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Rail Around Birmingham
& the West Midlands

Rail Around Birmingham & the West Midlands

 

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Rubery Station 1950s (DJ Norton)
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Rubery Station

1883 - 1919

This station on the Halesowen railway (joint MR & GWR) holds fond memories for myself, not that I ever knew it as a functioning station but rather the platforms and deserted crossing keeper's house which provided a great playground for me as a child during the early-1970s. That aside, the station itself was opened in 1883 and contained the only passing loop on the railway. It closed to passengers in 1919, as did all the stations on the line up to Old Hill, but remained in situ on what was then a goods line and a line that ran several 'workers trains' between Halesowen and the Austin Rover works in the morning and evening until 1964 and 1958 respectively. Above we see the station in the 1950s looking towards Hunnington (photo: D.J.Norton, courtesy Mark Norton - see Links).

 
Rubery station cutting - Ormond Road
Rubery station and trackbed, Ormond Road
 

After making good progress tracking-down some remnants of the Halesowen Railway through the ex-Rover factory at Longbridge, I decided it was high-time I put some more effort into seeing if I could locate any signs of the railway, and of Rubery Station itself, within the Frankley housing estate as it was one of the earliest sites I'd covered for Rail Around Birmingham and I hadn't quite honed my hunting skills to the extent they are today. So, armed with my three year old son, who has developed an inexplicable fascination for railways, I decided to locate a spot that I remember playing-in as a child when they were building the estate that I remember as being adjacent to the station site and, therefore, I was certain would still be in situ. Above-left we see the station site off Ormond Road looking in the direction of Longbridge. This is the exact site of the station seen in Dennis Norton's photograph but we are looking in the opposite direction from roughly the spot occuppied by the station building. Above-right we are looking along the line as it heads-off towards Hunnington.

 
Rubery station trackbed and platform edge
Rubery station yard gatepost
 

After hacking through the brambles and assorted foliage above-left we have forged ahead from the previous shot and are on the trackbed. To the right of the shot, but not really discernible on camera, is a long mound which, I would posit, was a platform - which one without the aid of GPS I wouldn't like to state for certain but have an inkling it's the Halesowen platform containing the station building itself. More interestingly, and inexplicably, above-right is a gate-post on which hung a gate that I used to sit-on as a child watching the bulldozers clear the area and cut the road etc that led into the station site. Quite what it's doing some 35 years later here is beyond me but it is definitely from the station!

 
Halesowen Railway trackbed footbridge within Longbridge Rover works
View from Halesowen Railway footbridge towards Rubery station
 

The photo above-left shows the overbridge from where the following photo was taken but looking in the opposite direction back towards the works. Above-right shows what was the trackbed from the original Longbridge Station (to the rear of the photographer) heading towards the site once housing a level crossing over what is now Rubery Lane which was just out of shot around the bend ahead and then into Rubery Station. The trackbed is now a private service road to the Austin Rover works!

 
Old Halesowen Railway bridge near Rubery station site
 

One of the few remaining relics of the old railway is this section of heavily overgrown cutting and bridge through which the line passed upon leaving Rubery which, for those of you intereted in checking it out, is at the rear of Jubilee Drive. When I took this particular shot in 2003 there were workmen digging in the cutting nearby which I feared rang the death knell for the remains of the railway - little did I know that a few days earlier they had demolished a footbridge that stood just along the trackbed!

 

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