Evesham (Great Western)

The railways first came to Evesham in May 1852, with the arrival of the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway (subsequently taken over by the Great Western Railway) at the north end of the town. Its central location in an area renowned for its fruit and vegetable growing, Evesham was kept busy with freight going out and land workers coming in, as well as passenger traffic generated by Evesham's reputation as a centre of tourism.

Evesham became a major player in the railway network with the arrival of the branch from Ashchurch in 1866; the Midland Railway (later the London Midland and Scottish Railway) giving the GWR some competition.  The Midland station was right next to the GWR station, and until 1930, both stations were run independently; after this, an LMS stationmaster was in charge of both stations.  Although freight interchange was possible between the stations,  Evesham would not become a junction as such until the middle of the 20th century when a through link allowing transfer between lines was installed. This was only necessary as a diversionary route for the Stratford-Cheltenham line, and was short-lived as the Midland line south to Ashchurch closed in 1963.

The GWR had a small engine shed located west of the station between the GWR and LMS lines, and quite impressive goods facilities, with a goods yard to the west of the stations.  

The railways of Evesham were severely rationalised during the 1960's. The MR line was closed completely by 1964 and the GWR line survived by the skin of its teeth, with Evesham losing all goods facilities and the GWR line being reduced to single track in 1971. Today, all that remains is the GWR station, the signal box on the west of the town and a few rarely used sidings.  The goods yards to the west of the station now contain an industrial estate and a supermarket.

The line east of Evesham (and a mile or so to the west) was redoubled in August 2011.   The semaphore signals were replaced by Multiple-Aspect Signals, but the signal box west of the station was retained.

evesham_55571.jpg
Evesham station, looking west from the High Street on the 11th February, 2012.   The access ramp that replaced the barrow crossing can be seen to the right and the new down starter MAS signal can just be made out under the bridge in the background.
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