Heritage Locations

Frome Station


Rare surviving station with an overall wooden roof

Constructor:
Unclassified

Period of construction:
1800 - 1849

Transport Trust plaque:
No

Transport Mode:
Rail

Address:
Station Approach, Wallbridge, Frome, Somerset BA11 1RE

Postcode:
BA11 1RE

Nearest Town:
Frome

Heritage Centre:
No


Frome station was opened in 1850 and is one of the oldest railway stations still in operation in Britain. The unusual station structure consists of a 36.5 m (120 ft) by 14.6 m (48 ft) timber train shed. It was built in the style of Brunel by J.R. Hannaford. The station has two platforms, one of which is now unused, the line having been made into a single track.

Frome station was originally on the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway, a railway that linked the Great Western Railway (GWR) at Chippenham with Weymouth. The line was authorised in 1845, was acquired by the GWR in 1850, reached Frome in the same year, and was completed throughout in 1857.

The original route of this line is that of the loop line through Frome station. This line forms the basis for today's Bristol to Weymouth route. A branch from Frome to Radstock, authorised by the same act of 1845, opened to freight traffic in 1854 and to passenger traffic in 1875. At Radstock this line connected with the Bristol and North Somerset Railway, providing a more direct route to Bristol than that provided by the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway.

For the remainder of the 19th century, the GWR's principal route from Paddington station to Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance was an indirect one via Bristol Temple Meads, the so-called 'Great Way Round'. However in 1895 the GWR directors announced that new lines were to be constructed to enable trains to reach Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance in a shorter time.

This involved improvements to the Berks and Hants Extension Railway and the Wilts, Somerset & Weymouth Line, together with the construction of the Castle Cary Cut-Off. This opened from Castle Cary to the existing Bristol to Exeter line at Cogload Junction in 1906, but shared the original Yeovil to Taunton line between Curry Rivel Junction (near Langport) and Athelney.

This transformed Frome from a station on a secondary north to south line, to one on a main east to west route. The route resulting from these improvements and extensions forms the current London to Penzance line. In 1933 a by-pass route was constructed, enabling through traffic to avoid Frome station and the junction with the Radstock branch, and leaving the station on a looped branch as at present. The line to Radstock closed to passengers in 1959.


Bibliography:


Barman, Christian, An Introduction to Railway Architecture, Art & Technics, (1950)

Biddle, Gordon,
Great Railway Stations of Britain, David & Charles,  ISBN 0 7153 8263 2 (1986)

Biddle, Gordon,
Britain's Historic Railway Buildings, Oxford University Press, ISBN-10: 0198662475 (2003)

Biddle, Gordon,
Victorian Stations, David & Charles, ISBN 0 7153 5949 5 (1973)

Biddle, Gordon & Nock, O.S.,
The Railway Heritage of Britain : 150 years of railway architecture and engineering, Studio Editions, ISBN-10: 1851705953 (1990)

Biddle, Gordon and Simmons, J.,
The Oxford Companion to British Railway History, Oxford, ISBN 0 19 211697 5 (1997)

Biddle, Gordon,and Spence, Jeffry,
The British Railway Station, David & Charles, ISBN 0 7153 7467 2(1977)

Butt, R.V.J.
The Directory of Railway Stations, Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0508-1. (October 1995, 1st Edition)

Conolly, W. Philip,
British Railways Pre-Grouping Atlas And Gazetteer, Ian Allan Publishing, ISBN 0-7110-0320-3 (1958/97)

Jowett, Alan,
Jowett's Railway Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland,  Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0086-1. (March 1989)

Lloyd, David and Insall, Donald,
Railway Station Architecture, David & Charles, ISBN 0 7153 7575 X (1978)

MacDermot, E T History of the Great Western Railway, Vol II 1863-1921, London, Great Western Railway (1931)

Railway Heritage Trust, Annual Report 1999-2000

Simmons, J., The Railways of Britain, Macmillan, ISBN 0 333 40766 0 (1961-86)

Simmons, J., The Victorian Railway, Thames & Hudson, ISBN 0 500 25110X (1991)

Thomas, D. St J. A Regional History of the Railways of Britain, West Country. ISBN 0 7153 6363 8 (1973)



Opening Times:
Daily. See railway timetable, visit website.

How To Find:
By road: Off A362 Wallbridge/Portway.

Facilities:


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