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Knapford

Knapford is a small town on the River Els estuary, south of Tidmouth. Knapford is also home to one of the largest station on Sodor (in the television series), Knapford Station, also known as Knapford Junction. Another station is located at the harbour.

History

Railway Series

For centuries the area below Elsbridge had been flooded both at high tide and when the river was in spate. At other times it looked innocent enough to tempt unwary invaders to choose this route inland. All without exception found themselves engulfed in bog.

During the 1880s the Ulfstead Mining Company became interested in the minerals (lead mostly) waiting to be found on the higher ground east of the marsh; but without a firm footing they could not be either extracted or transported away. Accordingly they called in A. W. Dry & Co who had experience of working on drainage problems in East Anglia. A. W. Dry built embankments across the flats north and south of the river (along which the main line of the railway now runs), and installed tide gates. The river was then embanked along its south eastern side, but the opposite bank was left open to provide a flood-pool for the normal river flow which could be drained off every day at low tide. It thus remained a marsh where the Elsbridge fenmen could carry on their activitiesas before, and since this, fortunately, was the side of the river they preferred, they offered little opposition to A. W. Dry's drainage operations on the east.

The present station at Knapford is the third on the site, and dates from 1956 when Sir Charles Topham Hatt disturbed by the congestion at Tidmouth, launched his Knapford Harbour Development Scheme. There are now two stations at Knapford - Junction and Harbour. Knapford has been useful as a supplementary harbour, but its exposed position has not enabled it to provide the best answer to Sir Topham Hatt’s problem. That was why in 1966 he went north to see what could be done at Arlesburgh.

The town of Knapford itself, though an important railway junction,is in a bleak position. It is a railway and dock town. Few people live here apart from railwaymen, dock workers and drainage engineers.

Several maps show the main line terminating at the junction, though some books mention that the terminus is Tidmouth. What's more, Knapford appears to be larger than Tidmouth, whereas the Reverend W. Awdry stated in The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways that it is smaller than Tidmouth.

Television Series

Knapford is the "Big Station" in the television series. It has a large canopy. The station has six tracks total, four being through tracks and two being terminal tracks. Knapford has a refreshment kiosk, the Engine Drivers locker room, M.C. BUNN, Sir Topham Hatt's Office and a bookstall. At one point, the bookstall was temporarily replaced by a toy shop. In Tale of the Brave, the station is given a new track layout and signal gantries were added above the lines.

Knapford High Street is located here.

Appearances

Television Series

Specials:

Trivia

  • The name comes from the parish of Knapwell, where the Reverend W. Awdry was vicar.
  • Knapford has been seen in every season except the fifth, where it was replaced with Kirk Ronan and every special except The Great Discovery and Misty Island Rescue, although it was mentioned in said special.
  • Knapford and its station has had numerous modifications throughout the years:
    • Season 2:
      • The harbour seen in the background vanished.
    • Thomas and the Magic Railroad:
      • The town beside Knapford was missing and replaced with trees.
    • Season 6:
      • The town beside Knapford returns.
    • Season 17:
      • A duplicate of the bookstall seen behind tracks 3 and 4 has been placed in the car park, making it impossible for a normal-sized car to enter one of the parking spaces.
      • The luggage weight also overlaps part of the car park lines.
    • Season 18:
      • The tracks into Knapford station gain crossovers, and gantries similar to those seen in the first four seasons were added.
        • These redesigns were aided in part by SiF users Simon Martin and Sean O'Connor.
      • The tracks leading out from Platforms 3 and 4 also end at sets of buffers.
    • The Adventure Begins:
      • The station gained a large shunting yard close by, complete with a coal hopper and several sheds and sidings. The station also gains signal gantries and crossovers at the back of it.
  • In The Great Race, a station announcement revealed that a bus service leaves from the front of the station every ten minutes to go to Knapford High Street. 

Merchandise

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