Welcome to www.abingdonbranch.co.uk
Looking across the car park of Waitrose there is little to remind us of the bustling country termini
station that once provided the life blood of our town of Abingdon. Long gone are the coal fires fed by
the daily coal deliveries that clattered this branch line as are the factories and MG cars that gave the branch
life until it’s final demise in 1984.
For 107 years, from 1856, the townsfolk of Abingdon could jump on a train to travel the 2 ¾ miles to Radley
and beyond. Many a visitor would get their first view of the town from the auto trailer; shuttled along the
line by the tank engine affectionately known as “the bunk”.
With the car becoming the preferred method of transport and the railways having not received the investment
needed to recover from the ravages of the war, the infamous Mr Beeching saw a chance of “streamlining” the network
by closing many of the smaller branch lines. Unfortunately, the Abingdon branch didn’t escape the “march of progress”
and in 1963 the last passenger service left the station and closed a chapter of the town’s history.
Local industry kept the trains running for a further 21 years until the seemingly inevitable fate, helped in part
by the demise of the MG car factory in 1980, came with final closure in 1984.
We hope that in the pages of this website, and by visiting our 4mm scale layout, you will get a feel for the
importance of this diminutive GWR branch line and for a romantic period of Abingdon's history.
For those who visited the station before the track was lifted and the site cleared, we hope that we can stimulate
your memories and are always delighted when you share those memories with us.
If you had the foresight to record any of this history in photographs then we would love to see them no matter how
insignificant you might consider them.
In short, enjoy and we hope to hear from you, whether it be to share your experiences or to tell us what you think of the site.
Ivan, Phil and all of the Abingdon Branch team.