Category Archives: Railway Companies

Some Early Lines – Old Railway Companies – More LNER

Some Early Lines – Old Railway Companies

More LNER

The Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway

bowling-station-older-station

Bowling Station:  west-dunbarton.gov.uk/

The Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway (C&DJR) was a Scottish railway opened in 1850 between Bowling and Balloch via Dumbarton. The company had intended to build to Glasgow but it could not raise the money.

Other railways later reached Dumbarton, and the C&DJR was taken over by the larger Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway in 1862. It later became simply a branch of the larger North British Railway network.

When the rival Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire Railway proposed a line to Balloch running close nearby, agreement was reached to make part of the former C&DJR line jointly owned, and this was done in 1896, forming the Dumbarton and Balloch Joint Railway.

Most of the original C&DJR line continues in use at the present day.

Important note: the spelling Dumbartonshire was consistently used in official documentation in the nineteenth century, notwithstanding the later use of Dunbartonshire for the county.

London Midland & Scottish and London & North Eastern Railway poster promoting Scotland for holidays. Showing a couple enjoying the view of the lough with a boat in the background. c 1940s. Artwork by Patrick James MacIntosh.

London Midland & Scottish and London & North Eastern Railway poster promoting Scotland for holidays. Showing a couple enjoying the view of the lough with a boat in the background. c 1940s. Artwork by Patrick James MacIntosh.

Locally promoted, and authorised on 26 June 1846, capital was hard to find until a lease was taken by a steamer company.  The line ran between Glasgow and Bowling, opening from Dumbarton on 15 june1850 and being the means by which many saw Loch Lomond for the first time.  Both Caledonian Railway and Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway had routes to Dumbarton – this was the E&GR one, but before that it had combined with the Glasgow, Dumbarton and Helensburgh Railway to form the Dumbartonshire Railways.

Colchester, Stour Valley, Sudbury & Halstead Railway.

leaving-marks-tey

A locomotive leaves Marks Tey station at the end of August, 1956. Picture: Amberley Publishing

Colchester, Stour Valley, Sudbury & Halstead Railway.

This 34¾ mile line linked Colchester and Cambridge, though authority (26 June 1846) was given only to the Marks Tey – Sudbury section at first, including the 335 yard Chappel viaduct.

chappel-viaduct-chapel-org

Chappel Viaduct  (chappel.org

Extension to Lavenham, Long Melford and Clare, with a branch from Lavenham to Bury St. Edmunds, was sanctioned on 8 June 1847 – the Act also authorised the Ipswich and Bury St. Edmunds railway to lease it. When the Eastern Union Railway amalgamated with the Ipswich & Bury St. Edmunds Railway, it repudiated the lease, but, later, reluctantly, honoured it after all.  Formal opening of the line to Sudbury was on 2 July 1849, and on to Haverhill in August 1865, where it joined the Cambridge – Haverhill section, open on 1 June.  The Company amalgamated with the Great Eastern Railway by an Act of 1 July 1898.  The East Anglian Railway Museum is established in the goods yards at Chappel & Wakes Colne.

chappel-station

Chappel Station, once belonging to the Colchester, Stour Valley, Sudbury & Halstead Railway, is now the headquarters of the East Anglian Railway Museum.  Near the doors of the GER goods shed stands a newly restored GE four-wheeled carriage.  (C.Awdrey

 

Deerness Valley Railway

west_durham_rail_tour_1958-ushaw-moor-stn

 Ushaw Moor Station 

http://ushawmoor.awardspace.info/history/West_Durham_Rail_Tour_1958.htm

The Deerness Valley Railway was an 8-mile long single track branch railway line that ran along the valley of the River Deerness in County Durham, England. Built by the North Eastern Railway, it ran from Deerness Valley Junction, on the Durham to Bishop Auckland line, to the coal mines along the valley via two intermediate stations, Waterhouses, and Ushaw Moor

ushaw-moor-viaduct

The Deerness Valley Railway’s tortuous link with the Stockton & Darlington Railway at Crook included this timber viaduct at Ushaw Moor.  (K.L.Taylor

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Some Early Lines – Old Railway Companies – A couple of old LNER lines

Some Early Lines

Old Railway Companies

Berwickshire Railway, Bishop’s Stortford,Dunmow & Braintree Railway

A couple of old LNER lines

Berwickshire Railway.

Incorporated on 17 July 1862, the line provided a cross-country route from the Duns branch of the North British Railway to the Tweed Valley at St. Boswells.  The first sod was cut by Lady Campbell at Easton Park on 14 October 1862, though the line opened to Earlston on 16 November 1863, construction of the Leaderfoot viaduct delayed things.  St. Boswells was reached on 2 October 1865.  The company amalgamated with the NBR under an Act of 13 July 1876, with effect from 1 August. Floods on 12 August 1948 caused so much damage to the line that it closed to passengers between Duns and Earlston immediately.

The Duns Branch and the Berwickshire Railway together formed a through railway route from Reston, near Berwick-upon-Tweed, to St Boswells in the Scottish Borders. The line was promoted in two stages. The first was from Reston on the Edinburgh to Berwick main line to Duns (then spelt Dunse, and the county town of Berwickshire); it opened by the North British Railway in 1849.

The second section was promoted independently by the Berwickshire Railway Company, but with considerable assistance from the North British Railway. It opened most of its line in 1863, but delay in constructing a large viaduct, Leaderfoot Viaduct, led to the opening of the final section of the line being delayed until 1865.

leaderfoot-viaduct

The Berwickshire Railway’s superb viaduct across the Tweed at Leaderfoot 19-4-1988

The North British Railway had conceived the line as a strategic trunk route across southern Scotland, but this development was never realised, and the line was never heavily used.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Earlston station in around 1905. Image © copyright Graham and Emma Maxwell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License

During the violent rainstorm in the area in August 1948 the line was breached west of Earlston, and the passenger train service ceased permanently. Duns reverted to being a branch line terminus from Reston until that too was closed to passengers in 1951.

Bishop’s Stortford, Dunmore & Braintree Railway

Incorporated on 22 July 1861 to build an 18 mile link between Bishop’s Stortford and an end-on junction with the Maldon, Witham & Braintree Railway at Braintree, it ran into trouble long before completion.  The Great Eastern had already acquired transfer powers (21 July 1863) and the company was vested by an Act of 29 July 1865, becoming part of its system on opening day, 22 February 1869.  The line was closed, apart from some seaside excursions, with effect from 3 March 1952, but the line was used in June 1960 to test BRs prototype ‘Road-Railer’.

594px-dunmow_railway_station

Dunmow Station – By Steven Duhig from Bowie, Maryland, USA – MWB16Uploaded by scillystuff, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7437021

The line was originally one of several schemes promoted in the 19th century, which included north-south routes connecting Great Dunmow with Epping, Halstead and/or Saffron Walden. The route of the built line was proposed by the Eastern Counties Railway in 1859, the line from Bishop’s Stortford, Dunmow and Braintree was eventually built by Great Eastern Railway who had since absorbed ECR. Construction started in 1864 and the route opened on 22 February 1869. The line initially served Takeley, Felstead and Rayne with Easton Lodge being added in 1894, Hockerill in 1910, and finally Stane Street and Bannister Green in 1922.

takeley-station

Takeley Station, on the Bishop’s Stortford, Dunmow & Braintree line, has seen no passengers since 1952, but remains in good condition. (1990). (C.Awdrey

Liverpool Overhead Railway – in the Museum of Liverpool

Liverpool Overhead Railway 

In the Museum of Liverpool

On a recent trip to Liverpool with South Staffs Travel, in the afternoon we went into the Museum of Liverpool.  What a marvellous place, and of particular interest were the exhibits concerning the Liverpool Overhead Railway.  It rang a bell but I knew nothing about it, so I’ve learned a bit!

DSCF2976

The Liverpool Overhead Railway (known locally as the Dockers’ Umbrella) was an overhead railway in Liverpool which operated along the Liverpool Docks and opened in 1893 with lightweight electric multiple units. The railway had a number world firsts; it was the first electric elevated railway, the first to use automatic signalling & electric colour light signals, electric multiple units, and was home to the first railway escalator. In the early 1900s electric trains ran on the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway to Southport and Aintree; special trains to Aintree ran twice a year after these regular services were withdrawn. A local railway, it was not nationalised in 1948.

Originally spanning 5 miles from Alexandra Dock to Herculaneum Dock, the railway was extended at both ends over the years of operation, as far south as Dingle and north to Seaforth & Litherland. A number of stations opened and closed during the railway’s operation owing to relative popularity and damage, including that from World War II. At its peak almost 20 million people used the railway every year.

In 1955, a report into the structure of the many viaducts showed major repairs were needed that the company could not afford. The railway closed at the end of 1956 and despite public protests the structures were dismantled in the following year.

Seaforth Sands Railway Station

Seaforth Sands Railway Station

A southbound electric train of the Liverpool Overhead Railway approaches Seaforth Sands railway station in May 1951. This line eventually ran the whole length of the Liverpool Docks from Seaforth to Dingle.

Dr Neil Clifton – Permission details:  Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0

 

Some Early Lines, Old Railway Companies, Anstruther & St. Andrews Railway, Fife Coast Railway

Some Early Lines

Old Railway Companies

Anstruther & St. Andrews Railway

This 15½-mile line was authorised on 26 August 1880, a further Act of 16 July 1883 sanctioning an extension to the North British Railway’s St. Andrews branch. The line opened between Anstruther and Boarhills (9 miles) on 1 September 1883, the rest opening on 1 June 1887. The Company was absorbed by the North British Railway under an Act dated 15 July 1887.

Redundant Bridge Anstruther and St Andrews RailwayRedundant bridge
This solid stone bridge was built around 1883 by the Anstruther to St Andrews Railway Company and in those days carried a busy country lane across the rail tracks. The railway (later part of the LNER network) was closed to all traffic in 1965 and now the structure pictured carries a virtually unused farm track across a seldom-travelled right-of-way
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved] © Copyright James Allan and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Fife Coast Railway.

Three different companies were involved in building a railway round the Fife coast of Scotland. The Leven Railway opened the section from Thornton to Leven in 1854. Since John Haig, proprietor of Haig’s whisky, was also chairman of the railway company, an extra station was constructed at Cameron Bridge to serve his distillery. The line was worked by the Edinburgh, Perth & Dundee Railway. The East of Fife Railway built a line from Leven to Anstruther opening in 1857. Finally the Anstruther and The St. Andrews Railway completed the line to St Andrews in 1887. Apart from the termini at Thornton and St. Andrews fourteen other stations were constructed. The first two companies amalgamated in 1861 to become the Leven and East of Fife Railway. [1] A further amalgamation with the North British Railway occurred 1877. The Anstruther and St Andrews Railway remained independent till 1897 before becoming part of NBR .In 1923 following the grouping it became part of LNER then, following nationalisation in 1947, was taken over by British Railways.

What No Railway East Fife LineWhat, no railway?
The parapet of what, in pre-Beeching times, was a bridge over the Leven to St Andrews railway. Still decipherable is the legend “BRB EFL 47” which probably stands for “British Railways Board, East Fife Line” and 47 would be the number of the bridge. But the fields in the background now show no trace of there ever having been a railway track or cutting here.  Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved] © Copyright James Allan and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Some Early Lines, Old Railway Companies, Alva Railway, Ambergate Nottingham & Boston & Eastern Junction Railway

Some Early Lines

Old Railway Companies

Alva Railway

cambus_1988_07bxThe junction at Cambus for the ‘Alva Railway’ (known more recently as the Menstrie branch) taken in 1988 just after the signal box had been demolished, which is why the point is hand-operated. This junction was created in 1863 when the Alva Railway opened, and up to the late 1960s the main line was double track. http://staff.stir.ac.uk

Incorporated on 22 July 1861, this 3¾ mile line to Cambus (Stirling & Dunfermline Railway,) from Alva, east of Stirling, opened on 11 June 1863 and was vested in the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway by an Act of 23 June, with effect from 31 July 1864. It closed to passengers on 1 November 1954.

Ambergate Nottingham & Boston & Eastern Junction Railway

This was formed on 16 July 1846, a union of a Nottingham & Boston scheme, the Nottingham, Erewash Valley & Ambergate Railway and the Nottingham, Vale of Belvoir & Grantham Railway. The line opened from Colwick Junction to Grantham on 15 July 1850 and for local goods on 22 July. The Great Northern Railway coveted the line for access to Nottingham, but the Midland Railway was jealous of its monopoly. The Great Northern Railway made an offer to the Ambergate Company, and an Act of 1854 gave authority to work, lease or buy it. The Midland Railway replied with an injunction preventing the Great Northern from working to Ambergate. The first Great Northern train into Nottingham was surrounded by Midland Railway engines – the Great Northern driver set his locomotive in motion and jumped. The locomotive was locked in a shed for seven months while the Midland claimed breach of injunction, the Great Northern claiming in return that the loco had been hired by the Ambergate, Nottingham & Boston & Eastern Junction Railway! In the end the line was leased to the Great Northern by an Agreement signed on 30 March 1855, but it had to build its own station in Nottingham. The Company changed its name to the Nottingham & Grantham Railway & Canal Company on 15 May 1860, and as such it passed to the LNER in 1923.

EPSON scanner imageColwick Yard Complex.
View [probably] WNW, to the western part of the vast ex-LNER Colwick Yards and towards Gedling etc. on the Nottingham Avoiding LNERLine. The signalbox is [probably] Locomotive Junction, the great Locomotive Depot, with an allocation of over 200 engines is off to the left. [It was a very difficult complex to access from public roads. My car is in the foreground, and how I got up so high is a mystery to me. Better elucidation by someone else would be welcome]. Fifty years ago, this was a very major railway centre, dealing with an immense freight traffic, especially coal, but all has long since gone in the modern age.
Date 27 March 1956
Source From geograph.org.uk Author Ben Brooksbank
Permission Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0

 

Some Early Lines, Old Railway Companies, Aboyne & Braemar Railway, Alford Valley Railway, The Deeside Railway

Some Early Lines

Old Railway Companies

Aboyne Railway Station

Aboyne Railway Station – Layout topics – RMweb
A look through Aboyne towards Braemar showing the signal box and both platforms visible

Aboyne & Braemar Railway

This line was sponsored by the Deeside Railway, authorised on 5 July 1865 and running from Aboyne to Ballater. It opened on 17 October 1866. In 1868 a Col Farquharson agreed to extend it to Bridge of Gairn to carry timber from his estate, but after the railway had been laid, Queen Victoria bought the forest, and the line was removed. The road using part of the route is still known as ‘The Track of the Old Line’. The Company was absorbed by the Great North of Scotland Railway on 31 January 1876, under a retrospective Act of 13 July. On 2 May 1904, a motor omnibus service was introduced between Ballater and Braemar.

Alford Valley Railway

Alford_railway_station_geograph-3926130-by-Ben-BrooksbankAlford Valley Railway Museum, former station at Alford.
View NE, towards Kintore: it had been the terminus of the ex-GNSR branch from Kintore, closed to passengers 2/1/50, to goods 3/1/66. Since 1980 it has featured a 2 ft. gauge miniature railway, running 0.84 mile to Haughton Park.
Date 28 June 2002 Source From geograph.org.uk
Author Ben Brooksbank Permission (Reusing this file)
Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0

A railway scheme was authorised along the valley between Kintore and Alford, north west of Aberdeen, in 1846 but collapsed due to a lack of funds. The idea was revived and a 16½ line re-incorporated on 23 June 1856. The Great North of Scotland Railway subscribed £15,000, leased the line before completion and worked it from opening on 21 March 1859 (public), 30 July (official). The Company was consolidated with the Great North of Scotland Railway on 1 August 1866 under an Act of two days before – the line closed for passengers on 2 January 1950.

The Deeside Railway

CultsCults Railway Station was the first main station on the Deeside Line between Aberdeen and Ballater. The line between Aberdeen and Banchory was opened in 1853 and extended to Aboyne and later to Ballater by 1866. The double line, as seen here, was opened in 1884 and returned to single line in 1951. The Deeside Line closed to passenger traffic on 28 February 1966. Goods traffic continued for a few more months but the final train ran on the line on 30 December 1966. http://mcjazz.f2s.com

The powers of the Act obtained in 1846 expired after six years. In 1852 a new Act was obtained for a railway to Banchory, the part from Banchory to Aboyne being abandoned. The railway to Banchory was opened September 7, 1853. However, on June 30, 1862, an Act was got by which the Deeside Railway was extended to Aboyne, and in 1865 another Act was obtained for extending the railway to Braemar. Queen Victoria did not favour this extension, and by purchasing land through which the railway was to pass she prevented it from being made. In 1866 the Deeside Railway was made over on a perpetual lease to the Great North of Scotland Railway Company.

 

Some Early Lines, Old Railway Companies, London & North Eastern Railway

Some Early Lines

Old Railway Companies

London & North Eastern Railway

LNER Insignia

Formed under the Railways Act of 19 August 1921, with effect from 1 January 1923, The LNER had the following constituents: North Eastern Railway, Great Central Railway, Great Eastern Railway, Great Northern Railway, Hull & Barnsley Railway, North British Railway, and Great North of Scotland Railway (The Hull & Barnsley Railway had actually amalgamated with the North Eastern Railway in 1922). Also included were twenty six subsidiary companies and committees, giving a total route mileage of 6,590, stretching from Elgin, Mallaig and Wrexham to London, with exclusive areas in the North East, Lincolnshire and East Anglia.

Sir Nigel Gresley Pic

Nigel Gresley Text

 

Some Early Lines, Old Railway Companies, More Around Blackburn

Some Early Lines

Old Railway Companies

More around Blackburn

800px-47540_and_08297_Blackburn_stationBritish Railways Brush Type 4 Co-Co class 47/4 diesel-electric locomotive number 47540 of Crewe DTMD passes through Blackburn station on the Down Main line with the diverted 13:50 London Euston to Glasgow Central (1S75) while British Railways 0-6-0 class 08 diesel-electric locomotive number 08297 of Springs Branch TMD stands in the East Lancs Sidings. Sunday 3rd April 1983
3 April 1983, 00:00 Uploaded by oxyman David Ingham from Bury, Lancashire, England
Licensing w:en:Creative Commons
attribution share alike This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Accrington - LYR - 24E1 - 25/4/1966 - Looking southDisused Stations: Accrington Station
http://www.disused-stations.org.uk598 × 377Search by image
Looking east along the Preston platform at Accrington station in 1954. A train probably bound for Preston can be seen arriving from the Burnley direction.

Blackburn, Burnley, Accrington & Colne Extension Railway

Incorporated on 30 June 1845, the Company was absorbed by the East Lancashire Railway three weeks later, with effect from 21 July. The line’s first section, opened between Blackburn and Accrington on 19 June 1848, included Aspen Viaduct, a timber trestle which has since been buried by tipping, an embankment now standing where the viaduct did. Later openings were to Burnley (18 September 1848) and Colne (1 February 1849).

Aspen Valley Viaduct, AccringtonAspen Valley Viaduct, Church, Accrington | Flickr – Photo Sharing!
http://www.flickr.com640 × 407Search by image
Aspen Valley Viaduct, Church, Accrington – Robert Wade

Blackburn, Clitheroe & North Western Junction Railway

The Company was authorised on 27 July 186 to build along the Ribble Valley to join the proposed North Western Railway at Long Preston. The line was built by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway; the first sod was cut by Lord Ribblesdale at Clitheroe on 30 December 1846, and opened on 22 June 1850. The Company had previously amalgamated with the Blackburn, Darwen & Bolton Railway on 9 July 184 to form the Bolton, Blackburn, Clitheroe & West Yorkshire Railway.

Bolton - BlackburnRailway, Croal Valley

To Church Wharf – a stroll along the Croal
http://www.croal.webeden.co.uk464 × 310Search by image
The Bolton to Blackburn railway crosses the Croal valley immediately downstream of Church Wharf.

Blackburn, Darwen & Bolton Railway

Authorised on 30 June 1845, the line was to form a more direct outlet north from Blackburn and Manchester via the Blackburn, Clitheroe & North Western Junction. The five-mile Blackburn – Sough (Darwen) section included a 2,015 yard tunnel, and Tongue Viaduct, which collapsed. Before the line opened (Blackburn – Sough 3 August 1847, throughout 12 June 1848), the Company amalgamated with the Blackburn, Clitheroe and North Western Junction Railway on 9 June 1847 to form the Bolton, Blackburn, Clitheroe & West Yorkshire Railway.

Some Early Lines, Old Railway Companies, Blackburn Railway Blackburn & Preston Railway

Some Early Lines

Old Railway Companies

EPSON scanner imageBlackburn Station, exterior Down side.
View NE.  8 May 1965 Source From geograph.org.uk
Author Ben Brooksbank Permission (Reusing this file) Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0

Blackburn Railway

This was the title taken by the Bolton, Blackburn, Clitheroe & W. Yorkshire Railway from 24 July 1851, ratifying one used locally for some time. In 1856 the Company alarmed the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway and the East Lancashire Railway by proposing an extension to Long Preston; whose companies hurried to take over, Jointly, from 31 December1857 (Act of 12 July 1858). It then became sole L&YR property when that company absorbed the ELR, and the extension opened from Chatburn to Gisburn on 2 June 1879, and to Hellifield on 1 June 1880.

Blackburn_Station_1976Blackburn Station 1976

 Interior, with original overall roof, now removed, seen in 1976

Author Geoffrey Skelsey This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Blackburn & Preston Railway

This line was authorised on 6 June 1844 to build from Blackburn to Farington Junction, south of Preston, there to join the North Union Railway. The line included a notable viaduct across Hoghton Bottom, River Darwen, 108 feet high, on three 65 foot spans. Two months after opening (3 August 1846) the Company was absorbed by the East Lancashire Railway.

EPSON scanner imageBlackburn Station.

View NE, towards Burnley and Hellifield. Major ex-L&Y station, served by lines from Manchester and Bolton, also Wigan via Chorley, to Hellifield, and to Burnley and Colne (via Accrington or via Padiham). The Padiham Loop had been closed to passengers 12/57 (goods 2/11/64), from Chorley 4/1/60 (goods 25/1/65). The Ribble Valley line to Hellifield was closed to regular services on 10/9/62 (goods 1/9/69), although the route remained until later available for some freight and diverted passenger trains. In 1986 it was acquired by the Ribble Valley Railway and in 5/94 a passenger service began again between Blackburn and Clitheroe, and the intermediate stations have been restored).

Date 8 May 1965
Source From geograph.org.uk Author Ben Brooksbank
Permission (Reusing this file)  Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0

Some Early Lines, Old Railway Companies, Birmingham Wolverhampton & Stour Valley Railway

Some Early Lines

Old Railway Companies

800px-New_Street_Tunnel_north_portalThe 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

I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the following license: w:en:Creative Commons
attribution share alike This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. 

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.

Harbourne Junctionhttp://warwickshirerailways.com

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’.