Hereford railway station serves the city of Hereford, England. Managed by Arriva Trains Wales, it lies on the Welsh Marches Line between Leominster and Abergavenny and is the western terminus of the Cotswold Line.

The station has four platforms. Platform 1 is the terminus for services from the Worcester direction; platform 2 is for through trains to South Wales; platform 3, the main platform, carries north- and eastbound services; platform 4, a bay, is mostly used for early-morning departures to Birmingham New Street. An additional pair of relief lines, used by EWS goods services, runs between platforms 2 and 3.

Accorded "Secure Station" status in 2004, the station has a staffed ticket office, self-service ticket machines, a café, and indoor waiting rooms. Automated ticket barriers have been in operation since 28 February 2006.

History

When the Shrewsbury and Hereford Railway reached Hereford from its initial section from Ludlow, it faced two problems:

  • The existing Hereford Barton station of the Newport, Abergavenny and Hereford Railway was not big enough to cope with all four railway companies planning on entering the important market town
  • The entrance route into Hereford from the north required extensive civil engineering.

The resolution was an agreement to create a new joint railway station, called Hereford Barrs Court. This would be a joint standard gauge/broad gauge station, sponsored jointly by the standard gauge S&HR, and the GWR sponsored Hereford, Ross and Gloucester Railway. When the Midland Railway sponsored Hereford, Hay and Brecon Railway entered the town, they were given access rights, as were the later GWR sponsored extension of the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway.

In civil engineering preparation for this, and as the only company planning to enter the town from the north, in 1849 the company built a brick works north of Dinmore Hill, which was fed by clay from the earthworks of digging a tunnel south underneath it. In 1852, 2½ years later and having used 3¼ million bricks the tunnel was completed, freight traffic started in July 1852 to provide cash flow. However, construction continued, with the massive earthworks for a cutting to enter Barrs Court started in August 1852.

The plan was to jointly open both stations between all four railways on 6 December 1853, with what was planned to be Railway Fete. However, the first S&HR passenger service arrived on Saturday 28 October, which carried the chairman Mr Ormsby-Gore and engineer Thomas Brassey. As the negotiations and financing of the joint station had taken so long, they arrived at an incomplete facility. The final Victorian Gothic building that still exists today was designed by R.E. Johnson, which opened after the Railway Fete, reported to be attended by 60,000 people.

Hereford Council applied pressure to the LNWR to close Hereford Barton, and after the post-World War I amalgamation of the railways, the London Midland and Scottish Railway agreed conversion of Hereford Barton into a joint GWR/LMS goods depot, with consolidation of all passenger services on the current site. The Hereford Barton loop closed post the Beeching Axe, and the site is now redeveloped as a supermarket.

Services

Hereford is served by trains operated by Arriva Trains Wales, London Midland, and First Great Western. It is the terminus of the routes from Birmingham New Street & London Paddington via Worcester Foregate Street and is served by all trains on the Manchester Piccadilly to Cardiff and Carmarthen route. Trains run hourly to Birmingham, Manchester & Cardiff Central (Mon-Sat) but less frequently to North Wales, Oxford, Reading and London.

Notes and references