Stratford Town Station

Stratford Town Station is the southern terminus of the Stratford-upon-Avon to Birmingham Railway Line and is served by both London Midland and Chiltern Railways train services. Around 606,000 passenger trips per year are made through the station, making it a vital gateway into and out of the town for residents, tourists and visitors alike.

Stratford Station platformStratford Station platform

The station itself is not listed building but it is a historical structure and in order to not detract from the quality of the public realm in Stratford-upon-Avon it is recognised that further enhancements to Stratford Town station will be required.

Enhancements to the Town Station

Network Rail has recently installed a new canopy at Stratford Town station as part of a £560,000 refurbishment, combined with repairs to steel and timber structures with the aim of making future maintenance inspections easier and to avoid further maintenance work over the period to 2035.

In addition, the following enhancements are proposed for the Town Station during 2010:

  • New waiting shelters
  • New steps from the Alcester Road
  • Refurbished footbridge
  • Refurbished paint work
  • New Customer Information Systems
  • Lighting renewals

Track and Signalling Enhancements on the Stratford to Birmingham Railway Line

In addition to the enhancements proposed for the Town Station itself, Network Rail have now completed a comprehensive upgrade of the track and signalling infrastructure on the Stratford-upon-Avon to Birmingham Railway. An extract from the Network Rail Route Plan (pdf 1.4mb) detailling these enhancements can be found below:

Signalling renewal of life- expired asset along the Shirley to Stratford route section including:

  • Reduced headways
  • New crossover at Stratford-upon-Avon Town Station
  • New turnback facility at Whitlocks End (relocated crossover).
  • Rationalisation of equipment at Henley-in-Arden.

2010/11 Shirley - Stratford resignalling enhancement
2010/11 Shirley – Stratford resignalling enhancement

Future of the Town Station

Network Rail have provided written confirmation that there are no plans within the rail industry to close the existing Town Station once Stratford Parkway Station opens:

“I can confirm that Network Rail have no plans to reduce the rail service provision at the existing station, neither are there any plans to close this transport hub… Network Rail view the existing Stratford-upon-Avon Station as an integral part of the West Midlands rail system linking key towns such as Leamington, Banbury and London Marylebone, along with Henley-in-Arden, Shirley and of course Birmingham.

The routes to and from Stratford-upon-Avon are key elements of the Network Rail Route Utilisation Strategy for West Midlands and Chilterns and significant investment is being made in upgrading the signalling and train capacity going forward.”

Network Development Team, Network Rail, 31st March 2010

The rail industry would not make the significant investments in the Town Station (as detailed above) if it were to shortly close, particularly in times of economic recession.

A number of other considerations should be taken into account regarding the future of the Town Station:

  • There are two rail industry standards that prevent a train from reversing at the proposed Parkway Station, although they will of course be permitted to stop to set down / pick up passengers. Specifically these are Railway Group Standard GI/RT7016 (PDF – 53 KB) and Network Rail NR/L2/TRK/2049.
  • The proposed infrastructure for Stratford Parkway does not permit trains to turn back at the station (i.e. there will be no track crossover). All trains would need to continue on to the existing town centre station, where it would be necessary to retain facilities for train reversal (and in fact these are planned for enhancement by Network Rail; including the provision of a new facing cross-over). While in theory this could be done without allowing passengers to board and alight the train, there is no commercial business case to pursue such a scenario.

New Footbridge with Lifts

In December 2011 the County Council was awarded £1m by the Department for Transport (DfT) for the provision of a new footbridge and lifts at the Town Station. This funding was awarded following a successful bid by the County Council to the DfT ‘Access for All’ scheme.

The new bridge will remove the need for the mobility impaired, those with pushchairs / luggage etc. to use the existing barrow crossing if they need to access the island platforms. The new bridge will have a design life of 125 years approx. and this further serves to underwrite the future of the Town Station.

Further details on the project will be provided in the near future.