Tamworth railway station

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Tamworth National Rail
Tamworth Station Building
Place Tamworth
Local authority Tamworth
Coordinates 52°38′13″N 1°41′12″W / 52.6369°N 1.6867°W / 52.6369; -1.6867Coordinates: 52°38′13″N 1°41′12″W / 52.6369°N 1.6867°W / 52.6369; -1.6867
Grid reference SK213044
Station code TAM
Managed by London Midland
Number of platforms 4
DfT category C2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05  0.656 million
2005/06 Increase 0.710 million
2006/07 Increase 0.767 million
2007/08 Increase 0.782 million
2008/09 Increase 0.799 million
2009/10 Increase 0.885 million
2010/11 Increase 0.931 million
2011/12 Increase 0.953 million
2012/13 Increase 0.963 million
2013/14 Increase 1,025 million
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Tamworth from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Portal icon UK Railways portal

Tamworth is a split-level railway station which serves the town of Tamworth in Staffordshire, England. It is located where the Cross Country Route passes over the West Coast Main Line, in the United Kingdom, although there is no rail link between the two lines. There are four platforms: platforms 1 and 2 on the low level (the West Coast Main Line) and platforms 3 and 4 on the high level (on the Cross Country Route).


Tamworth high level platforms, looking north.

The original station was opened in 1839 by the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway on its original route from Derby to Hampton-in-Arden meeting the London and Birmingham Railway for London

In 1847 the London and North Western Railway built its Trent Valley Line passing beneath the original line with a new joint station, though they weren't referred to as "High Level" and "Low Level" till 1924. Since it was expected that only local trains would call, the platforms were on loops, with the running lines left clear for expresses. At that time there was a north to west curve linking the, by then, Midland with the LNWR line. Since it was the crossing of two major lines - one Bristol to Newcastle, the other Euston to Aberdeen - it was important for the Royal Mail transferring upwards of 2000 bags every night.

A north to east curve was also built very early on by the Trent Valley Railway and the Birmingham & Derby Junction railway, and track was laid on it, but it is not known whether it was ever used. It was certainly lifted by the turn of the century. The track left the Trent Vally line and climbed on an embankment until it crossed the River Anker via a bridge, then entered a cutting until reaching the Midland line. The bridge, known locally as the Spider Bridge, was demolished sometime during the late 1960s by the Royal Engineers, and the cutting was filled in shortly afterwards, so there is little to see nowadays except for the vegetation-covered embankment leading to the bridge. Prior to the introduction of diesel engines, Tamworth Railway Station was particularly well known to 'train spotting' enthusiasts as the closest station to Birmingham at which the larger and faster steam engines could be seen on the London to the North West Coast Line. The south-east corner, where the lines crossed, was at that time a vacant field, and used to be filled with spotters who would bring refreshments and spend the whole day there. A housing estate now occupies that spot.

There was a large water tower and pumping station at the east end of the low level, pumping water from the River Anker below.

The original station was demolished in 1961 and the rebuilt station opened in 1962 and at the same time the Trent Valley Line was electrified, requiring the High level line and platforms to be raised by two feet. [1]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 14 September 1870, a mail train was diverted into a siding due to a signalman's error. It crashed through the buffers and ended up in the River Anker. Three people were killed.[2]


A Virgin Pendolino speeds south through the low level platforms on the West Coast Main Line.

Low level[edit]

Virgin Trains[edit]

Virgin Trains provide additional morning peak and evening peak services operating from London Euston to Liverpool Lime Street, Glasgow Central, Manchester Piccadilly, Preston, Crewe, Lancaster, Edinburgh Waverley, Carlisle and southbound trains to London Euston.

London Midland[edit]

London Midland operates a regular Monday to Saturday semi-fast hourly service between London Euston & Crewe via Stoke-on-Trent which calls at Tamworth. This service is using Class 350 multiple units.

High level[edit]

On the Cross Country Route all trains are operated by CrossCountry. There are services between Cardiff Central and Nottingham via Birmingham New Street using Class 170s, as well as services to Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance, and Leeds, York, Newcastle Central and Edinburgh Waverley using Class 220s, 221s and HST sets. A small number of Southampton Central to Newcastle trains also call at Tamworth throughout the day.

Services on the Cardiff/Birmingham to Nottingham route call every half hour (hourly on Sundays) and Edinburgh to Plymouth every two hours each way.[3] This is a far cry from the situation that existed in the late 1970s, when there were gaps of up to 6 hours between trains. This was due to services not having been adjusted to take account of the sharp increase in population that had taken place since Tamworth became a feeder town for Birmingham.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pixton, B., (2005) Birmingham-Derby: Portrait of a Famous Route, Runpast Publishing
  2. ^ Hall, Stanley (1990). The Railway Detectives. London: Ian Allan. pp. 38–39. ISBN 0 7110 1929 0. 
  3. ^ GB National Rail Timetable May 2013, Table 51

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Wilnecote   CrossCountry
Cardiff - Nottingham
  Burton on Trent
Birmingham New Street   CrossCountry
South West - North East
Atherstone   London Midland
  Lichfield Trent Valley
Nuneaton   Virgin Trains
West Coast Main Line
  Lichfield Trent Valley
London Euston or
  Virgin Trains
London Euston-Scotland/Preston/Lancaster/Carlisle/Crewe
  Lichfield Trent Valley
Historical railways
Line and station open
  Midland Railway
Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway
Line open, station closed