Some Early Lines
Old Railway Companies
The north portal of New Street North Tunnel, the entrance to Birmingham New Street railway station, England. This is historically the Stour Valley Line. The tunnel was extended to this point so that the National Indoor Arena could be built on top of it. Photographed from St Vincent Street road bridge.
Date 16 April 2007 Source Own photograph Author Oosoom
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Birmingham, Wolverhampton & Stour Valley Railway
Incorporated on 3 August 1846, The ‘Stour Valley’ got into the title because of a plan, never authorised, to reach Stourport from Smethwick. The Shrewsbury & Birmingham Railway held 25% of the shares, and in 1846 the LNWR agreed to a perpetual lease. Because it duplicated its own route, Euston made no hurry to complete it: Chancery said it must, but the LNWR postponed the meeting, claiming that the line was unsafe. Finally, the S&BR met the LNWR buffer to buffer outside New Street. Again the Companies went to Chancery, after which the LNWR opened the line (February 1852 to goods, July 1 to passengers). It absorbed the Company on 15 July 1867.
The Stour Valley Line is the historic and colloquial name for the line of the Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Stour Valley Railway Company between Birmingham and Bushbury, just north of Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, England. It now forms part of the “Birmingham Loop” or “Rugby–Birmingham–Stafford Line” of the West Coast Main Line. The “Stour Valley” was a branch which was never built, yet it gives its name to the whole section.
The creation of the line was bound up with the Birmingham Canal Navigations Company which owned the BCN Main Line Canal whose route it closely followed between Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
View of the junction between the Harborne branch’s single line and the Stour Valley’s double tracked main line seen in 1949. Harborne Junction signal cabin can be seen on the right whilst the Harborne Home signal which protected the main line is on the extreme right. The brick built hut alongside the signal is a Permanent Way cabin used by the gang maintaining the track for storing equipment and for their mess facilities. The siding on the extreme left which runs parallel to the factory wall is the same line seen to be terminating at buffer stops adjacent to the lines for Soho East Junction in image ‘lnwrhj2197’. To its right is the wall separating the railway from the Birmingham Canal Navigations waterway. Gordon Snelgrove writes, ‘Birmingham Canal Navigations’ is usually shortened, even today, to ‘BCN’. Specifically, the New Main Line, built by Thomas Telford, some 20 years before the arrival of any of the railways, as an upgrade to James Brindley Old Main Line. The new main line was a ‘quantum’ leap in canal design at the time, being far wider, and with far fewer twists and turns, than the old main line and featuring tow paths on both sides of the canal, thereby avoiding the problem of getting the lines from the horses pulling the canal boats, in opposite directions, crossed’.