Frome railway station serves a largely rural area of the county of Somerset in England, and is situated in the town of Frome.

The station is located on a 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long branch line which loops off the main line railway, which carries services on both the Reading to Taunton line and Bristol to Weymouth route. Most of the trains which take the loop line in order to serve Frome station are on the Bristol to Weymouth route, and most trains on the Reading to Taunton line by-pass the station on the main line. The station is 22.25 miles (36 km) south of Bath Spa on the Bristol to Weymouth line, and is operated by Great Western Railway.

Frome station was designed by J R Hannaford and opened in 1850.[1] It is one of the oldest through train shed railway stations still in operation in Britain. The unusual station structure consists of a 120 by 48 foot (36.5 x 14.6 metres) timber train shed, supported by 12 composite trusses with a span of 49 feet (15 m).[2] The station has two platforms, one of which is now unused due to the line being made into a single track.[3] It is now a Grade II listed building.[1]


Inside the train shed

Frome station was originally on the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway, a railway that linked the Great Western Railway (GWR) at Chippenham with Weymouth. The line was authorised in 1845, was acquired by the GWR in 1850, reached Frome in the same year, and was completed throughout in 1857. The original route of this line is that of the loop line through Frome station. This line forms the basis for today's Bristol to Weymouth route.

A branch from Frome to Radstock, authorised by the same act of 1845, opened to freight traffic in 1854 and to passenger traffic in 1875. At Radstock this line connected with the Bristol and North Somerset Railway, providing a more direct route to Bristol than that provided by the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway.[4]

For the remainder of the 19th century, the GWR's principal route from London Paddington station to Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance was an indirect one via Bristol Temple Meads (the so-called Great Way Round). However, in 1895 the GWR directors announced that new lines were to be constructed to enable trains to reach Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance in a shorter time. This involved improvements to the Berks and Hants Extension Railway and the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Line, together with the construction of the Castle Cary Cut-Off, which was opened from Castle Cary to the existing Bristol to Exeter line at Cogload Junction in 1906. This transformed Frome from a station on a secondary north to south line, to one on a main east to west route. The route resulting from these improvements and extensions forms the current London to Penzance line.[5]

In 1933 a by-pass route was constructed, enabling through traffic to avoid Frome station and the junction with the Radstock branch, and leaving the station on a looped branch as at present. The line to Radstock closed to passengers in 1959, although the first part of the branch remains open to carry freight trains from Whatley Quarry.[4]

Accidents and incidents

  • On 24 March 1987, a passenger train and a freight train were in a head-on collision due to the freight train passing a signal at danger. Locomotives 33 032 and 47 202 were severely damaged. Fifteen people were injured, some seriously.[6][7]


A Great Western Railway service in 2016

The station is a quiet one as it is only normally served by Bristol to Weymouth trains, although there are some services to/from Bristol and Cardiff which originate and terminate at Frome.[8]

Also, from 2007 First Great Western started operating one direct stopping service to London Paddington once a day (Mondays-Fridays) in the early morning. This was complemented with a return working back to Frome in the evening. As of the May 2016 Timetable change the service leaves Frome at 06:05 with an arrival time in London Paddington of 08:09 [9] The return service departs London Paddington at 18:06 with an arrival time in Frome of 20:05 [9] In more recent years, an additional service from London Paddington to Taunton was introduced. A scheduled call at Frome was included during the journey both from and to London Paddington. As of the May 2016 Timetable change,[9] this is still the case with the call scheduled at 15:56 from Frome with an arrival time of 17:45 in London Paddington.

South Western Railway operate direct services to London Waterloo and Yeovil Pen Mill.[10]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Bruton   Great Western Railway
Heart of Wessex Line
  South Western Railway
Heart of Wessex Line (limited service)
Disused railways
Mells Road
Line and station closed
  Bristol and North Somerset Railway
Great Western Railway


  1. ^ a b "Frome Station". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 28 February 2010. 
  2. ^ Otter, R.A. (1994). Civil Engineering Heritage: Southern England. London: Thomas Telford Ltd. p. 109. ISBN 978-0-7277-1971-3. 
  3. ^ "Frome Station roof". Engineering Timelines. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  4. ^ a b "History - Frome Signal Cabin". Great Western Society - Bristol Group. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  5. ^ MacDermot, E T (1931). History of the Great Western Railway, volume II 1863-1921. London: Great Western Railway. 
  6. ^ Department of Transport (6 May 1988). "Report on the Collision that occurred on 24th March 1987 at Frome" (PDF). Her Majesty's Stationery Office. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  7. ^ Vaughan, Adrian (2003) [2000]. Tracks to Disaster. Hersham: Ian Allan. pp. 10–11. ISBN 0 7110 2985 7. 
  8. ^ Table 123 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  9. ^ a b c https://www.gwr.com/your-journey/train-times
  10. ^ "New South West Trains timetable 13 December 2015 - 14 May 2016" (PDF). South West Trains. Retrieved 26 November 2015.