The Shipston-on-Stour Branch - Railways of the Vale of Evesham

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Railways of the Vale of Evesham
The Shipston-on-Stour Branch
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Part of the Shipston Branch, around 2 miles north of Moreton-in-the-Marsh, looking towards Shipston (date unknown)
The Shipston-on-Stour branch started out as part of the  Stratford-upon-Avon to Moreton-in-the-Marsh tramway, which ran southeast from  the former to the latter.   This horse-drawn line opened in 1826, with ambitions  to extend towards Oxford, but apart from a short branch from Longdon Road to  Shipston opened in 1836, this was as far as the line progressed; a lack of  finance delayed further expansion long enough for the Oxford, Worcester and  Wolverhampton Railway to arrive on the scene.   The OWW took over running of the  tramway in 1847, converting the tramway to standard gauge, although retaining  the horse-drawn workings.

With the OWW opening a branch from Honeybourne to Stratford-upon-Avon in  1859, the section from Longdon Road to Stratford was surplus to requirements,  and began to decline in use, eventually being taken out of traffic in around  1900 (the line was lifted in World War One).   However, concerns about competing  railway lines resulted in the Moreton-Shipston section being upgraded to take  steam locomotives and this upgraded section was opened in July 1889.    There  were two intermediate stations on the branch: Stretton-on-Fosse and Longdon  Road.

However, the nature of the route being designed for horse-drawn working  rather than for locomotive haulage meant that speeds along the branch were  little improved from the days of horse-drawn working.    The route itself wasn't  very direct between Moreton and Shipston, and as far as passenger demand went,  there was not a vast amount anyway; the demand was greater for a link to  Stratford than it was to Moreton.  Passenger services lasted until 1929 (a GWR  bus service provided as a replacement was withdrawn after three months); freight  would continue to 1960 to Shipston (the two intermediate stations closed during  World War Two).
Shipston-on-Stour Line Diagram

The diagram shows the approximate route and station sites  of the Shipston-on-Stour Branch.

No public rights of way are inferred by this diagram.
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