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GWR Route: Stratford on Avon to Honeybourne

Stratford-on-Avon Race Course Platform

Stratford-on-Avon Racecourse's minimal facilities were built in 1933 opening on the 6th May of the same year. The nature of its use, providing racecourse visitors with access by rail during the 'flat' season, always meant that the GWR would only provide the most basic of facilities. In this instance, this meant two platforms of sufficient length to accommodate trains for the races but without the structures that would normally be provided such as a toilet, waiting room and booking office. Robert Ferris writes "The use of the term 'Platform' is interesting as these normally had more facilities than Halts. Whereas Halts were designed for two auto trailers at the most so were therefore seldom more than 150 foot long. Platforms were 550 feet long to accommodate an eight coach excursion train. I understand that the procedure at Stratford was for the race excursion trains to unload their passengers at the Racecourse platform and then proceed empty to either Long Marston or Stratford stations (depending on direction of travel) where they would wait until the return journeys were required. There were often several excursion trains waiting at these stations".

The former SMJ crossed over the GWR lines at the northern end of the platforms. With the installation of a new spur from the SMJ, forming a connection with the ex-GWR line just south of the down platform, the existing northern spur was singled. More importantly it allowed British Railways the opportunity to close the SMJ Stratford to Broom line together with the MR's Redditch to Evesham branch. The traffic previously operated via these two lines was primarily iron ore from the 'OIC Wroxton Quarry' in Oxfordshire to the South Wales Steelworks which could now be diverted via the new connection. Unfortunately the grade of iron ore was not the best and as cheaper and a better grade of iron ore became available from overseas the traffic declined. This eventually resulted in the closure of the connection on the 1st March 1965 when freight services ceased. The Racecourse Platforms lasted barely longer as it too was a casualty of BR's decision to withdraw passengers along the route to Honeybourne, being closed on the 3rd January 1966.

Much of the information on this and other pages of Warwickshire Railways is derived from articles or books listed in our 'bibliography'.

Stratford-on-Avon Race Course Platform

Looking from the bridge carrying the SMJ line to Broom southwards towards Honeybourne prior to the construction of the spur joining the two lines
Ref: gwr_src1432
Lens of Sutton
Looking southwards towards Honeybourne prior to the construction of the spur joining the two lines
Looking South towards Honeybourne from the former SMJ bridge with the up platform nearest to the camera
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RM Casserley
Looking to Honeybourne from the former SMJ bridge with the up platform nearest to the camera
Taken just prior to the day that the new Stratford-on-Avon Racecourse Platform opened, on Saturday 6th May 1933
Ref: gwr_src1455
AT Locke
Taken prior to the day that the new Stratford-on-Avon Racecourse Platform opened, on Saturday 6th May 1933
Looking North along 'Racecourse's up platform and through the former SMJ railway bridge towards Stratford on Avon station
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RM Casserley
Looking North along the up platform through the former SMJ railway bridge towards Stratford on Avon station
View of the GWR inspection coach and an unknown 0-4-2T travelling over the line south of Stratford prior to the opening of the line
Ref: gwr_src611
C Maggs Collection
View of the GWR inspection coach and an unknown 0-4-2T travelling over the line prior to the opening of the line

Looking from the bridge carrying the SMJ line to Broom southwards towards Honeybourne prior to the construction of the spur joining the two lines
Ref: gwr_src2616
GWR Magazine
The Pratt truss lattice girder bridge in the final stages of construction at Stannals, south of Stratford-upon-Avon
A 1933 Poster advertising times of Excursions on 6th and 20th May to Stratford on Avon Steeplechases
Ref: gwr_src3156
S Webb
A 1933 Poster advertising times of Excursions on 6th and 20th May to Stratford on Avon Steeplechases

Locomotives and trains seen near to Stratford-on-Avon Race Course Platform

Looking towards the SMJ as an unidentified ex-WD 2-8-0 crosses the GWR Stratford-on-Avon to Honeybourne line
Ref: gwr_src613
BR
Looking towards the SMJ as an unidentified ex-WD 2-8-0 crosses the GWR Stratford-on-Avon to Honeybourne line
Ex-LMS 0-6-0 4F No 44043 is seen on a down freight about to cross the former GWR lines on 11th June 1957
Ref: gwr_src1525
TE Williams
Ex-LMS 0-6-0 4F No 44043 is seen on a down freight about to cross the former GWR lines on 11th June 1957
Ex-Great Western Railway 4-6-0 49xx Hall class No 7908 'Henshall Hall' passes Stratford-on-Avon Racecourse Halt on 14th April 1960
Ref: gwr_src1429
TE Williams
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 No 7908 'Henshall Hall' passes Stratford-on-Avon Racecourse Halt on 14th April 1960
Restored to GWR livery 0-6-0PT 64xx class No 6435 is seen standing at the racecourse up platform whilst on a SLS special on 24th April 1965
Ref: gwr_src1430
W Potter
In GWR livery 0-6-0PT No 6435 is seen standing at the racecourse up platform whilst on a SLS special
BR built 4-6-0 6959 Class No 7918 'Rhose Wood Hall' passes under the former SMJ bridge on 23rd May 1964
Ref: gwr_src2437
M Mensing
BR built 4-6-0 6959 Class No 7918 'Rhose Wood Hall' passes under the former SMJ bridge on 23rd May 1964

GWR 0-4-2T 14xx Class No 4825, with auto-coach attached, is seen passing under the SMJ bridge in 1933
Ref: gwr_src2459
KRM
GWR 0-4-2T 14xx Class No 4825, with auto-coach attached, is seen passing under the SMJ bridge in 1933
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 No 6944 'Fledborough Hall' enters the New Curve Junction line with a train of empty banana vans
Ref: gwr_src2460
M Mensing
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 No 6944 'Fledborough Hall' enters the New Curve Junction line with a train of empty banana vans
Ex-Great Western Railway 2-6-0 43xx class mogul No 6359 passes a desolate Stratford-on-Avon Racecourse Platform in January 1959
Ref: gwr_src1524
AWV Mace
An ex-GWR 4-6-0 Hall class locomotive on a Saturdays only 10:35am Paignton to Wolverhampton service
Ex-Great Western Railway 4-6-0 49xx ‘Hall’ class No 6971 ‘Athelhampton Hall’ crossing the lattice girder bridge adjacent to Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse
Ref: gwr_src1431
TE Williams
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 No 6971 ‘Athelhampton Hall’ crossing the lattice girder bridge adjacent to the racecourse
Ex-Great Western Railway 5101 class 2-6-2T large prairie No 4109 crossing the lattice girder bridge over the River Avon adjacent to Stratford Racecourse
Ref: gwr_src1433
G England.
Ex-GWR 5101 class 2-6-2T large prairie No 4109 crossing the lattice girder bridge over the River Avon

Ex-Great Western Railway 4-6-0 4073 Castle class No 5073 'Blenheim' passes Stratford Racecourse on 19th June 1959 with a Class D  partially fitted freight
Ref: gwr_src1434
TE Williams
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 No 5073 'Blenheim', with a Class D fitted freight, passes the racecourse on 19th June 1959
Ex-LMS 0-6-0 4F class No 44188 is seen on a SLS special leaving the former GWR line to take the spur to join the SMJ on 24th April 1965
Ref: gwr_src1435
W Potter
Ex-LMS 0-6-0 4F No 44188, on a SLS special, takes the spur from the ex-GWR line to the SMJ on 24th April 1965
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 Hall class No 6944 'Fledborough Hall' is seen with train of empty banana vans on the connecting spur from the SMJ to GWR line on 23rd May 1964
Ref: gwr_src1436
M Mensing
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 Hall class No 6944 'Fledborough Hall' is seen with train of empty banana vans on the connecting spur
Ex-Great Western Railway 2-8-0 28xx class No 3865 on a class F express freight heading North through Stratford Racecourse on Sunday 30th January 1960
Ref: gwr_src1454
G England
Ex-GWR 2-8-0 No 3865 on a class F express freight heading North through Stratford Racecourse
Ex-Great Western Railway 2-6-0 43xx class mogul No 6359 passes a desolate Stratford-on-Avon Racecourse Platform in January 1959
Ref: gwr_src1428
TE Williams
Ex-GWR 2-6-0 No 6359 passes a desolate Stratford-on-Avon Racecourse Platform in January 1959

Ex-WD 2-8-0 No 90312 is seen crossing over the former GWR line as it proceeds to Broom on a engineer's train on 28th May 1960
Ref: gwr_src1521
TE Williams
Ex-WD 2-8-0 No 90312 is seen crossing over the former GWR line as it proceeds to Broom on a engineer's train
View of the GWR inspection coach and an unknown 0-4-2T travelling over the line south of Stratford prior to the opening of the line
Ref: gwr_src2478
M Mensing
A northbound DMU passes through the Platform on the 17:50pm Worcester Shrub Hill to Stratford on Avon service
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 Hall class No 6948 'Holbrooke Hall' is seen on an evening Birmingham to Worcester service
Ref: gwr_src3157
G England
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 Hall class No 6948 'Holbrooke Hall' is seen on an evening Birmingham to Worcester service
Ex-GWR 0-6-0PT No 3775 heads the 1:47pm Stratford to Evesham local passenger service on 11th April 1958
Ref: gwr_src3158
G England
Ex-GWR 0-6-0PT No 3775 heads the 1:47pm Stratford to Evesham local passenger service on 11th April 1958