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Rail Around Birmingham
& the West Midlands

Rail Around Birmingham & the West Midlands

 

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West Bromwich station during the 1960s (Steve Jones)
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West Bromwich Station

1854 - 1972

The first thing to clarify here is that, for those of you who have arrived here via the Midland Metro page, West Bromwich station site is now home to West Bromwich Central Metro stop. The station opened on the GWR's Snow Hill to Wolverhampton line in 1854 (at the time under the banner of the Birmingham Wolverhampton and Dudley Railway) and was, as can be seen in the 1960s above (photo: courtesy Steve Jones), of significant size with goods sidings to the extreme right, relief lines right and the imposing station building and signal box to the left: incidentally, this view is looking towards Snow Hill. The station closed, along with the line, in 1972 and all buildings were demolished within months of the closure. The platforms, however, lived on as the trackbed served as a 'walkway' once the track had been lifted and remained thus until the late-1990s when clearance work began in preparation for the Midland Metro which was to open in 1999. Unfortunately, but understandably when the height of the Metro tramcars are considered, the old platforms were finally removed some 27 years after they had last seen rail usage.

 
West Bromwich station and goods yard site from Lyng Lane bridge
West Bromwich station and goods yard site from Lyng Lane bridge
 

Above-left we are in roughly the same spot as the unknown photographer who took the photograph at the top of this page. Then as now, Lyng Lane road overbridge (although no longer open to vehicular traffic) still provides the best vantage point for viewing the site. The warehousing to the right marks the spot of the goods sidings and the wall to the left of the warehouses is the same wall as seen in the 1960s photograph immediately to the right of the 'Western' loco: for some reason, this has escaped demolition and provides the only tangible link with the 1960s photograph. Above-right we are in the same spot looking in the direction of Birmingham but have zoomed-in to the Metro stop which is roughly where the left-hand base of the footbridge is located in the 1960s photograph. One of the most startling things about a visit to this site is the sheer scale difference between a Metro stop and the previous GWR station, the former rather being dwarfed by its surroundings.

 
West Bromwich station site old station walling
West Bromwich station site looking towards Wolverhampton
 

Above-left we have moved down to track level and are standing on the spot once occuppied by the Wolverhampton platform and are looking in the direction of Lyng Lane overbridge and Wolverhampton. This shot provides a clear view of the remaining blue-brick walling at the site and the Metro stop can just be glimpsed over the bushes ahead-right. Above-right we are at the spot once marked by the base of the station footbridge on the Birmingham platform with Lyng Lane bridge ahead. The crossing infront of us is between Metro platforms - the stop being immediaely behind us in theis view. In fact, if you look at the enlarged photograph you can actually see Lynd Lane bridge and through it to Moor Street bridge and finally Price Street/ Victoria Street bridges: beyond them is the Lodge Road, West Bromwich Town Hall Metro stop just out of view but only a few minutes walk away.

 
West Bromwich Central Midland Metro platform
West Bromwich station site looking towards Brimingham
 

Above-left we are on the site of the old Wolverhampton platform looking across at the Birmingham platform of the midland Metro. Above-right we are at the same spot as the previous photograph but have turned 1800 to face Birmingham. The goods sidings are to our right and the Metro stop behind us - in the distance we can see Spon Lane bridge.

 
Entrance to West Bromwich Central Midland Metro Stop
West Bromwich station site old railway wheel
 

Above-right we are looking at the entrance to the Metro stop on the West Bromwich Ringway and above-right, just beyond it, a self-explanatory memento of the site's previous incarnation. The site is well worth a visit so long as you consult some old photographs of the site first. What makes it very worthy of a visit in my opinion, over some other old station sites, is that the pathway along the side of the Wolverhampton line extends for some distance enabling you to walk along the tracks through bridges and tunnels which I found particularly fascinating and provided some more unusual photographic opportunities - although I haven't posted them here: certainly not something that could have been done in GWR days!

 

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