Stratford-Upon-Avon to Cheltenham Timeline
Part 1 : 1859 to 1979


A single line branch from the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Line is opened from Honeybourne to Stratford-Upon-Avon.


The presentation of the Andoversford and Stratford-Upon-Avon Railway Bill spurs the GWR into acting to secure a line through the Vale of Evesham


An act of Parliament is passed for the construction of the Stratford and Cheltenham line. The GWR's proposals for the line have convinced Parliament that their line will serve the region better than the A&SUA Railway and their Bill is rejected.


Construction starts on the line at Honeybourne.

November 1903

Construction of Stanway Viaduct, just north of Toddington is marred by a serious accident. Four of the viaduct's arches collapse after the supports are removed, killing four men. Fortunately, prompt action saves the remaining supports. A combination of bad weather, insufficent time for the mortar to set and use of labourers with insufficient skills (one of the dead was a butcher by trade, earning some extra cash on the site) is blamed.

August 1904

The line from Honeybourne to Toddington is opened, although passenger trains terminate at Broadway due to Toddington passenger station not being ready.

February 1905

The line reaches Winchcombe, with the GWR providing a temporary bus service to Cheltenham.

June 1906

The line opens as far as Bishop's Cleeve.

August 1906

The line to Cheltenham opens.


The doubling of the Honeybourne-Stratford branch is completed, and through goods traffic commences. The work on this section has resulted in rebuilt stations at Milcote and Long Marston, and a new viaduct across the River Avon at Stratford.

July 1908

Through passenger services begin.

March 1912

Cheltenham Racecourse Station opens.

August 1928

Possibly the most tragic operating acccident on this line occurs at Bishops Cleeve. Two sisters are killed on the barrow crossing (the station had no footbridge) when they cross in front of an express train they have mistaken for their stopping train.

November 1928

Hayles Abbey Halt is opened.


Stratford Racecourse station opens.

November 1943

The firebox on American Class "S160" Austerity 2-8-0 No 2403 collapses near Honeybourne East Loop Signal box. Both driver and fireman are badly scalded in the incident, with the latter's injuries eventually proving fatal.

October 1944

Honeybourne East Loop Signal Box is again the scene of a fatal accident when a Wellington bomber crashes near it.

March 1960

Local passenger services are withdrawn from Cheltenham to Honeybourne, although Cheltenham Racecourse station would be used for race meetings until 1968. The line is maintained as a diversionary route.

May 1969

The Honeybourne to Stratford-Upon Avon section closes to passengers.

August 1976

A derailment at Winchcombe results in closure of the line apart from the Honeybourne-Long Marston section. The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway is formed in the same month; its purpose, to convince BR to retain the line or to sell it to a private concern. However BR chooses to keep the line under "operational control".

July 1979

Having done nothing positive with the line for three years, BR lifts the track, apart from the Honeybourne to Long Marston section, which is now effectively a single-track siding.



Previous                                                                                          Next 

Timeline Part 1
Timeline Part 2
Timeline Part 3
Line Diagram
Station List
Moreton To Worcester
Timeline Part 1
Timeline Part 2
Line Diagram
Station List
Stratford to Cheltenham
Line Diagram
Station List
Redditch to Ashchurch
Line Diagram
Station List
Stratford and Midland Junction Railway
The Shipston Branch
Evesham Vale Light Railway
Railway Lines
The Future
Other Items
Contact Me