John Speller's Web Pages Worcester & Hereford Railway

John Speller's Web Pages
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Originally an independent company, the Worcester & Hereford Railway was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1853 to build a line from Worcester through Malvern to Hereford. The Engineer of the line was Charles Liddell (1813-1894), a pupil of George Stephenson, who was also Engineer of the Newport, Abergavenny & Hereford Railway, with which the Worcester & Hereford Railway connected at Shelwick Junction. The first section from Henwick to Malvern Link opened on 25 July 1859, followed by Henwick to Worcester Tunnel Junction on 17 May 1860, Malvern Link to Malvern Wells on 25 May 1860 and Malvern Wells to Hereford Shelwick Junction on 13 September 1861. Meanwhile on 1 July 1861 the Worcester & Hereford Railway had become part of the West Midland Railway, a line which itself was absorbed by the Great Western Railway on 1 August 1863. The Midland Railway had running powers over the Worcester & Hereford line via the Stoke Works Branch and the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton line from Droitwich Spa to Worcester, making the route part of the Midland Railway's route line from Birmingham to Swansea. At Malvern Wells Sidings, between Great Malvern and Malvern Wells, the Midland Railway had a turntable and water tank for servicing their line to Ashchurch. After 1923 the LMS used the LNWR route to Swansea, and the Midland Railway's running powers were not much exercised.

The Great Western route proceeded from Worcester Shrub Hill with intermediate stations at Worcester Foregate Street, Henwick, Boughton Halt, Rushwick Halt, Bransford Road, Newland Halt, Malvern Link, Great Malvern, Malvern Wells, Colwall, Ledbury Junction, Ashperton, Stoke Edith, Withington and Hereford. Several of the stations are noteworthy for their fine Gothic detailing and ornamental ironwork. Just west of Ledbury Junction was the 371-yard Ledbury Viaduct and just east of the same was the 1318-yard Ledbury Tunnel. The other major works were on the northern part of the line, the 135-yard viaduct over the River Severn at Worcester and the 71-yard River Teme Viaduct just south of Rushwick Halt. There was a 1585-yard tunnel at Colwall, just south of Malvern Wells, which became unsafe and was replaced by a new tunnel in 1926.

Classic Great Wesern: video of the "Three Choirs Express", 4 October 2008, on the Worcester - Hereford line behind No. 4936 "Kinlet Hall" and No. 5029 "Nunney Castle."
A postcard of around 1905 showing Malvern Link station
Ledbury Viaduct under construction, c. 1858
The original Withington Station in around 1890. The Station Master 1888-1905 was Edwin Noble, extreme right. Photograph courtesy of Don Noble
Withington Station between rebuilding in 1901 and the death of Sation Master Noble (far platform, second from right) in 1905. Photograph courtesy of Don Noble
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