Worcester Shrub Hill railway station

Worcester Shrub Hill railway station is one of two railway stations serving the city of Worcester in Worcestershire, England. It is managed by West Midlands Trains, operating here under the West Midlands Railway brand, and it is also served by Great Western Railway. The platform 2B waiting room of Worcester Shrub Hill is Grade II* listed and reopened in 2015 after a ten-year refurbishment project.

Worcester Shrub Hill National Rail
Worcester Shrub Hill Station.jpg
Local authorityWorcester
Coordinates52°11′42″N 2°12′32″W / 52.195°N 2.209°W / 52.195; -2.209Coordinates: 52°11′42″N 2°12′32″W / 52.195°N 2.209°W / 52.195; -2.209
Grid referenceSO858551
Station codeWOS
Managed byWest Midlands Trains
Number of platforms3
DfT categoryC1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2014/15Decrease 0.595 million
2015/16Increase 0.618 million
2016/17Increase 0.818 million
– Interchange  0.139 million
2017/18Increase 0.846 million
– Interchange Decrease 0.119 million
2018/19Decrease 0.807 million
– Interchange Decrease 0.104 million
Original companyOxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway/Midland Railway joint
Pre-groupingGreat Western Railway/Midland Railway joint
Post-groupingGreat Western Railway/London, Midland and Scottish Railway joint
5 October 1850 (1850-10-05)Station opened
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Worcester Shrub Hill from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Up Midland Parcels train in 1959

The city's other station, Worcester Foregate Street, is situated in the city centre; Shrub Hill is situated to the east. A third station Worcestershire Parkway is located just outside the city to the south-east.


Signals SH77 and SH78 are two examples of the Western Region's semaphore signals from the old British Rail days.

The first station at Shrub Hill was opened in 1850 being jointly owned by the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton and Midland Railways; until 1852 it was used only as a terminus for the latter's services from Birmingham. The present station building was designed by Edward Wilson and built in 1865. It is a Georgian-style building mainly of engineering brick with stone facings. A key feature is the Grade II* waiting room see below. Originally there was also a train shed which was removed in the 1930s. The cast iron railings on the station staircases remain hidden by boarding. A survival at the station are the Western Region semaphore signals and the almost unique large round main aspect banjo signal[1] located half-way along platform 1. The station is served by Cafe Loco which is situated opposite the booking office, at the main entrance.

Railway operationsEdit

Map of railways around Worcester, showing location of station

The entire station is controlled by Worcester Shrub Hill Signal Box located at the 'London' (south) end of platform 1. The Worcester area is controlled by another two signal boxes at Henwick (west of Foregate Street), and Tunnel Junction to the north of Shrub Hill. Both platform 1 and 2 can be used in either direction, generally trains for Foregate Street use platform one and trains towards Oxford and Cheltenham Spa use platform 2 but this is not in all cases. Platform 3 is a small bay that was used mainly for the former Wessex Trains/Wales & West service towards Cheltenham Spa, as it is a small south facing bay platform its use is limited. Trains leaving Shrub Hill for Foregate Street join a single line that ends near Henwick signal box south of Foregate Street station. This is one of the two single lines through Foregate Street Station.

Near to the station is Worcester Traction Maintenance Depot (TMD) which is currently operated by West Midlands Trains who also stable trains at various locations around Shrub Hill station. Great Western Railway also stable some of their Diesel Multiple Units (DMU) at Worcester TMD. Shrub Hill station is home to West Midlands Trains and Great Western Railway train crew depots. Also to the north of the station behind platform 2 & 3 is a goods yard.


CrossCountry train calling at Worcester Shrub Hill, Cardiff-Nottingham service (October 2016)

Worcester Shrub Hill is served by West Midlands Trains route from Worcester to Birmingham, via Kidderminster and Stourbridge Junction. This line runs to Birmingham Snow Hill and Birmingham Moor Street, with many of the services on it continuing through to either Whitlocks End or Dorridge.[2] There are also a limited number of trains via Bromsgrove to Birmingham New Street that start or terminate or call here, mainly at peak times or in the early morning/late evening. Most through services between Hereford and New Street otherwise take the direct route between Foregate Street and Droitwich Spa to avoid the need for a reversal.

Great Western Railway operates about an hourly service to and from London Paddington, the majority of which are via the Cotswold Line and Oxford.[3] Other services to and from London operate via Cheltenham Spa, the Gloucester/Swindon line (Golden Valley Line) and the Great Western Main Line via Didcot and Reading. GWR run services southwards every two hours to Bristol Temple Meads via Cheltenham and Gloucester,[4] which then mostly continue to either Weymouth or Brighton via Westbury. GWR also run services via Worcester Foregate Street to Great Malvern and Hereford from Oxford and London.

West Midlands Trains's service between Worcester and Gloucester via Ashchurch and Cheltenham to complement the 2-hourly Great Western Railway service was discontinued at the start of the December 2009 railway timetable due to low passenger usage.

Being the bigger of the two stations in Worcester, due to its sidings, Worcester Shrub Hill is often used as stabling point for goods trains and locomotives, as well as an overnight stop for some Great Western Railway rolling stock.

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Foregate Street
  West Midlands Railway
Worcester Shrub Hill/Hereford/Great Malvern-Birmingham
  Droitwich Spa
Foregate Street
  West Midlands Railway
Hereford/Great Malvern-Shrub Hill
Foregate Street
  West Midlands Railway
via Kidderminster
  Droitwich Spa
Foregate Street
  Great Western Railway
Cotswold Line
  Worcestershire Parkway
Foregate Street
  Great Western Railway
  Ashchurch for

Waiting roomEdit

On Platform 2b is the former ladies' waiting room which extends onto the platform. It is a cast-iron frame cast at the Vulcan Iron Works at Worcester. This was a subsidiary of the MacKenzie and Holland signal manufacturing company about 200 yards from Worcester Shrub Hill station. The exterior is decorated with classical pilasters and covered with "majolica" ceramic tiles made by Maw and Company of Broseley.[5]

Maw was originally a Worcester company founded in 1850 when they bought the old Chamberlain tile factory. However, in 1852 they moved to Broseley to be nearer their source of clay. In the main they made encaustic tiles rather than the "majolica" ceramic tiles used to decorate the Shrub Hill waiting room.

Wojtczak writes that in 1873 there was Ladies' Waiting Room Attendant called Mrs Dale who earned 10s and that this was the same rate of pay as a Mrs Spencer who was the office cleaner.[6]

Worcester Locomotive Depot in 1959

It is Grade II* listed and English Heritage placed it on the "Buildings at Risk Register" in 2003. The official records record that the waiting room was added c1880. In 2005 the register records "The cast iron frame is in need of structural repair. The front wall is leaning out and currently shored up. Preliminary investigative work has been carried out, but repair works were delayed due partly to problem of locating specialist contractors." In April 2005, Network Rail applied for listed building planning consent to restore the waiting room to bring it back into use before the end of 2006. The application gave detail of the work to be carried out including restoration of the cast iron work and the sourcing and replacement of the missing ceramic tiles but as at May 2006 no work had commenced and English Heritage reported that the building should be included on the 2006 "Buildings at Risk Register".[7] Restoration work did commence, and in 2015, the refurbishment was completed.


  1. ^ "Signals at Worcester Shrub Hill". www.roscalen.com.
  2. ^ GB National Rail Timetable 2015-16, Table 71
  3. ^ GB National Rail Timetable 2015-16, Table 126
  4. ^ GB National Rail Timetable 2015-16, Table 123
  5. ^ Richard Morriss The Archaeology of Railways, 1999 Tempus Publishing,Stroud. plate72 p128
  6. ^ Helena Wojtczak "Railwaywomen", Hastings Press,2005 p6 ISBN 1 904 109047
  7. ^ English Heritage Regional Registers (2010) West Midlands: Worcester Retrieved 9 January 2011


  • Biddle, Gordon (2003). Britain's Historic Railway Buildings. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-866247-5.
  • Boynton, John & Widdowson, Stephen (2000). Worcester Shrub Hill 150, 1850-2000. Worcester 150. ISBN 0-9522248-8-7.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit