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Coleshill station as Maxstoke station, 1933 (Don Powell Collection)
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Coleshill Station

1839 - 1939

Coleshill station was opened by the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway in 1839 to link Derby, via Whitacre Junction, with Hampton-in-Arden. However, with more attractive links being built for Derby traffic, such as Whitacre being linked to Birmingham Lawley Street, passenger numbers dwindled to the point where the line was singled and the passenger service reduced to one train in each direction per day from 1842 until its closure to passenger traffic in 1917. In 1923 the station was renamed Maxstoke, with Forge Mills being renamed Coleshill, and retained as a goods facility until final closure in 1939 with the line being lifted finally in 1952. Above we see the station as Maxstoke in 1933 (photo: Don Powell Collection) looking towards Hampton in Arden.

 
Coleshill station site, Maxstoke Road
Coleshill station trackbed towards Maxstoke Road
 

Above-left we are in roughly the same position on Maxstoke Lane as the 1933 photograph with no visible sign that a station, and a level crossing that stood at the spot, had ever existed. However, to the left of the telegraph pole is a stile and above-right we have crossed the style and are on the trackbed looking back at Maxstoke Lane. I was pleasantly surprised to find that an arboreal cocoon has developed in which many remains of the station can be discerned with some poking around the foliage: I was particularly pleased as from the road I wasn't sure I'd found the correct spot.

 
Coleshill station rubble on trackbed
Coleshill station remains
 

Above-left we are still on the trackbed looking towards Hampton-in-Arden and the ground is littered with bricks scattered during the demolition of the station. Above-right is the remains of the station building - the stile from Maxstoke Lane is directly ahead.

 
Coleshill station platform remains
Coleshill station platform remains
 

Above-left is the platform edge hiding in the brambles looking in the direction of Hampton-in-Arden: the station house would have been to our left. Above-right we are in roughly the same spot on the trackbed looking at the crumbling platform edge.

 
Coleshill station level crossing site, Maxstoke Lane
Coleshill station trackbed through Castle Farm
 

Above-left we are on Maxstoke Lane looking to the spot where the level crossing once stood - level with the car on the left - with the station site to the right. Above-right we are standing in the driveway to Castle Farm - which emerges onto Maxstoke Lane directly opposite the station site and provides the best indicator that the correct spot has been found - and can see a long indentation in the ground to the left which marks the trackbed heading off towards Whitacre. This was an interesting site to come across and also serves as a great example of the reclaiming power of nature over a period of 50 years.

 

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