursion from SouthWest England
Ref: gwrha468
Anon
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 Hall class No 5982 'Harrington Hall' doubleheads an unidentified 2-6-0 on an up excursion from SouthWest England
Ex-Railway Operating Department 2-8-0 No 3044 is seen passing through the station whilst at the head of a northbound freight
Ref: gwrha1415
PJ Garland
Ex-Railway Operating Department 2-8-0 No 3044 is seen passing through the station whilst at the head of a northbound freight
An unidentified ex-GWR 2-8-2T 72xx class locomotive is seen taking on water while held on the up bay loop line waiting its turn to proceed
Ref: gwrha1416
JH Russell
An unidentified ex-GWR 2-8-2T 72xx class locomotive is seen taking on water while held on the up bay loop line waiting its turn to proceed
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 Hall class No 6947 'Helmingham Hall' is seen passing through the station on a down West of England express service
Ref: gwrha461
NE Stead
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 Hall class No 6947 'Helmingham Hall' is seen passing through the station on a down West of England express service

A closer view of the GWR 2-6-2T Class 41xx locomotive taking on water prior to taking forward the local passenger service to Moor Street
Ref: gwrha1394
JH Russell
A closer view of the GWR 2-6-2T Class 41xx locomotive taking on water prior to taking forward the local passenger service to Moor Street
A low resolution version of the Signalling Diagram for Henley-in-Arden Signal Box dated 1954 produced courtesy of the Signalling Record Society
Ref: sig-diag-henley
PJ Garland
A low resolution version of the Signalling Diagram for Henley-in-Arden Signal Box dated 1954 produced courtesy of the SRS

Original Henley-in-Arden Station (37) New Henley-in-Arden Station (46) Henley-in-Arden Shed (6)