Shropshire Railways History Past and present

Oswestry to Welshpool

On 26th June 1855 Parliament approved plans for a line to be built between Oswestry and Welshpool, this to be run by the Oswestry and Newtown Railway Company. Two years later in August 1857 the first sod was cut by Lady Williams-Wynn, an event that led to great local celebrations. Oswestry became an important rail junction on the Cambrian Rail network with a large and busy engine works. Initially it was joined to the rail network in 1848 with a branch to Gobowen on the Shrewsbury to Chester line. The link to Welshpool joined the network twelve years later, leading to the building of a second station in the town. Passenger services commenced between Oswestry and Pool Quay on 1st May 1860; the remainder to Welshpool opened on 14th August. Six trains ran each way daily with two services on a Sunday. Two sections of the line were fairly quickly made into double tracks, these being from Buttington Junction to Welshpool and from Oswestry to Llanymynech. Two parts of the line are preserved as heritage sections: A short area at Oswestry Station and a stretch of about a mile and a half southwards out of Llynclys Station. At the latter a DMU owned by the preservation society runs for passenger journeys (and Driver Experiences). At Oswestry a small shunter is in operation, however certain Sundays see guest Steam Trains arrive (by road) and run on the open section for passenger rides. Oswestry station has an excellent rail museum next door, although it is a museum in its own right as it stands today (including a nice rail café) South of Oswestry the line in intact until a point close to LLyclys where it branches onto the old line to Llangynog in Wales. Sadly most of the stations have not survived, even Llyclys station is not the original one; the former station building is north of the bridge and is now a private residence. At Pant, Four Crosses and Pool Quay there is little to find, however Llanymynech is more interesting where other branch lines join to the north of the station close to the Heritage Park. This includes the ‘Potts Line’ from Shrewsbury which terminated here. There is also some of the platform left at Arddleen and the station building is now a private residence. At the south end the line joins the existing Shrewsbury to Welshpool line at Buttingham Junction and runs into nearby Welshpool Station. The station area was remodelled in 1993 to accommodate the Welshpool bypass and the old station building has become an Edinburgh Wool establishment, cut off from the new station area by the new main road development. The line closed in the 1960’s following the Beaching cuts, leaving Oswestry in the Railway Wilderness. 
History
Oswestry Station Sign www.shropshirerailways.co.uk Pant Llynclys Oswestry Llanymynech Four Crosses Arddleen Pool Quay Buttingham Junction Welshpool