Rugby–Birmingham–Stafford Line

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Rugby–Birmingham–Stafford Line
Rugby-Stafford rail routes.png
Diagrammatic map of the route in orange.

West Midlands (region)
West Midlands

Termini Rugby
Stations 21
Opening 1837
Owner Network Rail
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Rugby-Birmingham-Stafford Line
West Coast Main Line
Stafford and Uttoxeter Railway
Stafford to Wellington Line
West Coast Main Line (Trent Valley Line)
Littleton Colliery
Four Ashes
Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury Line
Walsall to Wolverhampton Line
Victoria Basin
Wolverhampton (High Level)
Wolverhampton Low Level
Walsall to Wolverhampton Line
Walsall to Wolverhampton Line
Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway
Wolverhampton Steel Terminal
Chillington Wharf
Midland Metro
Monmore Green
Ettingshall Road
Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway
Princes End Branch Line
South Staffordshire Line
Dudley Port
Sandwell and Dudley
Spon Lane
Smethwick Galton Bridge
Birmingham to Worcester via Kidderminster Line
Smethwick Rolfe Street
Chase Line
Soho EMU Depot
Winson Green
Harborne Branch Line
Monument Lane
Cross Country Route / Cross-City Line
Birmingham New Street
Chiltern Main Line
Curzon Street
Cross-City Line / Chase Line
Camp Hill Line
Birmingham to Peterborough Line
and Cross Country Route
Adderley Park
Stechford and Aston Line
Lea Hall
Marston Green
Birmingham International
Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway
Coventry to Leamington Line
Tile Hill
Coventry to Nuneaton Line
Coventry to Leamington Line
Coventry to Nuneaton Line
Brandon and Wolston
West Coast Main Line (Trent Valley Line)
Leamington to Rugby Line
Midland Counties Railway
Rugby and Stamford Railway
Great Central Main Line
West Coast Main Line

The Rugby–Birmingham–Stafford Line (also known as the Birmingham loop[1]) is a railway line in central England. It is a loop off the West Coast Main Line (WCML) between Rugby and Stafford via the West Midlands cities of Coventry, Birmingham and Wolverhampton. The direct route between Rugby and Stafford is the Trent Valley Line.

Places served[edit]

The cities, towns and villages served by the line are listed below.


The line from Rugby to Birmingham Curzon Street opened as part of the London and Birmingham Railway in 1838. A year earlier, the Grand Junction Railway had opened from Curzon Street to Wolverhampton, Stafford and north to the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. However, this ran via Aston to Wolverhampton (see map). These two companies merged in 1846 to form the London and North Western Railway (LNWR). On 1 July 1852, the Stour Valley Line from Birmingham to Wolverhampton via Smethwick opened (promoted by the Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Stour Valley Railway, which was later absorbed by the LNWR).[2]

The LNWR itself became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) in 1923, and part of British Railways at Nationalisation in 1948.

The line was electrified along with the rest of the WCML during the late 1960s in the wake of the BR 1955 Modernisation Plan.

In 1987 twelve different horse sculptures by Kevin Atherton, titled Iron Horse, were erected between New Street station and Wolverhampton.[3]


Main-line services are operated by Virgin Trains and London Midland, and stop at the principal stations only. These are joined by occasional services over the northern section of the route by Arriva Trains Wales. Local services are operated by London Midland, generally to the following daytime patterns:

  • Additionally one train per hour between Birmingham New Street and Birmingham International, calling at Adderley Park, Stechford and Lea Hall.
  • One train each hour between Birmingham New Street and Coventry calling at Stechford, Lea Hall, Marston Green, Birmingham International, Hampton-in-Arden, Berkswell, Tile Hill and Canley.
  • Additionally there is one train per hour between Birmingham New Street-Rugby and Northampton.
  • All stations between Birmingham and Wolverhampton: two trains per hour.
  • Additionally, two trains per hour between Birmingham New Street-Liverpool Lime Street and Stafford.

Trains from London to the north of England and Scotland are diverted via this route at some weekends, due to engineering work on the Trent Valley Line - the direct route from Rugby to Stafford.


  1. ^ Network Rail Route 17 PDF
  2. ^ Tipton Civic Society - Brief History of Tipton
  3. ^ Public Sculpture of Birmingham including Sutton Coldfield, George T. Noszlopy, edited Jeremy Beach, 1998, ISBN 0-85323-692-5
  • Jowetts Railways Centres Volume 1, Alan Jowett (PSL, 1993)
  • A Century of Railways Around Birmingham and the West Midlands, Volumes 1, 2 & 3, John Boynton (Mid England Books, 1997-1999)
  • Rail Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland, S K Baker (OPC, 2004)

External links[edit]