Cheltenham St James was opened on the 23rd October 1847 as a terminus for trains from Gloucester and London. It was originally laid to broad gauge, but was relaid to standard gauge in May 1872. It boasted large freight facilities (most Cheltenham freight was handled at St James) and a turntable. The station also had an engine shed, but this was removed when the line from Stratford arrived at Malvern Road and engines were subsequently shedded at Malvern Road.
The station began to decline with the withdrawal of services towards Kingham and the station closed to most traffic on 3rd January 1966, although some coal traffic remained until the 31st October of that year. Today the site of the station has been completely redeveloped.