Cheltenham Spa (CNM)

Cheltenham Spa is a stop on the Birmingham-Bristol Line in Gloucestershire between Ashchurch for Tewkesbury and Gloucester.
GWR 155 219 arrives at Cheltenham Spa

Type: National Rail (Birmingham-Bristol Line)
Station code: CNM
Opened: 1840
Platforms: 2

The station was opened by the Birmingham & Gloucester Railway in 1840 as Lansdown. Lansdown was named after a housing development a mile from the town centre, the railway company forced to open the station away from the town centre [1]. The station was later renamed Cheltenham Spa (Lansdown) by the LMS and finally just Cheltenham Spa in British Railway days. 

Cheltenham's other stations such as Malvern Road (1966) and Cheltenham South & Leckhampton (1962) have now closed. One thing to note is that the "Spa" part of the name was a marketing invention by the railway company to make the town more attractive to tourists.

Much of the station has remained fairly unchanged since 1840 with the original iron pillars still in place. The station entrance's original stone portico with columns was replaced by a wooden canopy in the 1960s [2]. The footbridge is also a more recent replacement. Both platforms have canopies. There are two entrances to the station on either side of the railway line.

Cheltenham Spa is a busy station with up to twelve trains per hour operated by Great Western Railway, Cross Country and Transport for Wales. Recently there have been proposals to improve the station and increase operational flexibility including the building of two bay platforms for terminating services (which currently have to terminate on the main line). However all plans are currently on hold.
XC 43 384 at the tail of a HST service departing the station

Main station building, just one column now remains (on the left)

The other entrance is somewhat less ornate

View down the platform

XC 170 398 departs for Cardiff Central

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Bromsgrove to Gloucester (Middleton Press, 2006) Fig. 86
[2] Ibid. Fig. 91