Railway buffs to get glimpse of the past at Abbey station

Visitors to an historic railway station in Shrewsbury will get a taste of the past – and a glimpse of the future – this weekend when it opens its doors to the public.

The Abbey station, Shrewsbury, during the last week of operation by the War Department in March 1960. Picture: Russell Mulford
The Abbey station, Shrewsbury, during the last week of operation by the War Department in March 1960. Picture: Russell Mulford

A £75,000 project to restore the Abbey Railway Station in Abbey Foregate is nearing completion.

The building dates back to 1866 and has been disused for more than 30 years.

With the site almost ready for its transformation into an information centre about Shrewsbury’s railway and industrial heritage, members of the public will be able to get a sneak peek inside this weekend.

It will be opening its doors for free on Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 4.30pm.

The Abbey Railway Station, in Abbey Foregate, dates back to 1866 and has been disused for more than 30 years
The Abbey Railway Station, in Abbey Foregate, dates back to 1866 and has been disused for more than 30 years

Councillor Mansel Williams, chairman of the Shrewsbury Railway Heritage Trust, said that only a few minor jobs such as floor surfacing and internal decoration remain to be completed.

Displays, maps and memorabilia relating to the station will be on display over the weekend.

Councillor Williams said the former station, which is the last surviving building from the Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Light Railway, has a rich history, including being used by the War Department between 1940 and 1960.

The site has been derelict since about 1980, but plans to bring it back to life were first considered by Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council in 2006, before being taken on by Shropshire Council when it became unitary authority in 2009.

Councillor Williams said the completed site should be a tourist attraction for Abbey Foregate and help to tell the tale of Shrewsbury’s rich railway history.

“We will show how the town changed when the railway came to Shrewsbury,” he said.