[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 1941 or 1942
Location: To east of main gate into the British Library (North)
Company on opening:

Thorp Arch Military Railway

Date closed to passengers: 1957
Date closed completely: July 1958
Company on closing:

Thorp Arch Military Railway

Present state: Demolished - no trace remains
County: Yorkshire
OS Grid Ref: SE445473
Date of visit: 12.4.2013
Notes: Walton Platform was one of four stops on the Thorp Arch circular railway. It was opened in 1941/2 during the construction of the Royal Ordnance Factory. The platform was initially used only by the construction workers and then by the regular workforce which, at its peak, reached 18,000. During WW2 the factory was operating 24 hours a day with three shifts. Walton, and the three other platforms, allowed workers to disembark close to their actual place of work.

Walton consisted of a single platform constructed of earth and cinders and faced with old sleepers. It had electric lighting, a nameboard and two lines of brick waiting shelters. It was sited in the north-west corner of the factory site, primarily serving engineering workshops.

Two of the platforms on the Thorp Arch circular railway were brought into use in November 1941, whilst the other two were used from 19 April 1942. The regular passenger service ceased in 1957 but two railtours used the platform in June and July 1958. The track was lifted c1959 and the site of the platform is now occupied by the visitors’ car park for the new British Library book depository.

Ticket from Michael Stewart

ROF Thorp Arch by Mike Christensen - two articles in Archive (magazine) Nos. 22 and 23 June/September 1999.

To see other stations on the Thorp Arch Military Railway
click on the station name:
River Platform, Ranges Platform & Roman Road Platform

See also Thorp Arch station

An unknown railtour at Walton Platform on 22 July 1958. This might have been the last passenger train to visit the Thorp Arch circular railway. The tour was hauled by 43115. This loco was built in 1951 at Horwich works to Ivatt's Class 4, 2-6-0 design for the LMS. It entered service on 19 May at 19A, Sheffield (Grimethorpe) shed, and had a service life of just 16 years when it was withdrawn from 5D, Stoke shed, on 27 May 1967. It was cut up during October 1967 at Cashmores of Great Bridge.
Photo from Martin Bairstow collection

Military sites are not generally shown on Ordnance Survey maps so all maps published during the 1940s and 1950s show the land as it was before ROF Thorp Arch was built. This 1962 1:2,500 OS map shows the platform after the factory closed and the track was lifted, but before surrounding buildings were demolished. The platform and two lines of brick waiting shelters are clearly seen.

Walton Platform looking south-west in July 1958 during a visit by an unknown railtour. The platform is overgrown and clearly has been out of use for some time. A nameboard, electric lighting and waiting shelters can all be seen.
Photo by JCW Halliday from Martin Bairstow collection

Looking north-east at the site of Walton platform in April 2013. The site is now occupied by the visitors’ car park for the new British Library book depository, which is seen on the left. The depository is a fully automated storage facility in a low-oxygen environment that does not sustain fire.

Photo by Nick Catford




[Source: Nick Catford]

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