Wellington railway station (Shropshire)

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Location
52°42'05"N
002°31'01"W
Country
 United Kingdom
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Description

Wellington railway station serves the town of Wellington, Shropshire, England. It is situated on the former Great Western Railway's London Paddington to Birkenhead via Birmingham Snow Hill line. Trains are operated by West Midlands Railway (who manage the station), Avanti West Coast and Transport for Wales.

History

The station was built at the junction of the Shrewsbury and Birmingham Railway with the Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Company's line from Stafford via Newport. It was opened on 1 June 1849. The S&BR reached Wolverhampton later that year, but was frustrated in their attempts to reach Birmingham by the London and North Western Railway – it was not until both they and the neighbouring Shrewsbury and Chester Railway became part the Great Western Railway in November 1854 trains could run to Birmingham Snow Hill. Wellington thereafter was jointly run by the LNWR and Great Western companies until the 1923 Grouping. It subsequently also became a busy junction interchange station, serving lines north to Market Drayton (the Wellington and Drayton Railway opened in 1867) and south (the Wellington and Severn Junction Railway to Coalbrookdale, opened in 1857) as well as that to Stafford. All three branches closed to passengers in the early 1960s – the Coalbrookdale line being the first to go in July 1962, that to Market Drayton and Nantwich following in September 1963 and the Stafford line almost exactly a year later under the Beeching cuts in 1964. Services to Birmingham Snow Hill via Wolverhampton Low Level finally ended in March 1968 (a year after the ending of through trains to London Paddington via this route), with trains henceforth diverted to the ex-LNWR High Level station at Wolverhampton and onwards to Birmingham New Street over the Stour Valley line.The town of Wellington was designated as part of the new town of Telford in the 1960s. As Telford did not have its own railway station at first, Wellington station was renamed "Wellington – Telford West" to indicate that it now served the new town. After Telford Central station opened in 1986, Wellington eventually reverted to its original name, although this did not happen for a number of years. Although, in its heyday, the station had more platforms, As of May 2017, it has only three: two through platforms and one bay platform. Platform 3, the bay platform, is now out of regular use following the withdrawal of the Wellington to Walsall local service and its subsequent replacement with through Shrewsbury to Birmingham New Street local services. Traces of another defunct platform face (the outer side of the old up island platform) can be seen from the car park behind platform 1. In late 2009-early 2010 the station was refurbished by London Midland.

Facilities

The station has a ticket office on platform 2 that is staffed part-time. A ticket vending machine is provided on platform 1 for use outside these hours, which can also be used for collecting advance purchase tickets. There are canopied waiting areas on both sides, with toilets adjoining the booking hall on platform 2. Train running information is offered via automated announcements, CIS displays, timetable poster boards and a help point on both platforms. Step-free access is available to all platforms.

Services

Wellington is currently (May 2019) served by at least three trains an hour during the daytime, each way between Birmingham New Street and Shrewsbury, two operated by West Midlands Railway and the other by Transport for Wales. Transport for Wales' service operates to/from Birmingham International and runs limited stop, whilst the two West Midlands railway services serves stations (the service introduced in May 2019 only stops at select stations) to Wolverhampton. TfW Rail trains continue beyond Shrewsbury alternately either to Aberystwyth and Pwllheli (combined portion service) or to Holyhead via Chester and Llandudno Junction. There is also two services to Llandudno (one on weekends) and one to Manchester Piccadilly on weekday evenings. On Sundays, services are provided by Transport for Wales and Avanti West Coast and as of May 2019 WMT has introduced a second hourly Sunday service. The through trains to Walsall were withdrawn in December 2008. These recommenced in May 2019, following an introduction of two early morning services a week starting at Walsall and continuing to Shrewsbury via Wellington. They were operated as extensions of the Shrewsbury to Birmingham Line. This replaced the former Liverpool Lime Street service. However in December 2019, following problems with services and disruptions. The Walsall service was once again withdrawn. Replaced by a through Rugeley Trent Valley to Wolverhampton service. Until March 1967 Wellington was served by the GWR, latterly BR Western Region, express services between London Paddington and Birkenhead Woodside; these were withdrawn upon the commissioning of the electrification of the West Coast Main Line. Between 28 April 2008 and 28 January 2011, Wellington was a stop on Wrexham & Shropshire's service between Wrexham General and London Marylebone. Avanti West Coast run one daily service to and from London Euston via the West Coast Main Line using Class 221 Super Voyager units. These began at the December 2014 timetable change with Virgin Trains.
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