Jump to content

Blog- Shipston-on-Stour branch - Jenkins and Carpenter

Recommended Posts

I finally got hold of the definitive book "Shipston-on-Stour Branch" by S C Jenkins and R S Carpenter. It is a well written history of both the original Tramway and the light railway which is the focus of this blog. Many of the photos are already published on the internet but in some cases the quality is better and the descriptions perhaps more accurate.


The politics of branch lines keeps cropping up throughout the history and it does seem quite practical to make a "what if" assumption about the GWR re-laying the Shipston-Stratford Tramway as a way to prevent competitors building additional lines across South Warwickshire. Ironically, the original decision to serve Shipston from Moreton was never going to be practical as most people in the area have always gravitated to Stratford for their needs. Even today the local bus service is Warwickshire managed, the buses running from Stratford to Moreton via Chipping Campden and/or Broadway. Shipston is also well served by Stratford buses as well as the express bus service between Oxford and Stratford.


So I think a little history bending is in order. The following would be the basis for a revision of history:


1. The original GWR light railway modification would be extended north to Stratford, with additional land being bought along the roadways south of Stratford. The original Tramway terminus in Stratford would have been scrapped and the line brought into the then existing East & West Junction Railway at Clifford Sidings, with running allowed to the GWR main line (Birmingham-Cheltenham).


2. After a political fight, the E&WJR gained running rights to Moreton in exchange for running rights afforded to the GWR. This meant that LMS locos could be expected to venture south of Stratford.


3. Now that the line gained through status, signaling would become necessary with multiple token running. The ground frames at Shipston might have sufficed but a small cabin would seem appropriate!


4. The loco roster might be expanded due to improved permanent way designs, so a wider range of tank and tender engines could be expected, including Dean Goods 0-6-0s, small panniers, Dobbins (Jinties to most people), 2-4-0s from the E&WJR and the 14XX that started off this romantic episode in my life! The Shipston Engine Shed would have been re-opened with a small coaling stage, ash pit, etc.


This pre-Beeching expansion would have allowed 'direct' train travel from Shipston to Birmingham Moor Street via Stratford as well as connections to beyond Moreton. Busy days are ahead!


View the full article

Link to post
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...