Barnt Green railway station

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Barnt Green National Rail
Barnt Green
Location
Place Barnt Green
Local authority Bromsgrove
Coordinates 52°21′39″N 1°59′33″W / 52.3607°N 1.9926°W / 52.3607; -1.9926Coordinates: 52°21′39″N 1°59′33″W / 52.3607°N 1.9926°W / 52.3607; -1.9926
Grid reference SP006736
Operations
Station code BTG
Managed by London Midland
Number of platforms 4
Live arrivals/departures and station information
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05  0.128 million
2005/06 Increase 0.154 million
2006/07 Increase 0.160 million
2007/08 Increase 0.171 million
2008/09 Increase 0.217 million
2009/10 Increase 0.221 million
2010/11 Increase 0.231 million
2011/12 Increase 0.256 million
- Interchange 31,951
2012/13 Increase 0.262 million
- Interchange Increase 33,617
History
Key dates Opened 1844 (1844)
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Barnt Green from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Portal icon UK Railways portal

Barnt Green railway station serves the village of Barnt Green, North Worcestershire, England. It is situated at the junction of the Cross-City Line and the Cross Country Route 9 12 miles (15.3 km) south west of Birmingham New Street. The station, and all trains serving it, are operated by London Midland.

History[edit]

The main line through Barnt Green was built and opened by the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway in 1841, but it would be 1844 before Barnt Green received its station.[1] The B&GR was linked to the Bristol and Gloucester Railway in 1845 to create a through route to the West Country and then became part of the Midland Railway's expanding network in 1846. The station then became a junction in 1859 with the opening of the Midland's branch line to Redditch. This was subsequently extended through to Evesham and Ashchurch in stages between 1866 and 1868.[2] The Midland then opened a second route into Birmingham New Street (the Birmingham West Suburban Railway) in 1876 to provide an alternative to the original B&G line via Camp Hill, which was becoming increasingly congested at its eastern end (which it shared with the LNWR main line from Euston and the Midland's own route from Derby).

Though the station was used as an interchange between the two lines from the outset, its main line platforms were initially staggered - the northbound platform being located north of the junction and initially connected to the two southbound ones by a foot crossing (which was replaced by a footbridge in 1895).[3] A second platform on the branch was provided in 1894, when the first 350 yards from the junction were doubled. A more comprehensive rebuilding scheme came in 1928,[4] when the main line towards Northfield and Kings Norton was quadrupled by the LMS (who had taken over ownership of the station at the 1923 Grouping). This saw the Birmingham-bound platform relocated south of the junction to create the layout still in use today.

The Gloucester Loop Line through Redditch and Evesham was used in Midland and LMS days as a relief route for freight traffic to avoid the steeply-graded Lickey Incline in addition to carrying local passenger traffic, but under British Rail auspices it was closed to passengers south of Redditch in October 1962 due to the poor condition of the track (formal closure occurring on 17 June 1963) and completely in July 1964.

The remaining part of the branch north of Redditch had seen its service dieselised and improved to hourly in April 1960, only for it to be listed for closure in the Beeching Report of 1963 along with Barnt Green station itself. As a precursor to this, the timetable was drastically cut back in May 1964, with only a handful of (mostly) peak period services being retained. However the route was eventually reprieved in August 1965[5] after protests from local rail users and the area's four MPs.

Stopping trains on the main line southwards toward Worcester Shrub Hill and Cheltenham Spa were withdrawn in April 1966 (though the station at Bromsgrove survived), leaving the by now unstaffed station to be served by the few surviving Redditch to Birmingham trains for the next 14 years (the BR timetable of 1972 lists just four trains in each direction serving all of the surviving local stations on the route - two return trips in the morning peak, one at midday, one in the evening and no Sunday service).

The service level was eventually boosted in May 1980, when hourly trains were reintroduced between Longbridge and Redditch as an extension of the recently commissioned Birmingham Cross-City Line from Lichfield City. This frequency was increased to half-hourly in 1989 and in 1992 the route was electrified (though only the centre main lines were wired beyond Longbridge - the outer lines remain diesel-only and are designated as goods loops). A limited service has also returned to the mainline platforms in recent years, provided by trains on the New St - Worcester - Hereford line (see below).

Services[edit]

Southbound Cross-City line services towards Redditch depart from Platform 4, at 30-minute intervals throughout the day (Monday-Friday, first train departs at 06:39; last train departs at 23:39). Occasionally in the event of a severe delay some Southbound services may terminate at Barnt Green. These trains mostly originate at Four Oaks.

Northbound Cross-City line services towards Birmingham New Street and Lichfield Trent Valley depart from Platform 3, also at 30-minute intervals throughout the day (Monday-Friday, first train departs at 06:38; last train departs at 23:08). Under normal circumstances, these trains always originate at Redditch.

On Sundays there is also a half-hourly service in operation, though starting later in the morning.[6]

The station is also infrequently served by the Birmingham-Worcester Line (Monday-Friday only). In 2013, there are two southbound services to Hereford departing Platform 2 at 07:41 & 08:18 (originating from Birmingham New Street), and two northbound services to Birmingham New Street departing Platform 1 at 16:49 and 18:49 (both originating from Hereford). These trains are timetabled for students to travel to schools in Droitwich Spa and Bromsgrove, where many local students attend.

Barnt Green Station, with an Up freight in 1963

Facilities[edit]

The station has no permanent buildings (the building located behind shrubs adjacent to Platforms 2 and 3 is a private business, in no way affiliated with the station). It has automatic ticket machines located on platforms 3 and 4, and shelters are provided on Platforms 2, 3 and 4. A footbridge connects all four platforms, although there is no access for wheelchairs. There is step-free access to Platforms 1 and 4. The station has a small (charged) car park adjacent to Platform 4 provided jointly by Bromsgrove District Council/London Midland. The station along with all those located on the Cross-City line has departure boards showing real time train information, located on Platforms 3 and 4.

Rail squeal[edit]

The station had an innovative track sprinkler system which was designed to stop the squeal of train wheels as they round the tight curve into the station. This system has now been removed from the station, presumably[citation needed] for cost reasons and lack of use.

Future Plans[edit]

Network Rail have plans in place to improve service frequencies at the station in the coming years, by means of two separate but related schemes. The first will see a 1.1 mile (1.8 km) passing loop built at Alvechurch on the Redditch branch to allow three trains per hour to operate on the line rather than the current two from December 2014[7] The second will see electrification extended down the Lickey incline to a relocated & upgraded station at Bromsgrove,[8] which will then become the second southwestern terminal of the Cross-City Line from mid-2015. This scheme will see regular services return to the main line platforms.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Warwickshire Railways - Barnt Green Junction Warwickshirerailways.com; Retrieved 2013-12-11
  2. ^ Disused Stations - AshchurchDisused Stations; Retrieved 2013-12-11
  3. ^ Photo of Barnt Green station in 1921 Warwickshirerailways.com; Retrieved 2013-12-11
  4. ^ BBC Domesday Reloaded - Barnt Green Railway Station bbc.co.uk; Retrieved 2013-12-11
  5. ^ History of the Cross-City Rail LineRedditch MRC; Retrieved 2013-12-11
  6. ^ GB National Rail Timetable 2013-14, Table 69
  7. ^ Birmingham - Redditch: What's Happening?Network Rail Press Release; Retrieved 2013-12-10
  8. ^ Bromsgrove railway station: Views sought over plansBBC News 07-01-2013; Retrieved 2013-12-10

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
London Midland
London Midland
Birmingham-Hereford (peak times)
Historical railways
Terminus Midland Railway
Line and station open