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LMS Route: The Shakespeare Route

Binton Station

The East & West Joint Railway (E&WJR) had intended to give itself access to Birmingham via Fenny Compton and to the south-west via Stratford upon Avon. Whilst the E&WJR had initially intended goods traffic from the Northampton area to be handed over to the Great Western Railway (GWR) at Stratford upon Avon the GWR refused to cooperate insisting that goods traffic be exchanged at Fenny Compton. This meant that for many years the railway failed to fulfil its potential and it wasn't until the extension to Broom was built in the guise of the Evesham, Redditch and Stratford-upon-Avon Junction Railway (ER&SJR) that the power of the GWR declined. The Evesham and Redditch Railway (E&RR) had opened a north-south line in 1866, and was aligned to the Midland Railway (MR). Its line lay only eight miles west of Stratford, and the E&WJR sponsored the promotion of the ER&SJR. This line was authorised on 5th August 1873, and ran west from Stratford to a junction at Broom on the E&RR. The junction at Broom led towards Birmingham. The heavy mineral traffic was destined to move southwards, and the reversal in the restricted layout was to prove inconvenient. It opened on 2nd June 1879 and the seven mile line was worked by the E&WJR; running powers were obtained to Redditch, but they were only exercised from the junction at Broom to the station there. This line was immediately unprofitable and it too went into receivership, but continuing to trade, from 2nd January 1886. The opening of this extension allowed, as planned, the E&WJR to pass its traffic on to the MR at Broom Junction thereby cutting out the GWR. The MR did initially use the line routing its Bristol and Gloucester to London traffic over the ER&SJR/E&WJR, and their successor the Stratford Midland Junction Railway (SMJ) (its Banana trains were of particular note) until 1912 when it re-routed it's traffic via Wigston Junction an action saving them, but costing the SMJ in lost revenue, some £1,100 per annum.

Binton station was a single storey building of simple stone construction with one platform for the single line. The station and goods yard lay adjacent to Evesham Road making access to both a very simple matter. The station building accommodated a Lamp Room (LR), a Booking Office (BO), a Booking Hall (BH), a Ladies Waiting Room, and for gentlemen, a WC & Urinal accessed directly off the platform. See image 'smjb190' for a schematic diagram of the station showing the layout post 1900. It should be noted that the diagram quotes the hand operated crane in the goods shed as having a 30 cwt capacity which is contrary to the information contained in the Railway Clearing House's 1894 and 1929 Handbook of Railway Stations both stating the capacity as being two ton.

A goods yard was attached to the station having two sidings, both running parallel to the main running line. From the outset a goods shed and cattle dock & pens were positioned on the head shunt which served the two sidings (see the 1884 Ordnance Survey map 'smjb169'). The head shunt proceeded through the goods shed thereby allowing wagons unloaded to be pushed clear of the shed without having to remove any laden wagons behind them. At the end of this short siding was a carriage dock for transferring road vehicles from the road to the railway truck. Adjacent to the carriage dock was a weighing machine and office for checking the weights of any bulk goods brought to or delivered from the yard. By the time the 1922 Ordnance Survey map was published, the two sidings had been relaid so that one became a passing loop.

The Railway Clearing House's 1929 Handbook of Railway Stations states Binton, unlike Bidford on Avon, provided the general public and businesses with a full range of service: Goods traffic; Passenger and Parcels traffic; Furniture Vans, Carriages, Portable Engines, and Machines on Wheels; Live Stock; Horse Boxes and Prize Cattle Vans and Carriages by Passenger Train (GPFL). A two ton hand-operated crane was provided provided in the goods shed. The 1894 edition of The Railway Clearing House Handbook of Railway Stations did not provide information to the same detail e.g. the number of categories listed, and only recorded (GPFL), however its reasonable to assume that the same facilities recorded in 1929 were offered from the outset.

The line to the west of Stratford upon Avon was treated by the LMS as being separate to that running to the east of Stratford upon Avon. Passenger traffic was minimal, being limited, in 1905 for instance, to four trains daily in each direction. This continued until 1938, when the oncoming Second World War meant that the service was reduced to one day train daily in each direction. Even this service was discontinued on the 16th of June 1947. Both this station and the adjacent Bidford Station closed on the 23rd of May 1949. Freight traffic ceased in 1960 when the line was lifted.

Much of the information provided on this and other linked pages has been derived from books written by: Arthur Jordon The Stratford upon Avon and Midland Junction Railway published by OPC; JM Dunn's The Stratford upon Avon & Midland Junction Railway published by The Oakwood Press; Messrs Preston Hendry & Powell Hendry in An Historical Survey of Selected LMS Stations Volume One published by OPC; RC Riley and Bill Simpson in their book A History of the Stratford-Upon-Avon and Midland Junction Railway published by Lamplight Publications; David Blasgrove in his book 'Warwickshire's Lost Railways' published by Stenlake Publishing which has a brief illustrated overview of some of the stations; and finally Geoffrey Kingscott's Lost Railways of Warwickshire published by Countryside Books which has a section dedicated to the SMJR with 'Now and Then' photographs.

An external view of the front of Binton station looking in the direction of Stratford upon Avon after closure to passenger traffic
Ref: smjb5
Lens of Sutton
An external view of the front of Binton station looking in the direction of Stratford after closure to passenger traffic
Looking towards Broom with the station building on the right, the goods shed and in the distance the single siding with open wagons
Ref: smjb4
Lens of Sutton
Looking towards Broom with the station building on the right and the goods shed and in the distance
Close up of Binton station's goods shed with doors closed and with wagons standing on the siding beneath the loading gauge
Ref: smjb4a
Lens of Sutton
Close up of the goods shed with doors closed and with wagons standing on the siding beneath the loading gauge
Close up showing Binton station's single storey passenger building and the out houses which included the gentlemen's toilets
Ref: smjb4b
Lens of Sutton
Close up of the station's single storey building and the out houses which included the gentlemen's toilets
Looking towards Broom Junction after Binton station had finally succumbed to competition by road transport and had been closed
Ref: smjb6
HC Casserley
Looking towards Broom Junction after Binton station had finally succumbed to competition by road transport

Close up of  Binton station's goods shed and single road siding which were still in use after the station closed to passenger traffic
Ref: smjb6a
HC Casserley
Close up of Binton station's goods shed and single road siding which were still in use after the station closed
Close up of Binton passenger station after closure showing the platform sign pointing to gentlemen's toilets has been removed
Ref: smjb6b
HC Casserley
Close up of the station after closure showing the platform sign pointing to gentlemen's toilets has been removed
ooking from the Bidford upon Avon end of Binton station towards Stratford upon Avon shortly after the station was closed to passengers
Ref: smjb83
Real Photos
Looking from the Bidford end of Binton station towards Stratford upon Avon shortly after the station was closed
Close up showing the otherside of Binton station with the corrugated metal hut defining the goods yard's boundary
Ref: smjb83a
Real Photos
Close up of the otherside of Binton station with the corrugated metal hut defining the goods yard's boundary
View along Binton station's abandoned platform towards Broom Junction with on the left the still used but overgrown single line
Ref: smjb106
Lens of Sutton
Looking along the abandoned platform towards Broom with, on the left, the still used but overgrown single line

Looking along Binton station's overgrown but still used track towards Stratford upon Avon
Ref: smjb107
Lens of Sutton
Looking along Binton station's overgrown, but still being used, track towards Stratford upon Avon
A reverse angle view along the still used but overgrown single line towards Stratford upon Avon with the disused station on the left
Ref: smjb167
JS Doubleday
An oblique 1959 view of the closed Binton Station looking in the direction of Statford upon Avon
Ex-LMS 8F 2-8-0 No 48204 passes by Binton station at the head of a mineral train on 25th April 1960
Ref: smjb168
TW Williams
Ex-LMS 8F 2-8-0 No 48204 passes by Binton station at the head of a mineral train on 25th April 1960
Binton station on 12th May 1966, some 17 years after the withdrawal of passenger services on 23rd of May 1949
Ref: smjb191
J Evans
Binton station on 12th May 1966, some 17 years after the withdrawal of passenger services on 23rd of May 1949

Ordnance Survey Maps and Schematic Drawing of the Station's Layout

An 1884 25 inch to the mile Ordnance Survey Map showing Binton station and its goods yard and shed
Ref: smjb169
National Library of Scotland
An 1884 25 inch to the mile Ordnance Survey Map showing Binton station and its goods yard and shed
A 1900 25 inch to the mile Ordnance Survey Map showing Binton station and its goods yard and shed
Ref: smjb170
National Library of Scotland
A 1900 25 inch to the mile Ordnance Survey Map showing Binton station and its goods yard and shed
A 1922 25 inch to the mile Ordnance Survey Map showing Binton station and its goods yard and shed
Ref: smjb171
National Library of Scotland
A 1922 25 inch to the mile Ordnance Survey Map showing Binton station and its goods yard and shed
Close up of Binton passenger station after closure showing the platform sign pointing to gentlemen's toilets has been removed
Ref: smjb190
A Jordon
Diagram showing the simple layout of Binton station and goods shed and yard as seen post-1900