The Railways of Telford – The Coalport Branch – Part 3A

Immediately after publishing the article about the most southerly length of the Branch (Part 3), I was contacted by Ian Turpin who built a model of Coalport East Railway Station some years ago. He sent me a copy of the 1″ 1833 Ordnance Survey (revised in the second half of the 19th century to show the railways of Shropshire) which covers the Branch.

In addition, as part of his research for his model railway project he took a number of photographs in and around both Madeley Market Station and Coalport East Station in the late 1980s. This addendum catalogues the pictures that he took. My thanks to Ian for providing these photographs, some of which show scenes which have disappeared since they were taken.

At the end of this article are pictures of Ian Turpin’s layout which he kindly sent to me.

But first, a series of pictures associated with the Branch which have come to light since the three articles were completed. ….

An aerial view of Coalport (East) Railway Station extracted from a larger aerial image included by Heritage England on the Britain from Above website. The view is from the South across the River Severn in 1948, (EAW019495) [1]
This view looks to the West along the Branch from Coalport (East) Station. It emphahsises the gradients on the line. The gradient started immediately at the station throat as the gradient marker indicates. After passing under the overbridge trains encountered even steeper gradients. Looking through the bridge the increased grade can be seen. The bridge in this picture carries Coalport High Street and remains today to allow the Silkin Way and a rainwater sewer main to pass under. Pictures below show the propping required to allow the bridge to continue to carry road loading. [National Railway Museum]
A picture of Coalport East Station in 1958, only a couple of years before final closure. This view looks West under the road bridge which spanned the Station. It was shared by Metsa Vaim EdOrg on the Telford Memories Facebook Group on 9th November 2020. [2]
The dismantling of trackwork at Coalport East Station after the closure of the Branch. This picture was shared by Metsa Vaim EdOrg on the Telford Memories Facebook Group on 11th December 2021.[3]
After the removal of the Branch trackwork, the route of the old railway was commandeered to provide a route from Telford New Town to the River Severn for the rainwater drainage main sewer. During construction,. the sewer was very prominent. After construction and with landscaping in place, only short section of the sewer pipe remained visible. Much of the length is now below the Silkin Way and in earlier articles we have seen evidence of its presence. This picture was shared in a comment on the image above by Geoff Martin on 12th December 2021. [3]
A picture of the site of Coalport East Station in 1987. This view is taken from the same location as the photograph of 1958 above. It looks West under the road bridge which once spanned the Station. It was shared by Metsa Vaim EdOrg alongside the 1958 image on the Telford Memories Facebook Group on 9th November 2020. It illustrates the way in which the site has changed with the introduction of the main rainwater sewer. It precedes the pictures taken by Ian Turpin by only a year or two. [2]
This photograph from the 1930s shows Coalport Bridge in the foreground. The Carriage Shed at Coalport Station can be seen immediately above the bridge. This image was shared by Marcus Keane on the Telford Memories Facebook Group on 18th March 2014. [4]
Lin Keska shared this postcard image of Coalport Bridge in the comments about the above image on the Telford Memories Facebook Group on 26th February 2019. The passenger facilities can be seen to the left of the bridge. The carriage shed is again visible above the bridge and the high retaining wall behind the station site can be picked out to the right of the image. [4]
Lin Keska also shared this image in the comments on the same post on 26th February 2019. This picture was taken in the 1960s. The site of the passenger station is now overgrown and the Carriage Shed has also been removed. [4]
This photograph shows the front of the passenger facilities at Coalport East Station after closure of the passenger service in the 1950s. It was shared by Marcus Keane on the Telford Memories Facebook Group on 26th August 2015. [5]

Secondly, Coalport River Severn Warehouse

A close inspection of the 1881 6″ or 25″ Ordnance Survey will show a building straddling two of the sidings in the goods yard to the West of Coalport Station.

The 1881 6″ Ordnance Survey [6] shows a warehouse building alongside the River Severn to the West of the passenger facilities at Coalport East Station. This was the River Severn Warehouse noted fleetingly by Bob Yate in his description of the Branch. [7: p183]

Yate notes this warehouse in his shirt description of Coalport East Station: “Two run-around loops gave access to a small goods yard, and to the goods warehouse alongside the River.” [7: p183] By the time of the 1901 Ordnance Survey, the main warehouse element of the building had been demolished, leaving only a truncated section which acted as a good shed. The only picture that I have found of the building dates from after it had been partially removed.

This enlarged extract from a postcard photograph of Coalport Station in 1900 shows the East elevation of the truncated building that once stretched down to the river’s edge. The majority of the building was beyond the left-hand edge of that postcard view. It is also worth noting that of the two sidings shown, the one closest to the river (and leading to a short canal wharf) is much lower than the other. [7: p189, credited to Shropshire Records Office]
An extract from the 1901 6″ Ordnance Survey (published in 1903) shows the much reduced building straddling only one of the sidings in Coalport Goods Yard. The siding closest to the river has been cut back to a point just to the West of the Goods Shed/Warehouse. [8]
This photograph was taken in the late 1980s and shows the line of the siding which once ran towards the Shropshire Canal. It looks through the site of what was once the Goods Shed/Warehouse, © Ian Turpin.

Third, the relevant parts of the 1″ Ordnance Survey of 1833 (revised to show rail routes). …

This first extract from the 1″ Ordnance Survey shows the length of the Coalport Branch covered in my first article about the line, Hadley Junction to Malinslee Station.
This extract shows the length covered in Part 2 – Malinslee Station to Madeley Market Station. The thick black lines drawn on the map represent possible schemes to line the different rail routes in the immediate area.
This extract shows the length of the Branch covered by the third article, from Madeley Market Station to Coalport Station (Coalport East Station).

Fourthly, Ian Turpin’s photos of Madeley Market Station. … Madeley Market Station Building seemed a little isolated and forlorn back in the late 1980s, although it seems not to have suffered any significant vandalism. The pictures were taken with a mind to being able to recreate the facilities at Coalport in model form as the buildings were of similar construction.

Madeley Market Railway Station building viewed from the Southeast in the late 1980s © Ian Turpin. In the 21st century, the building is now fenced off from the Silkin Way and this view is somewhat restricted. The station-master’s house is the two storey element of the building behind the passenger waiting areas.
Madeley Market Railway Station building in the late 1980s, © Ian Turpin. This photograph is taken from the Southwest with the station platform beyond the single storey structure at the right of this image.
The platform elevation of Madeley Market Railway Station viewed from the North in the late 1980s. It is being encroached on by industrial units which sit on the site of the goods yard, © Ian Turpin.
The screen which enclosed the waiting area at Madeley Market Railway Station, seen from the location of the platform in the late 1980s, © Ian Turpin.
A detail of the station building which was constructed using engineering brick and detailed blue brick. The corbel detail is particularly fine, © Ian Turpin.
The North elevation of Madeley Market Railway Station. The passenger facilities run back from the left-hand end of the structure in this image, © Ian Turpin.
Madeley Market Railway Station building viewed from the West in the 1980s. The grounds are now enclosed and this view is not available in the 21st century without trespassing onto private land, © Ian Turpin.
Madeley Market Station in 1932. This photograph was shared by Marcus Keane on the Telford Memoreies Facebook Group on 28th January 2027. [10]

Fifth, The bridge over the Branch on the station approach …

Coalport High Street Bridge with intermediate supports to the beams. This is the view looking East towards the old station site. By the 1980s, Telford’s main rainwater sewer ran under the bridge. A low retaining wall allowed the Silkin Way to pass under the bridge. The area over/around the rainwater sewer had been landscaped, © Ian Turpin.
The same bridge looking West. This picture was taken on the same day as the one above, © Ian Turpin.
The same bridge viewed from a short distance to the West with the landscaping over the rainwater sewer prominent rising to a high point over the sewer, © Ian Turpin.
In this view looking at the bridge from the West from a higher level it is possible to see the rainwater sewer as it passes under the bridge and more of the intermediate supports to the bridge deck, © Ian Turpin.
Coalport High Street as it passes over the bridge. This picture was also taken in the late 1980s, © Ian Turpin.
The view East, in the late 1980s, from the road bridge along the line of the rainwater sewer. Coalport High Street is on the left and the old station yard is at a lower level to the right, © Ian Turpin.
The West face of the South abutment of Coalport High Street bridge, © Ian Turpin.

Sixth, Buildings at and around Coalport East Station. …

The terrace alongside the line. ….

This is the West end of the terrace of cottages which run alongside what was the road access to the Goods Yard. The white gate leads from the end cottage to that access road. At the rear of the picture the road ridge and rainwater sewer can be made out, © Ian Turpin.
This photograph and the following six photographs show different views of the terrace of cottages with rear elevations on the South side of the old railway and front elevations facing the access road to the Goods Yard, all © Ian Turpin.

The pub. …

The two pictures above show the Brewery Inn and its car park. The pub was on the South side of Coalport High Street the car park on the North between the road and the line of the old railway, © Ian Turpin.
Properties on Coalport High Street in the late 1980s, © Ian Turpin.
Approximately the same view in 2023. The main house appears to have been returned to a more original condition, the semi-circular bay windows have been removed and the brickwork repaired. [Google Streetview, October 2022]
Turning a little to the right, we now look along Coalport High Street to the East and the next property along the road. There are high hedges at this location in the 21st century, © Ian Turpin.
This and the next picture are two views of cottages North of the railway. They were located to the East of Coalport Bridge and North of the Carriage Shed and Engine Shed, © Ian Turpin.
The same cottages in the 21st century. [Google Streetview, October 2022]
This and the next four images show cottages in Coalport derelict and under renovation in the late 1980s, © Ian Turpin.
Cottages beside the river on the right, and the bridge Toll House on the left, in the late 1980s, © Ian Turpin.
The Bridge Toll House, Coalport, © Ian Turpin.

The Bridge Toll House at street level in the 21st century. The building originated as a warehouse (1793-1808), was in use as house by 1815 and as tollhouse from 1818, when the adjacent Coalport Bridge underwent major repairs. Shropshire County Council became owners in 1922, and it was restored after it passed to the Buildings at Risk Trust in 1994. [9]

The cottages to the North of the river and to the South of the Station site. The next two photographs show the same cottages from the North
The same cottages as shown on Google Streetview with the Bridge Toll House on the right. [Google Streetview, April 2023]

The photographs taken by Ian Turpin were all used as background material for the construction of a model railway centred on Coalport (East) Railway Station. The pictures were taken in the period before the road-bridge across the Severn was renovated.

And, before we turn to the photographs of Ian Turpin’s layout, …. two extracts from LNWR publications. The first of these shows the 1905 timetable for the Branch, the second is the LNWR working directions of 1917 for operating Motor Trains on the Branch. Both of these were forwarded to me by Ian Turpin. The working timetable shows that the Branch was worked by two engines. A two-coach motor-train worked the branch from May 1910 until sometime after the grouping with 50ft x 8ft arc roof stock (converted from ordinary non-corridor stock). The Branch was by this time rated third class only. Of the two coaches, one was LNWR No.103 (LMS No. 53450 and the other was LNWR No. 1815 (LMS No. 5338).

Ian Turpin’s layout which featured in The Railway Modeller in the 1990s.

Ian Turpin sent me the superb photographs of his excellent model below. They were taken for an article about his layout which was published in the Railway Modeller in the 1990s. He has very kindly agreed to their inclusion here.

A view East from above Coalport High Street Bridge. The roofline of the cottages which sat next to the old railway is visible in the foreground, the station buildings and road bridge over the station are in the background. The River Severn would be just off screen to the right if it was to have been modelled. The siding on the right is that which ran down to the old canal wharf, © Ian Turpin.
Looking West towards Ironbridge which is only a short distance upstream in the Severn Gorge. In the right foreground are the carriage shed and engine shed with the road bridge over the station behind them. To the left is the old toll house which sat next to Coalport Bridge over the River Severn, © Ian Turpin.
The old toll house, which sat alongside the bridge over the River Severn, with the station behind. The two storey element of the station building is visible above the parapet beams of the road bridge, © Ian Turpin.
The retaining wall alongside the station throat. The gradient marker-post sits below the tallest part of the wall. The houses above the wall are recognisable in the pictures taken by Ian Turpin. The road bridge carrying Coalport High Street appears on the left hand edge of the photograph, © Ian Turpin.
Coalport (East) Station seen from the Southeast. The road bridge leading to the River Severn Coalport Bridge is in the right foreground, © Ian Turpin.
The station building at Coalport (East) was of the same design as other stations on the Branch. This is the view from the Southwest at the entrance to the Goods Yard, © Ian Turpin.
A similar view from closer to the ‘ground’ with a four-coach Branch passenger service in the hands of an 0-6-0 locomotive waiting to depart for Wellington, © Ian Turpin.
And this time, the Branch Goods is awaiting clearance to set out up the steep gradient to Madeley and beyond, © Ian Turpin.
The terrace of cottages alongside the line with the bridge carrying Coalport High Street just visible behind, © Ian Turpin.
The station building and platform seen from the Northwest, © Ian Turpin.
Another view from the Southeast, taking in the carriage shed (on the right), the station buildings are hiding behind the road bridge, © Ian Turpin.
One of the impressive retaining walls which were needed to create space for the station alongside the River Severn. This one sat at the bottom of the steep gradient of the Branch at the point where the line levelled out to enter the station, © Ian Turpin.
Looking East towards the final buffer stops beyond the water tower, © Ian Turpin.
Looking North across the top of the water tower which sat close to the most easterly point on the Branch. The retaining wall behind the tower increased significantly in height as it passed behind the engine shed which is a short distance off to the left of this photograph, © Ian Turpin.
This final picture looks across the roof of the carriage shed and shows the old toll house which sat between the South abutment of the road bridge over the station and the bridge which spanned the River Severn.


  1., accessed on 9th April 2023.
  2., accessed on 9th April 2023.
  3., accessed on 9th April 2023.
  4., accessed on 9th April 2023.
  5., accessed on 9th April 2023.
  6., accessed on 10th April 2023.
  7. Bob Yate; The Shropshire Union Railway: Stafford to Shrewsbury including the Coalport Branch; No. 129 in the Oakwood Library of Railway History; The Oakwood Press, Usk, Monmouthshire, 2003.
  8., accessed on 10th April 2023.
  9., accessed on 10th April 2023.
  10., accessed on 10 th April 2023.

3 thoughts on “The Railways of Telford – The Coalport Branch – Part 3A

  1. Damien

    Hi Roger, thankyou do much for this article. I live in the Toll House and have been looking for a picture of the house from the railway yard for several years to no avail, now I have one!

    Just a note that the article refers to our house as the Old Toll House which is not correct (At least by todays names). The Old Toll House is the house opposite to No. 3 at the bottom of Sutton Bank with our address being Coalport Bridge Toll House.

    Thanks again for a great piece of work.


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