Gloucester loop line
The Gloucester loop line was a railway line, operated by the Midland Railway which ran from Ashchurch to Barnt Green via Redditch and Evesham, avoiding the main line via Bromsgrove. The line has been entirely dismantled, apart from the section from Redditch to Barnt Green, which forms the southern part of the Cross-City Line, and a tiny stub of track at Ashchurch serving the Ministry of Defence depot. The line was opened in 1866, services were withdrawn in 1962, the line was officially closed in 1964 and the track lifted in 1965.
Evesham and Redditch Railway
In July 1858 the Redditch Railway Act authorised a line to link Redditch with the Midland Railway's Birmingham and Gloucester line at Barnt Green. The Redditch Railway opened on 18 September 1859 but was operated from the start by the Midland Railway.
In 1868 the Evesham and Redditch Railway built a line south from Redditch through Evesham to a junction at Ashchurch. There were intermediate stations between Redditch and Evesham at Studley and Astwood Bank, Coughton, Alcester, Wixford, Broom Junction (for the Stratford-upon-Avon and Midland Junction Railway), Salford Priors, and Harvington.
British Railways (BR) closed the line south of Alcester on 29 September 1962 after suspending the passenger service between Redditch and Evesham due to poor track condition. Freight services continued between Redditch and Alcester until 1964 when BR closed the whole line south of Redditch. The remaining line from Redditch to Barnt Green was nearly closed under the Beeching Axe, which would have severed the town from the railway network entirely. But a strong campaign by local residents and local MPs managed to save it. However, by the late 1960s, services to Redditch had been cut to the bare minimum, with just four daily trains to and from Birmingham. This persisted until 1980, when an hourly service was extended to Redditch on the newly upgraded Cross-City Line. This was upgraded to half-hourly in 1989, and to 3 trains per hour in 2014.