[Source: Paul Wright]

Oswestry North Junction signal box seen on 12 July 1970.

The first railway to reach Oswestry was the Shrewsbury & Chester Railway (S&CR) who opened a branch from their main line at Gobowen on 1 January 1849. The S&CR was taken over by the Great Western Railway (GWR) on 1 September 1854. On 1 May 1860 the Oswestry & Newtown Railway (O&N) opened a line between Oswestry and Pool Quay (extended to Welshpool on 14 august 1860 and to Newtown on 10 June 1861). The two companies each had their own station at Oswestry in close proximity. A connection was made between the two systems to facilitate the transfer of goods.

On 25 July 1864 the O&N merged with a number of other companies to form the Cambrian Railways (CR) company. One of the companies that merged was the Oswestry Ellesmere & Whitchurch Railway and two days after the merger a line opened from Oswestry to Ellesmere (the Whitchurch - Ellesmere section having opened on 4 May 1863). The CR developed Oswestry as its headquarters opening a locomotive works there in 1865.

In the 1890s the CR introduced a Aberystwyth - Birkenhead service which ran via the connection between the two systems at Oswestry.

On 1 January 1922 the CR was absorbed into the GWR. The GWR had no need of two passenger stations at Oswestry so they improved the former CR facility (which was the larger of the two). The improvements included the remodelling of the connection between what had been two seperate systems and Oswestry North Junction was created.

The junction which was completed by July 1924 was located 20 chains to the north of the former CR station to the west of the locomotive works. In the fork between the Gobowen and Whitchurch lines a GWR brick built signal box was provided. It controlled the junction and access to the Oswestery Locomotive Shed.

The junction remained unaltered until 18 January 1965 when British Railways (London Midland Region) closed the line between Oswestry and Ellesmere completely. It was lifted later that year. Oswestry North Junction signal box remained open to control movements into and out of the station from the Gobowen branch. Passenger services continued to run (between Gobowen and Oswestry) until 3 November 1966 and goods services (to Oswestry and beyond to Blodwell) until 1971. In the later part of 1972 and into 1973 further rationalisation took place at Oswestry with all but a single track remaining at North Junction. The signal box was closed.

Trains continued to serve Blodwell until 1988 by which time Oswestry North Junction box had been demolished.

See also: Oswestry Locomotive Shed, Oswestry Cambrian Works,
Oswestry (GWR) and Oswestry (Cambrian) stations.

Oswestry North Junction looking north-east in the 1940s. A Gobowen to Oswestry train is seen passing the Oswestry North Junction signal box. To the right the former Cambrian works can be seen.
hoto from the John Mann collection

The connections between the CR and the GWR at Oswestry are shown on this 1:2,500 scale map from 1974. Oswestry had already developed as a major railway facility by this time.

Oswestry North Junction shown on a 1:2,500 scale map from 1925.

Looking north-east at Oswestry North Junction on 26 July 1960 as a Gobowen to Oswestry service comes off the Gobowen branch and heads towards the station.

A view looking north-east along the Whitchurch line at Oswestry North Junction on 8 August 1962. The Oswestry North Junction signal box can be seen to the left.

The derelict Oswestry North Junction signal box seen in 1973.

The site of Oswestry North Junction looking south-west on 28 April 2016.
Photo by Paul Wright




[Source: Paul Wright]

Last updated: Thursday, 18-May-2017 17:22:20 CEST
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