Stourbridge Junction railway station
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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.
Stourbridge Junction in 2015
|Managed by||West Midlands Trains|
|Number of platforms||3|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections|
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|– Interchange||0.530 million|
|Passenger Transport Executive|
|PTE||Transport for West Midlands|
|Original company||Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway|
|Pre-grouping||Great Western Railway|
|Post-grouping||Great Western Railway|
|1 May 1852||First station opened as Stourbridge|
|1 October 1879||Renamed Stourbridge Junction; line to Stourbridge Town opens|
|1 October 1901||Station resited|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
|* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Stourbridge Junction from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
|UK Railways portal|
The station was opened in 1852 on the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway line, at a slightly different location to the present station, under the name of Stourbridge. The junction came about when the Stourbridge Railway built their line to Lye and beyond.
Stourbridge became a double junction on 1 October 1879 when the branch to Stourbridge Town and goods was opened.
On 1 October 1901 the new station opened 400 yards (370 m) to the south of the original.
In 1962, the OWW was closed to passenger traffic north of Stourbridge by the British Transport Commission, although the route remained open for freight until 1993. Only the section as far as the Round Oak Steel Terminal is still in use.
All through services to Birmingham were diverted from Snow Hill to Birmingham New Street in 1967 in the wake of the Beeching Report, but mostly reverted to their previous route following the reopening of the Smethwick Junction to Snow Hill line in 1995. Certain Birmingham - Worcester/Hereford trains calling here continued to use the connection onto the Stour Valley line at Galton Junction until the May 2004 timetable change, but there are now no timetabled direct services to New Street and passengers wishing to access main line services there must either change at Galton Bridge or make the transfer between Snow Hill & New Street on foot.
The station used to have four platforms, comprising two island platforms. The southern divergence to Platform 1 was removed some years ago and Platform 4, situated opposite to the current Platform 3, now faces the car park - built on the station's old carriage sidings.
The station's signalbox closed on 24 August 2012, as part of a wider network modernisation programme to centralise signalling operations. The signals at the station are now controlled from the West Midlands Signalling Centre in Saltley, Birmingham.
|Preceding station||Disused railways||Following station|
|Brettell Lane||Great Western Railway
"The Wombourne Branch" (1925-1932)
|Brettell Lane||Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway
Later Great Western Railway, then British Rail
|Brettell Lane||South Staffordshire Railway
Later LNWR, then LMS, finally BR
South Staffs Line Dudley-Stourbridge Junction Section (1852-1962)
Signals in and around the station are controlled from the West Midlands Signalling Centre, which replaced Stourbridge's older box in 2012. The town branch is accessed from the 'goods loop' line and a manually operated ground frame located to the north of platforms 1 & 2.
- Platform 1 – Reserved for the Town branch line only
- Platform 2 – For trains towards Birmingham, also used for terminating trains heading to Stratford-Upon-Avon only.
- Platform 3 – Primarily for trains towards Kidderminster, but Birmingham bound trains can use this platform
A disused through-platform face can be seen next to platform 3, which is used as a station entrance and part of the car park.
The majority of services from Stourbridge Junction are operated by West Midlands Railway, using Class 172 diesel multiple units. They usually run to Birmingham Snow Hill via Smethwick Galton Bridge, and to Kidderminster, Worcester Shrub Hill or Great Malvern. Trains to Birmingham usually continue to Whitlocks End or Dorridge, with some via both of these stations continuing to Stratford-upon-Avon or Leamington Spa (the latter at peak periods only). Services in the West Midlands county are often subsidised by Network West Midlands.
The station often sees special charter trains or stock movements to the Severn Valley Railway at Kidderminster, and two CrossCountry services - one early morning and one late evening - are timetabled to run through, but not call at, Stourbridge Junction. The line is also used as a diversionary route for the Cross Country Route between Birmingham New Street and Cheltenham Spa.
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
|Lye||West Midlands Railway
Birmingham-Worcester via Kidderminster
|Terminus||West Midlands Railway
Stourbridge Town Branch Line
In the recent economic downturn freight through Stourbridge Junction has lessened significantly. There are now just three steel trains per day each way to and from Round Oak Steel Terminal. Other 'as required' services include a scrap steel service and a new stone service from Croft to Brierley Hill which operate on Fridays, and a nuclear flask train which operates from Bridgwater to Crewe. There are several other freight trains which use the line through the station on a regular basis.
In January 2012, plans emerged to reintroduce services on part of the disused Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway (OWW) from Stourbridge Junction to Brierley Hill. Services would be operated by similar PPM stock that is used to Stourbridge Town. In addition, Network Rail plans to reopen the South Staffordshire Line from Dudley to Walsall for freight, as well as for the extension of the Midland Metro. In October 2015, due to transport funding, Centro said that they would reopen the South Staffs Line between Walsall and Dudley, and OWW between Dudley and Stourbridge meaning that many former stations will be opened up and redeveloped. This means that the Midland Metro will not be used on the South Staffs Line or OWW, instead it will run from Wednesbury to Merry Hill on a street run section.
This has since been changed as the government have announced they support the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill extension to utilize sections of the former South Staffordshire Line and the rest will be re-utilized for freight traffic from Walsall to Round Oak.
On construction, the OWW built a small servicing depot just north of the station on the route to Wolverhampton. The GWR intended to improve this, but were delayed by the outbreak of World War I until 1926, when they built a new standard pattern single roundhouse with coaling/watering and light maintenance facilities, situated 0.5 miles (0.80 km) north of the station, just north of the A458 Birmingham Street. The depot was allocated with mainly local service tank engines, such as Prairies and Panniers, with a small allocation of dedicated freight types. The original OWW shed was later used to house railmotors and diesel railcars. With the Beeching Report implemented, both depots closed in July 1966 and were demolished, with the land used for housing.
Today the yard to the north of the station is home to a Light Maintenance Depot used by Chiltern Railways. This is used to stable stock for the peak services from Kidderminster, and is occasionally used to stable engineering vehicles. The land at the south end of platform 1 has a shed for the two Class 139 units that serve the Stourbridge Town branch.
- LRTA "Parry People Mover On Test",
- PSUL Summer 2004 - West Midlands Retrieved 11 December 2013
- End of the line for 38 signal boxes
- GB eNRT December 2015 Edition, Table 115
- GB eNRT December 2015 Edition, Table 72
- GB eNRT December 2015 Edition, Table 115
- "Cradley Heath firm releases new images of proposed light rail link (From Halesowen News)". Halesowennews.co.uk. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
- E.T. Lyons (1972). An Historical Survey of Great Western Engine Sheds. Oxford Publishing. p. 142. ISBN 978-0860930198.