WaGCG : Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group (WaGCG)

Wantage and Grove Station

Brief History of Grove (Wantage Road) station.

The Great Western Railway Company was founded in 1833 and Isambard Kingdom Brunel, then aged 29, was appointed engineer. He selected a route from London to Bristol which ran north of the Marlborough Downs connecting Paddington to Reading, Didcot, Swindon and Bath.

The section of the route from Reading to Swindon was completed in 1840 and Wantage Road station was opened in 1846. The station was located just to the west of the A338 road bridge and the remains of the platforms are still present. A tramway was opened from the station to the centre of Wantage in 1875 and ran until 1945. Wantage Road station remained in use until, on 7 December 1964 as a result of the Beeching Report (The Reshaping of Britain’s Railways), British Railways withdrew passenger services.

The railway tracks between Wantage Road and Challow were quadrupled in 1932. This was removed and the line reverted to double track in the 1960s, only for the quadrupling to be re-installed in the early 1990s to allow for increased coal traffic between Avonmouth and Didcot Power Station.

The railway was electrified with electric trains running from London Paddington as far as Swindon (i.e. through the site of Wantage Road station) being timetabled from January 2019.  The former bridge taking the A338 Wantage Road over the railway did not have sufficient clearance for the overhead electric wires and was replaced by the current bridge, located just east of the old one, in 2016.

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