Tag Archives: Birmingham

Some Early Lines, Old Railway Companies, Birmingham & Gloucester Railway, Birmingham West Suburban Railway

Some Early Lines

Old Railway Companies

61Brighton Road station, Birmingham, was opened on 1 November 1875, and was just under 3 miles from the Birmingham & Gloucester Railway’s junction with the London & Birmingham Railway. A Midland Railway train hauled by a Johnson 0-6-0 No.3694 passes the timber platform during the second decade of the last century.

Birmingham & Gloucester Railway

Originally conceived to link Birmingham with docks at Gloucester, a lengthy debate on the route resulted in a line (authorised on 22 April 1836) which avoided Tewkesbury and Worcester, though public pressure forced a diversion to Cheltenham. Its main bugbear was the Lickey Incline, 2.5 miles at 1 in 37.5 – built as an economy, it kept the Company in debt for all of its independent life. The line opened from Cheltenham to Bromsgrove on 24 June 1840, Bromsgrove to Cofton on 17 September, Cheltenham – Gloucester on 4 November, Cofton – Camp Hill on 17 December, and to Curzon Street Birmingham, on 16 August 1841. It was leased by the Midland Railway with effect from 1 July 1845, which absorbed the Company on 3 August 1846.

Big Bertha 2 cropBig Bertha – Lickey Incline

Birmingham West Suburban Railway

Incorporated on 31 July 1871 to build south from Albion Wharf to King’s Norton, with a junction with the ex-Birmingham & Gloucester Railway, the 6.75-mile single track was vested in the Midland Railway from 1 July 1875. It was opened on 3 April 1876, and widened and extended following authority of 18 July 1881; Midland Railway expresses were diverted along it from 1 October 1885. In 1892 a triangular junction was built at Lifford (authorised on 24 July 1888), to make a circular suburban service possible.

EPSON scanner imageBournville Station.
View northward, towards Birmingham New Street; ex-Midland Birmingham – Bristol main line (Birmingham West Suburban section), now electrified (to Redditch) — seen in pouring rain. Worcester & Birmingham Canal is beside the line on right, Cadbury’s Factory behind camera.
Date 4 September 1962  Source From geograph.org.uk  Ben Brooksbank  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Some Early Lines – Old Railway Companies – Stourbridge Railway

Some Early Lines

Old Railway Companies

Stourbridge Railway

Stourbridge Junction, 1903. www.stourbridge.com

Stourbridge Junction, 1903.

This was incorporated on 14 June 1860, and before building began, a 5-mile extension to join the Birmingham, Wolverhampton & Stour Valley Railway at Smethwick had been authorised on 6 August 1861. The line was then extended further to the GWR at Handsworth, giving a direct link with both New Street and Snow Hill stations. The Company was closely related with the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway and was worked by it (or more precisely by the West Midland Railway) from opening, to Cradley Heath on 1 April 1863, Old Hill on 1 January 1866 and Smethwick on 1 April 1867. An Act of 16 July 1866 (29/30 Victoria c221) authorised amalgamation with the GWR five years after completion, but this was amended by 32/33 Victoria c109 (12 July 1869) which implied that union could take place earlier, without specifying when. Some authorities take this to be 1870, but working agreements were made on 31 July 1871, unnecessary if amalgamation had already happened. Perhaps 1872, as intended by the original Act, is the answer.

Stourbridge Junction is one of two railway stations serving the town of Stourbridge, in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley in the West Midlands, England. It lies on the Birmingham to Worcester via Kidderminster Line and is the junction for the Stourbridge Town Branch Line, said to be the shortest operational branch line in Europe. The other station serving Stourbridge is Stourbridge Town at the end of the branch line.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStourbridge Parry People Mover

RichardRothwell – Own work
A Class 139 unit under trial at Stourbridge Junction, 28 January 2009.

Taken at Stourbridge Junction 9:20 am 28th Jan 2009. The train is undergoing trials, and still does not have the steps in place.
License details   : RichardRothwell at en.wikipedia, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publishes it under the following licenses: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Attribution

Walsall-Rugeley Chase Line Electrification

Walsall-Rugeley Chase Line Electrification

Train in StationThe Council have been pushing for this important transport scheme for many years, which will transform CannockChaseDistrict. As well as making the District more attractive for inward investment and job creation it will lead to more frequent, faster, quieter rail services from Cannock, Hednesford and Rugeley to Walsall and Birmingham. It will also help make the case to restore direct services to Stafford and potentially beyond to the North West and south to London.

Construction works are due to commence in November, with major bridge rebuilding at Station Road, Hednesford and on the access to the Chase Enterprise Centre.

Network Rail will produce information material for the project which will include fact sheets covering the following:

      • General Electrification
      • Walsall to RugeleyTrentValley
      • Individual sheets about the initial bridge reconstruction works (Station Road, Hednesford and Chase Enterprise Centre, Hednesford)

2010_02010011Network Rail will also produce posters for display at Stations along the route; they also intend to distribute invitation letters to residents etc. in the vicinity of the initial bridge re-constructions.

Councillor Gordon Alcott, Economic Development and Planning Portfolio Leader said, “Electrification of the Chase Line will see the biggest improvement to passenger services since the line was reopened in 1989. The rail service attracted an additional 100,000 passengers within the District in 2011/2 alone, with a total number of 700,000 per annum.  This is the first electrification scheme in the West Midlands since the Cross City line to Lichfield was electrified 20 years ago and as well as benefiting passengers with faster, quieter, more frequent services, is set to make the District  more attractive for investment. Whenever a railway line is electrified, the ‘sparks effect’ that follows always leads to a substantial increase in passenger numbers as well as economic benefits to an area. 

Note: The Chase Line electrification project was announced by the Government in July 2012. Work will start in November 2013 and completion is planned for December 2017. The £30m project will involve electrifying the 15 mile, strategic missing link in the West Midlands electrified network between Walsall and Rugeley.