Bath Spa railway station

Summary

Bath Spa railway station is the principal station serving the city of Bath in South West England. It is on the Great Western Main Line, 106 miles 71 chains (106.89 mi; 172.0 km) down the line from the zero point at London Paddington between Chippenham to the east and Oldfield Park to the west.[2] Its three-letter station code is BTH.

Bath Spa
National Rail
2017 at Bath Spa - Dorchester Street entrance.JPG
Main buildings seen from Dorchester Street
General information
LocationBath, Bath and North East Somerset
England
Coordinates51°22′39″N 2°21′23″W / 51.3775°N 2.3564°W / 51.3775; -2.3564Coordinates: 51°22′39″N 2°21′23″W / 51.3775°N 2.3564°W / 51.3775; -2.3564
Grid referenceST752643
Managed byGreat Western Railway
Platforms2
Other information
Station codeBTH
ClassificationDfT category C1
History
Original companyGreat Western Railway
Pre-groupingGreat Western Railway
Post-groupingGreat Western Railway
Key dates
31 August 1840Opened as Bath
1949Renamed Bath Spa
Passengers
2016/17Increase 6.432 million
 Interchange Increase 0.197 million
2017/18Decrease 6.396 million
 Interchange Decrease 0.196 million
2018/19Increase 6.538 million
 Interchange Decrease 0.194 million
2019/20Decrease 6.433 million
 Interchange Increase 0.198 million
2020/21Decrease 1.199 million
 Interchange Decrease 36,281
Listed Building – Grade II*
Official nameBATH SPA STATION
Designated11 August 1972 (1972-08-11)
Reference no.1395629[1]
Notes
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

The station is managed by Great Western Railway, and is served by trains operated by CrossCountry and Great Western Railway.

ArchitectureEdit

 
Bath station in 1845, showing the original roof
 
Bath Spa station in 1962

Bath Spa station was built in 1840 for the Great Western Railway by Brunel and is now a Grade II* listed building.[1] It is in an asymmetrical Tudor style with curving gables on the north bank of the Avon where the line curves across from the southern bank to the station and then back again.[3] Opened on 31 August 1840, the station was named Bath and was renamed Bath Spa in 1949 to distinguish it from Bath Green Park station, which did not have its name altered from Bath until 1951.[4]

The station has wide spacing between the platforms because it was built with two broad gauge carriage sidings between the platform lines. The original station featured a hammerbeam roof that covered the area between the platforms, similar to that which still exists at Bristol Temple Meads. However, Bath's roof was removed in 1897 when the station was remodelled with longer platforms.[1][5]

A three-track goods shed was built immediately west of the station, to the north of the main track. In 1877 a goods depot was built about 500 metres to the west at Westmoreland and the goods shed was demolished for the station remodelling in 1897.[5]

A footbridge leads from the rear of the station across the Avon, allowing direct access to the Widcombe area of the City. Open in 1862, the bridge was originally made from wood and tolled (known locally as Halfpenny Bridge). However, this original structure collapsed disastrously in 1877 with a number of deaths, and the present steel girder bridge was erected as a replacement later that same year.[6]

ServicesEdit

 
A Class 150 at Bath on a service towards Westbury

All Bath's rail services run through Bath Spa station; it is conveniently situated for transfer to bus services.

The station has regular (approximately half-hourly each way) inter-city services to London Paddington via Swindon, Reading and Chippenham and to Bristol Temple Meads (and onward to Weston-super-Mare, Taunton, Devon and Cornwall).

The station is served hourly (two-hourly on Sundays) by the Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour and Gloucester and Bristol to Westbury and Weymouth regional trains.[7] Services are operated by British Rail Class 159 units, although British Rail Class 158 units have been used.[8]

Since the May 2010 timetable started, an early morning CrossCountry service to Glasgow Central via Bristol, Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh starts at Bath. It departs at 06:09 on Mondays to Fridays, but does not run at weekends. It arrives in Glasgow at 14:12. There is no southbound return service.[9]

The steam-hauled Torbay Express calls at Bath on certain Sundays between July and September. It was first run in summer 2014 when engineering works between Bristol and Taunton closed the line and it was diverted via Bath and Westbury and proved so popular that since the 2015 season some of these services call at Bath each year.

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Bristol Temple Meads   Great Western Railway
London – Bristol/West Country
  Chippenham
Oldfield Park   Great Western Railway
Great Malvern/Gloucester – Westbury/South Coast
  Freshford
Oldfield Park   Great Western Railway
Weymouth Wizard
(Summer Saturdays Only)
  Bradford-on-Avon
Keynsham
or
Bristol Temple Meads
  Great Western Railway
Cardiff Central – Portsmouth Harbour
 
  South Western Railway
London Waterloo – Bristol
 
Terminus   CrossCountry
Cross Country Route
One northbound early morning journey
  Bristol Temple Meads

RedevelopmentEdit

 
Rebuilding the platforms in 2017

Since privatisation Great Western Railway has managed Bath Spa. In 2005 the company obtained listed building consent for alterations to the building, including the installation of lifts to the platforms. Ticket barriers have also been installed.[10]

Other developments started in 2011 to integrate the station with the new Bath bus station and SouthGate shopping centre,[11] and redevelop some of the station car park and northern ramp into a restaurant complex at a cost of £12 million.[12] There are plans to adapt some arches at the station to encourage retail use.[13]

Bath Spa won awards for Best Medium-Sized Station and Overall Best Station at the 2013 International Station Awards.[14]

The station was modified in April 2017 for the Great Western Main Line electrification project. Because of its listed status, the platform canopies could not be cut back to fit overhead electrification equipment on the alignment and so the platforms were widened so that future electrification masts could be installed between the tracks. (Electrification through the station was deferred in November 2016). The work provided a larger circulation area and reduced the gap between train and platform.[15]

Other stations in BathEdit

The only other open station in Bath is Oldfield Park, a small commuter station in a western suburb, with limited services to Bristol and to Bath Spa, and onward stations.[16]

Former stations now closed in Bath were Green Park (the Midland terminus, whose overall roof and primary buildings survive, and which for part of its life was named "Bath Queen Square"),[17] Bathampton and Weston (a suburban station on the Midland line which closed in 1953). Westmoreland Road was a GWR goods station.[18] Twerton-on-Avon, and Hampton Row Halt, both on the GWR route, closed in 1917 as a World War I economy measure.[19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Historic England. "Bath Spa Station (1395629)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 27 December 2011.
  2. ^ Padgett, David (June 2018) [1989]. Munsey, Myles (ed.). Railway Track Diagrams 3: Western & Wales (6th ed.). Frome: Trackmaps. map 5C. ISBN 978-1-9996271-0-2.
  3. ^ "Avonside House Design and Access Statement" (PDF). Bath and North East Somerset Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  4. ^ Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 29. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.
  5. ^ a b Goods shed, Bath Spa Station, Bath - Historic Building Assessment (PDF) (Report). Oxford Archaeological Unit. 10 March 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  6. ^ Historic England, Halfpenny Bridge and Lodge House (1394582) Retrieved 12 December 2021
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 May 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "CrossCountry May 2010 Rail Timetable" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 December 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  10. ^ "Gating proposal for Bath Spa Station ticket hall" (PDF). Bath and North East Somerset Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  11. ^ "Bath Southgate Transport Interchange" (PDF). Southgate Bath. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  12. ^ "First image of £12m Bath restaurant scheme". Bath Chronicle. 8 December 2011. Archived from the original on 9 January 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  13. ^ "Retail Proposals at Bath Spa Railway Station, Bath" (PDF). Oxford Architects. Bath and North East Somerset Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  14. ^ Harris, Nigel, ed. (25 December 2013). "Awards for Bath Spa". Rail. No. 738. Haymarket. p. 12.
  15. ^ "Modernisation of Bath Spa station". Rail Engineer. Archived from the original on 18 January 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Oldfield Park". The Heart of Wessex Line 2010. Archived from the original on 7 January 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  17. ^ "The Midland Railway". Bristol and Bath Railway Path. Archived from the original on 28 November 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  18. ^ Maggs, Colin C. (2013). The GWR Bristol To Bath. Amberley Publishing. ISBN 9781445625829. Archived from the original on 26 January 2019. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  19. ^ Mike Oakley (2002). Somerset Railway Stations. Dovecote Press, Wimborne. ISBN 1-904349-09-9.

External linksEdit

  • Slow motion video of Bath Spa