Great Alne Station was originally the only intermediate
station on the Alcester Railway. The railway and station were constructed by
engineer William Clarke and opened on Monday 4th September 1876. The Alcester
Railway was a 6 mile 69 chain single track standard gauge line running from the
Stratford upon Avon Railway at Bearley to the Evesham & Redditch Railway at
Alcester. Although nominally independent, the Alcester Railway Company entered
into an operating agreement with the GWR, who also had a director on the Board
and in 1878 the GWR arranged the purchase of the company.
Great Alne was a small country station served by six trains
in each direction. It never created much railway traffic and the stations
history is intrinsically linked to that of the Alcester Branch. When the branch
closed in 1917 and the track was removed to assist the War effort, the station
also closed. It reopened again on 18th December 1922, when the track between
Bearley and Great Alne was relaid. The remaining section between Great Alne and
Alcester reopened the following year.
The start of WW2 caused the Alcester Branch line to be
closed again on 25th September 1939, but this time the track was not removed
and the relocation of the Maudslay Motor Company from Coventry to Great Alne in
1941 meant an unadvertised workmans train from Leamington was required.
Public goods services were also restored to Great Alne the following year, but
the section between Alcester and Great Alne remained closed.
The special passenger service to Great Alne finished on 3rd
July 1944, but the goods yard remained open with a regular twice weekly freight
service. This ceased in 1947 and the Alcester Branch was officially closed on
1st March 1951. After closure Great Alne Station became the local Post Office
and is now a domestic residence.
A major source of information for the photograph captions
came from The Alcester Branch by Stanley Jenkins and Roger
Carpenter. This book is considered essential reading for anyone who wants to
know more about the Alcester Branch and Great Alne Station in particular (see
Select an image below to view the larger version with