A short history of Newtown station

The current station building dates from 1863. Access to the platforms was via the Booking Office in the centre of the building which was located at the top of the steps from the road outside. Goods facilities were provided between the station and the Dolfor Road on the land now occupied by the station car park and Mid Wales Housing.  Pryce Jones, who started the world’s first mail order business, opened his Newtown Warehouse next to the station in 1879.

During its Edwardian zenith, through carriages could be taken from Newtown to Liverpool Lime St, Manchester London Road, Birmingham New St and London Euston with the London North Western Railway. Birmingham Snow Hill and London Paddington with The Great Western Railway and Wrexham, Chester, Manchester London Road, Sheffield Victoria, Nottingham Victoria and Leicester Central with the Great Central Railway.

The 1923 Railway Grouping saw the Cambrian Railways become part of the Great Western Railway. In the 1930’s it is recorded that there were around 35 staff employed by the railway working at the station in Newtown including signalmen, delivery drivers, booking clerks, porters.

Change occurred in the early 1960’s prior to the Beeching Reports publication. The Mid Wales line southward from Moat Lane Junction was closed and the ex Cambrian Lines transferred to London Midland Region in January 1963. Whilst the line through Newtown was not put forward for closure the smaller village stations on the line were closed in July 1965 and the Cambrian was left connected to the rest of the UK rail network by the line between Welshpool and Shrewsbury.

Diesel Multiple Units were introduced in January 1965 and the last steam hauled trains ran in March 1967 when the daily Cambrian Coast Express to London was withdrawn. Summer Saturday holiday trains from London continued to run up until 1991.

Through this period of contraction, the station remained opened and manned including Red Star parcels facilities. In 1995 two local men decided to form Newtown Station Travel in Newtown Powys to offer face to face ticket buying facilities spotting a gap in the market.  When one of its founders, Peter Compton, retired in 2016, Newtown Station travel was taken on by us, to provide the same service of not just face to face ticket buying but also dealing with tickets where the applicant can’t come into the office.  I’m sure some of you can see the wisdom of this with Newtown’s traffic problems!

Updated June 2016.

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