Rugby–Birmingham–Stafford Line

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Rugby–Birmingham–Stafford Line
(Birmingham Loop)
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 & Derby Jn Rly
to Coventry to Leamington Line
Tile Hill
Coventry to Nuneaton Line
Coventry to Leamington Line
to 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, British Rail commissioned artist Kevin Atherton to produce a series of sculptures to be erected along the line between Birmingham New Street station and Wolverhampton. The finished piece was titled Iron Horse, and consists of twelve different horse silhouettes, fashioned from steel. The construction material was chosen for its historic associations with the Black Country.[3][4]


A mixture of intercity, regional, cross-country and local services operate over all or parts of the route. Virgin Trains, London Midland, Arriva Trains Wales and CrossCountry all operate services.

  • Virgin Trains use the route as part of their intercity service between London Euston and Birmingham New Street, services are also extended to/from Wolverhampton, Bangor, Holyhead, Preston, Manchester and Scotland.
  • London Midland also operate London-Birmingham regional trains over the route, all operating via Northampton. They also operate a Birmingham-Liverpool Lime Street service over the route, and local services between Northampton and Birmingham, they also operate local services between Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury.
  • Arriva Trains Wales operate regional services between Birmingham International and various destinations in Wales via Shrewsbury.
  • CrossCountry use part of the route for their service from Manchester Piccadilly to destinations in the south of England. Many trains on this route run via Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Coventry, turning off to Leamington Spa.



  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
  4. ^ "Where Black Country railway horse sculptures came from". BBC. 13 March 1987. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  • 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]