Burdale Station

Burdale station was the remotest station on the line and after Garton was the least busy station. The station buildings were improved several times during the 19th century with the addition of a lockup parcel warehouse in 1881. In the 1890s the platform was raised and lengthened with a short section of the original low platform remaining in front of the station buildings to allow access to the building.


Initially freight traffic was mainly agricultural with the station handling barley, oats, timber, livestock and coal but with the opening of Burdale Quarry in 1925 the station handles large quantities of chalk where loaded in the private sidings to the north of the station. The quarry was the largest in the area and was at its most productive after WW2 although by 1952 this was in decline and production ceased in 1955. The sidings closed in June 1956 and the loss of this important freight traffic led to the final closure of the line two years later.
The goods yard was on both sides of the line with one long siding parrallel with the running line serving two loding docks, one opposite the passenger platform and a siding serving coal drops behind the station buildings. The sidings were controlled by a ground frame on the raised section of platform. The goods yard also had a weighbridge and weigh office.
After closure the station buildings remained empty and unused for many years, by 1978 the station house was little more than a shell, the building eventually collapsed or was demolished.

To the north of the station the line entered Burdale tunnel, 1744 yards in length. The south portal of the tunnel was built to take two tracks as originally planed but in order to save costs the line was downgrades to single track during construction and the north portal is only wide enough for a single track. The tunnel portals were bricked up in July 1961 to prevent cars driving into the runnel. It is rare for a railway tunnel to collapse but after closure but there were substantial roof falls in 1977 just north of the second ventilation shaft blocking the tunnel completely and the tunnel is now in a dangerous condition and often flooded in wet weather. The tunnel is now used as a bat hibernaculum with access to authorised visitors from a locked steel door high in the southern portal. The three ventilation shafts are still extant although only one is easily seen.

Our thanks to Nick Catford of the excellent Disused Stations website for permission to reproduce this information.

Also thanks to Graeme Bickerdike of the Forgotten Relics website for the use images from his website.

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