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Rail Around Birmingham
& the West Midlands

Rail Around Birmingham & the West Midlands

 

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Church Road station looking South (C Gilbert)
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Church Road Station

1876 - 1925

A short-lived station on the Birmingham West Suburban Railway was Church Road. Opened in 1876, the station was to close some 29 years later as a result of early 'rationalisation' of stations on the line due to poor passenger numbers at certain stops along the otherwise increasingly busy route. Along with Somerset Road, the preceding station on the line heading towards the City, Church Road's location failed to ignite the enthusiasm of the Cross City Line's planners in the mid-1970s, who decided upon building a new station in the University grounds, and all trace of the station was swept away with the ensuing works on the route. Above we see one of the rare photographs of the station taken in 1929, four years after closure (photo: Clarence Gilbert/Roger Carpenter) looking South.

 
Church Road station looking South
Church Road Station tunnel mouth
 

Above-left we are taking a similar view to the 1929 photograph and can see that there are no remains today of the station. The platforms, which lay ahead, are in a very deep cutting, hemmed-in by the walling to the right and the Worcester-Birmingham Canal to the left. As could be seen from the 1929 photograph, a rather precarious structure enabled access to the narrow platforms. Above-right we have moved closer to the 96 metre tunnel that takes the line under Church Road. If you look closely at the enlarged image you can see discolouration of the brickwork above the tunnel mouth corresponding with the stairwell and footbridge that used to be appended to the walling here and a close inspection of the site also reveals the truncated remains of the fixings that held them up!

 
Approaching Church Road Station from the South
Church Road station towards Five Ways
 

Above-left we are approaching the station site from the South with the tunnel ahead. Above-right we are at the station site looking towards Five Ways, and the City beyond, with the tunnel mouth immediately to our rear. A signal box once stood ahead controlling the then-branch serving the Midland Railway's Central Goods facility half a mile or so in the distance. All-in-all, this is an interesting site to visit and also one that was seldom photographed during its period of operation and while any of the structures remained in situ due to its awkward location - a long walk along the canal is the only option.

 

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