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  Church Stretton
  Craven Arms
  Hopton Heath
  Llanbister Road

Whilst much of the line is essentially rural, it's not without majesty. Above is
just a fraction of the Knucklas Viaduct.

Knucklas viaduct
Please note: the notes and sketches are intended only to give a general impression, and should not be relied upon for more than that. Dudley Mall accepts no liability for errors, but will correct any significant ones notified to us through or by post to Dudley Mall, 62 Gervase Drive, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 4AT.

Wheels: SH. If you're on wheels, see our Easy Access page for explanation.

A full list of routes covered by Dudley Mall appears at the bottom of this page.
Shrewsbury FrontageSHREWSBURY Like many stations, Shrewsbury has seen grander days, but most of its grandeur is still intact. Built as a combined station and hotel, it is a big, imposing building, with crenellations in mimicry of its close neighbour, Shrewsbury Castle. It is located at the edge of the main shopping area, though you have to trek uphill to the shops (this is standard for Shrewsbury as the town centre sits on top of a hill and everything is down or up). Its forecourt allows limited parking only, with a set-down area. The entrance is canopied in front of a ticket office and separate information area on opposite sides of a short, level subway. This leads to steps and a lift up to the main platform, which has four numbers: 4 and 7 are the main faces, while 5 Shrewsbury Planand 6 lie in a bay at the southern end. (Platforms 1 and 2 have disappeared, and platform 3, just above the station entrance is now only used in special circumstances.) The main platform offers toilets (by the bay) and refreshments.

Behind the station is a pay-and-display parking area, though you have to drive round and under the station, then up Howard Street to reach it. Once on foot, there is a level, roofed overbridge (by a sign that says The Dana) that will take you directly to the station building - the quick way down involves 35 steps, but staying on the sloping path gives wheelchairs (etc.) a longer-winded but easier route. Wheels: SSw.

Shrewsbury also serves the Walsall-Shrewsbury line.
Shrewsbury also serves the Chester-Hereford line.

Church Stretton Plan CHURCH STRETTON station is at the bottom of the central shopping street, down to the right side of the overbridge (the old station was to the left but is now private property). This is the Shrewsbury platform; the Hereford platform is reached either by a modern steel overbridge, or by road from the A49 Church Stretton by-pass along Crossways. Entrances to both platforms are close to the overbridge, bench seats are at the foot of the bridge, and there is a modern stone open-fronted shelter on each platform, but no ticket office. There is parking for about a dozen cars. Wheels: SSw.

Craven Arms Plan CRAVEN ARMS station lies north of the centre of Craven Arms, just off the A49 Shrewsbury Road, on the west side. Facilities are basic: two shelters and an overbridge with no apparent alternative for the wheel-borne. There is no ticket office, but parking is provided for about 30 cars. Wheels: SSw.

Craven Arms is the junction point for this line and the Chester-Hereford line.

Broome planBROOME station lies just a short distance west of the B4367 Craven Arms road. It is not well signed, but the village's main road takes you straight past it, and the overbridge is a clear marker. There is no formal car park, just an area used for casual parking. Access is an upward slope, and whilst there is a strong handrail to assist wheelchair users, it struck us as being a little high for comfort. The top of the slope has a steel gate with a sprung-bar closer. The platform itself serves trains in both directions. It has a handful of lights and a wooden shelter. This is fairly typical for the line, and is surprisingly good of its kind, with seats, train information, phone and lighting, all in decent condition. A little more frontal protection would make it nigh perfect. Wheels: SSw.

Hopton Heath planHOPTON HEATH station is under an overbridge just where the roads from Clun and Hopton Castle meet the B4367 Clungunford-Bucknell road in a rather strange junction. What may be the former station building is now a private residence and the only access to the station is down 28 or so wooden steps which look a little standard wooden shelter precipitous, though they do at least have lights. The platform has only a wooden shelter similar to that at Broome – but this time facing the weather, and you have to hope that the overbridge adds some protection (you'd get rain shelter under the bridge anyway). We did notice a grass path from the far end of the platform, and it's possible that this would allow wheelchair access, but it was quite lengthy and we didn't have time to investigate, so we assume no wheeled access unless someone can correct us on this. No obvious parking, though you might find a safe point on a verge. Wheels: SSw.
The wooden shelters offer more than is visible here. Note the portable steps.

BUCKNELL station building still looks much the way it must have done in its heyday, but once again is in private hands now. Instead, travellers have a neat brick shelter, open-fronted but with a small canopy for additional protection. In addition to seating for a small handful, it offers train information, a phone and a light. The second track has gone, but its platform remains and sports an attractive line of flower tubs.
Bucknell station building Also gone are the level crossing gates, but road traffic still has flashing red warning lights when a train is crossing. Parking for 6 cars is available in nearby Weston Road. Wheels: SSw. Bucknell plan

Knighton looking westKNIGHTON was originally the southern end of the Knighton Railway from Craven Arms, opened in 1861 (extended later to Llandrindod Wells), which explains the dramatic gabled station architecture and distinctive goods depots used for just a handful of stations and nowhere else. Use of the line declined from the 1960s onwards, but grants from Shropshire and Powys County Councils in 2003 upgraded Knighton to its present condition. As Knighton's station building had been sold off, the Swansea platform now has a standard brick shelter and the Shrewsbury platform has a wooden one. Also on the Shrewsbury platform is a new lengthy but gently-sloped ramp for wheelchair users up to the road. This same road crosses the line and a smooth tarmac pavement drops down to the Swansea side and to a gate straight on to the platform. More agile passengers can use the overbridge which butts right up to the road bridge, but doesn't actually link to it.

Knighton plan Note that there is no traveller parking at this station – the original broad forecourt still exists, but has been sold for commercial use. Wheels: SSw.

A local “Friends” group is encouraging Arriva, the railway operator, to maintain their interest in the station and in the line's history, following the investment. For those with their own interest, the locomotive shed has long gone, but the distinctive goods shed still survives and can be distantly seen from the east end of the station. Its smaller brother lives on at Bucknell but is starting to deteriorate.

Knucklas plan

KNUCKLAS station goes unadvertised from the B4355 or even the local road until you get a distant sighting of its double-arrow totem pole. So follow signs for the Community Centre instead, and that should get you close. The local road ascends a slope, then swings right, and it's at this bend that the station is clearly visible, somewhat higher still. The next thought to cross your mind is “Yes – but how do I get there?” Fortunately, some kind soul with a bit of spare board and an unlikely shade of pale green paint has propped a sign up on the grass verge – probably because they got fed up with people knocking on their door in puzzlement. In fact, the approach is a narrow and slightly rough path close by, but my sympathy is with the locals on this, because you wouldn't spot it if a car happened to be parked there. The path looks passable by prams and wheelchairs. There is a gate to the platform which allows a smooth approach up to one of the standard platform shelters used along this line; alternatively there are long steps that will probably give better grip in slippery conditions. The second track has gone, so the platform serves trains in both directions. No official parking, though you might find room in the street. Wheels: SSw.

Llangynllo planLLANGYNLLO station – especially if you approach from the north-east – is in the back of beyond with lovely scenery but not many people. So you either live close, are touring with a good OS map, or you're hopelessly lost. You get a finger sign to it at about 30 yards distance from the platform. Even then, it points to an occupation crossing, and it's only when you walk a short distance along the track to the platform that you find that there is another route between two private buildings where an original station building may have been. One of the tracks has gone, though the former platform is still quietly crumbling. The remaining platform is fine, serves both directions and features one of the standard shelters in case the need arises. If you use the route between the private buildings (opening the side gate to get past the sheep/cattle grid), the platform is easy access. No official parking and hardly any casual. Wheels: SSw.

Llanbister Road planLLANBISTER ROAD gets its name because it's arguably the nearest station to Llanbister, though that actually lies about 2 miles away. As Llanbister Road (the road itself) is signed, it's not hard to find, and the station is clearly visible from the road (which then crosses an overbridge above it). The station building is a private dwelling and now effectively detached Llanbister Road looking northsince its related platform has been demolished. One track has gone, so the remaining north side platform now receives trains from both directions and has a standard shelter for protection. Our one concern about this station is the passenger access: the only way down to the platform is a series of long steps with a strong handrail alongside: feasible for prams, but no fun at all for wheelchairs, hence our grading. It did not appear to have any parking spaces. Wheels: SSw.

Llanbister Road is a pleasant place to wait if the weather's good, and the standard shelter (brick variant) has a canopy for protection when it isn't.

Dolau planDOLAU Suddenly a gem! In many ways Dolau is no different from its sisters along the line: one track gone, no significant buildings – just one standard shelter (timber variant). So what's special? Well, we have to say it's the first such shelter we ever found that had a visitors book. It also had a door fitted to one of the two openings to reduce the draught. Both platforms remain and are filled with flowers, there are extra benches and bits of railway memorabilia from the days when the station was somewhat busier, and inside the shelter are the rewards for all this care and attention. There are best-kept station awards by the bundle – they barely need to paint the walls. Just don't get run over at the gateless level crossing in your haste to see all this. Nice one, Dolau! Wheels: SSw.

Dolau shelter amid flowers Left, Dolau amid its plants.

Right, the rewards for the community's interest in their rail link.
Dolau's awards

Penybont planPEN-Y-BONT station is actually closer to Crossways than the village it is named for, and is clearly signed off the north side of the A44. One platform and whatever was there before has now been taken over for commercial use. There is, however, a reasonable parking area (dependent upon how much is shared with the occupier), with one space dimly marked out for disabled users. The stub end of the commercial platform has been retained as a station gateway, and you go down the end slope to track level, and use the boarded crossing (using proper caution for any trains that might be coming) to get to the remaining platform, which serves both directions and has one of the standard wooden shelters. Wheels: SSw.

LLANDRINDOD is just west of A483, in the centre of Llandrindod Wells, a spa town intent on attracting visitors. As part of this endeavour, it is rediscovering its Victorian heyday and building on it. While we were there, significant numbers of people were drifting around in period dress to support the Victorian festival, but there were also permanent signs describing the history of the town, including one on the “Victorianisation” of the station. Happily, Llandrindod has retained both platforms and both sets of station buildings, though we've been informed that the canopy on the Swansea side (which made us think of Lord Street in Southport) is not the original one.

Llandrindod plan
The approach to the station from the town is down a slope which in some ways facilitates the modern ramp across the line, since it doesn't need steps or ramp on the Swansea side. The other side has both. Llandrindod has the rare benefit (for this line) of a ticket office and (presumably) waiting room – we arrived too late in the afternoon to be sure. We also guessed that a waiting room was available on the Shrewsbury side. Outside there is short term parking on the Swansea side and a bus stop right by the station entrance, and next to those is a larger parking area. There are similar facilities on the Shrewsbury side but much of these spaces will be for general town visitors rather than travellers, and there may be inconvenient limits on how long you can park there. Wheels: SSw.

Routes and Resources Table: Front Information Page Birmingham All-Stations Map
  Central Region Routes Map Full Routes Scroll Map
Stations A-Z      
Birmingham New Street Station
Birmingham - Cheltenham & Bristol
Birmingham - Coventry & London Euston
Birmingham - Derby & Nottingham
Birmingham - Kidderminster & Worcester
Birmingham - Leamington Spa
Birmingham - Leicester
Birmingham - Lichfield
Birmingham - Redditch & Worcester
Birmingham - Rugeley
Birmingham - Stratford-upon-Avon
Bristol - Exeter
Cheltenham Spa - Cardiff
Chester - Hereford & Cardiff
Chester - Llandudno
Crewe - Shrewsbury
Crewe & Stoke - Wolverhampton & Birmingham
Derby & Nottingham - Bedford & London
Ipswich - Cambridge & Norwich
Leamington Spa - London
Leamington Spa - Oxford
Leicester - Cambridge
Lowestoft - Ipswich & Felixstowe
Manchester - Crewe via M. Airport
Manchester - Crewe via Stockport
Norwich - Cambridge
Norwich - Great Yarmouth
Norwich - Lowestoft
Norwich - Sheringham
Nottingham - Grantham
Oxford - Bicester
Shrewsbury - Llandrindod
Stafford - Rugby via Trent Valley
Stoke-on-Trent - Derby      
Walsall - Shrewsbury
Worcester - Hereford
Worcester - Oxford
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