Although Henley is still served by a regular West Midlands Trains service between Birmingham Snow Hill and Stratford-upon-Avon (click HERE), Henley Station has been unmanned since the 1990s.
The Friends of Henley Railway Station however has been formed and is currently negotiating with Network Rail to adopt the railway building, which will be sympathetically renovated to maintain much of its heritage. There are also plans to create a Shakespeare Garden on the old third platform.
The railway age came late to Henley, despite being the birthplace in 1771 of William James, a significant railway pioneer. A branch line to connect Henley to the main network was completed in 1894, with the current Edwardian-style station – built of red brick with slate roofs and extensive awnings – opening in 1908. In its heyday, Henley Station boasted two 500ft platforms, goods shed, four goods sidings, cattle pens, a yard with weighbridge and a signal box, whilst the station building (the largest on the North Warwickshire Line), consisted of a station master’s office, parcels and cloak room, booking office, booking hall, general waiting room, ladies waiting room, and ladies’ and gents’ lavatories.
Cutbacks began in the 1970s, but in addition to the existing station, parts of Henley’s railway heritage still survive elsewhere: the water tank and platform water columns were moved to Bridgnorth for use on the Severn Valley Railway, and the old footbridge was refurbished for use at Broadway station on the Gloucestershire-Warwickshire Steam Railway.
Friends of Henley Station: Facebook
Shakespeare Line: www.shakespeareline.com
Warwickshire Railways: www.warwickshirerailways.com