Highley Station

Justine Humphries

Bridgnorth, United Kingdom

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History
Highley station opened to the public on 1 February 1862 and closed on 8 September 1963 when through passenger services to Shrewsbury ceased after 101 years. Although thought by some people to have been closed as part of the Beeching axe in 1963 this planned closure pre-dated his report.

Highley station was formerly very important as the transport hub of a colliery district, with four coal mines nearby, all linked by standard and narrow gauge branch lines, cable inclines and aerial ropeways to the Severn Valley line. This was underlined by the extensive sidings alongside the line, and wagon repair works at Kinlet, half-a-mile to the south.

LMS Ivatt Class 2MT 2-6-0 no. 46443The station is unfortnately nearly a mile to the south-east of the village of Highley, which meant a small trek for the people of the village until a bus service was set up and seriously affected railway usuage in the area.

The operations at Highley were controlled from a strategically placed signal box opposite to the platform. The signal box remained in use after closure until Alveley colliery closed and freight traffic ceased in 1969. The station site was then disused until preservation.

Highley is the only station proper with only one platform. Other calling places with one platform are unstaffed halts.

Partly as a result of the lack of two platforms, but primarily because of the way the signal box is interlocked it is not permissible to pass two passenger trains there.

[edit] Preservation scheme
Thankfully, little demolition took place at Highley after closure, the signal box remained intact, as did the station buildings. Unfortunately, Highley’s footbridge had to be demolished in the early 1970s for safety reasons.

Between April 1974 and mid-May 1974, Highley was the southern terminus of the Severn Valley Railway.

[edit] The Engine House
The SVR is in the course of constructing a visitor centre, to be known as the Engine House, on land a little to the south of the station. The planned opening in mid-2007 has ben deferred pending the reinstatement of the railway line.1

[edit] Railway infrastructure damage June 2007
After torrential rain during severe storms overnight on June 19, 2007, areas of the railway surrounding Highley collapsed in landslides, and Highley Up Starter signal and the embankment that it used to stand on were washed away. The line between Northwood Halt and Bridgnorth is currently closed, and trains may not be able to call at Highley until as late as the beginning of 2008.

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