Selly Oak railway station

Coordinates: 52°26′28″N 1°56′06″W / 52.441°N 1.935°W / 52.441; -1.935
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Selly Oak
National Rail
General information
LocationSelly Oak, Birmingham
Coordinates52°26′28″N 1°56′06″W / 52.441°N 1.935°W / 52.441; -1.935
Grid referenceSP044826
Managed byWest Midlands Railway[1]
Transit authorityTransport for West Midlands
Other information
Station codeSLY
Fare zone2
ClassificationDfT category D
Original companyMidland Railway
Post-groupingLondon, Midland and Scottish Railway
Key dates
3 April 1876[2]Opened as Selly Oak and Bournbrook
1904Renamed Selly Oak[3]
2018/19Increase 3.296 million
2019/20Decrease 3.274 million
2020/21Decrease 0.631 million
2021/22Increase 1.590 million
2022/23Increase 1.995 million
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Selly Oak railway station is a railway station in Selly Oak in Birmingham, England, on the Cross-City Line between Redditch, Birmingham and Lichfield.


It opened on 3 April 1876[2] on the Midland Railway's Birmingham West Suburban Railway branch to serve the burgeoning suburbs of Selly Oak and Bournbrook. The entrance to the station was on Heeley Road.

On 20 August 1883,[4] a goods train from Granville Street to Lifford was passing over the bridge over the canal at Selly Oak station when at a speed of 15 miles per hour (24 km/h) it derailed and damaged much of the wooden railing of the bridge. The engine remained on the bridge, but two of the wagons broke through the wooden fencing and tumbled down the embankment.[5]

Originally built as a single track line, the route through Selly Oak was doubled between 1883 and 1885 when the Midland Railway connected the northern end of the line through to Birmingham New Street station.[6] The viaduct north of the station which carried the old line over the canal and then the Bristol Road could not be widened so it was replaced on a new alignment. The railway crossed the canal with a new bridge consisting of two principal girders 126 feet (38 m) long, weighing 47 long tons (48,000 kg) each. The bridge over the Bristol Road was built to the north of the existing bridge and comprised a 60 feet (18 m) iron span over the road weighing around 450 long tons (460,000 kg). The line continued on its deviation north of the original line until ¼ mile south of Selly Oak station where a new shorter viaduct was reached. Selly Oak station was rebuilt on the new alignment with platforms 150 yards (140 m) long and a subway at the Birmingham end of the station. The new station buildings on the up platform comprised a central booking hall with waiting rooms for ladies and gentlemen on either side, and offices and porters' room. The down platform had a simple waiting room.[7]

The new bridge over the Bristol Road at Selly Oak dating from 1931

The bridge over the Bristol Road was replaced in 1931 by the L.M.S. The new bridge weighed about 200 long tons (200,000 kg), with the two side girders alone weighing 35 long tons (36,000 kg) each.[8]

The station area has changed considerably since the Midland Railway days and lost virtually all its original features as the station was completely rebuilt by British Rail in 1978 to designs of the architect John Broome[9] along with the others on this line when the Cross-City route was commissioned. Prior to the rebuild, the station had only received a limited service (mainly at peak hours) for much of the 1960s and 1970s.

On 11 April 1993, a railway employee at the station was threatened with sticks and two masked men stole takings of hundreds of pounds.[10] The station received a £85,000 (equivalent to £184,200 in 2021)[11] facelift in 1994 with the number of car park spaces expanded from 50 to 86, new lighting, fencing and closed circuit TV[12]


The site has recently been expanded with the addition of a new car park with 93 free spaces, making Selly Oak station a new Park and Ride site.[13] The station and line are on an embankment.

Pedestrian and vehicular access to the station is via Bristol Rd (B384) on the northbound side, and via Heeley Rd on the southbound side. Access between platforms is via a covered overhead bridge, with lifts available. The overhead bridge has views of Bournbrook, The University of Birmingham and the city centre itself.

The station is equipped with real-time information departure boards which were previously installed in 2006 by former Cross City Line franchise holder Central Trains. There are automated ticket machines and windowed ticket booths.

A Centro livery Class 323 at Selly Oak in 2008
A London Midland Class 323 arrives at Selly Oak in 2016


The station is only served by West Midlands Trains with local Transport for West Midlands branded "Cross-City" services, operated by Class 323 Electric multiple units.[14]

The off-peak service pattern is as follows:

Mondays to Saturdays:


  • 2tph northbound to Lichfield Trent Valley.
  • 2tph southbound to Redditch.
  • 1tph to Birmingham New Street only.
  • 1tph to Bromsgrove.[15][16]
Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
University   West Midlands Railway
Lichfield – Four Oaks – Birmingham – Bromsgrove/Redditch
Cross-City Line
  Historical railways  
Somerset Road
Line open, station closed
  Midland Railway
Birmingham West Suburban Railway
  Stirchley Street
Line and station (now Bournville) open

Station masters[edit]

  • Nathaniel Dottoms 1876 - 1877[17] (afterwards station master at Somerset Road)
  • Thomas Viney 1877[17] - 1881[18] (afterwards station master at Coaley Junction)
  • W.G. Stevenson 1881 - 1882[18] (formerly station master at Church Road, afterwards station master at South Wigston)
  • James Dingley 1882 - 1883[18] (afterwards station master at Coughton)
  • R. Harwood 1883 - 1885[18]
  • J.H. Marston 1885 - 1886[18] (afterwards station master at South Wigston)
  • J. Hull 1886[18] - 1888[19] (formerly station master at Short Heath)
  • William Robert Ambler 1888 - 1890[19] (formerly station master at Somerset Road)
  • J.E. Dann 1890 - 1891[19]
  • Henry Lewis 1891[20] - 1902[3] (formerly station master at Somerset Road, afterwards station master at Ystalyfera)
  • John H. Brayne 1902 - 1904[3] (formerly station master at Weston-on-Trent, afterwards station master at Kings Heath)
  • W.H. Baines 1904[3] - 1908 (afterwards station master at Willenhall)
  • C.W. West 1908 - ???? (afterwards station master at Heeley)
  • E. Meredith ca. 1914
  • Samuel Burdett from 1935[21] formerly station master at King's Cliffe)
  • Albert White ???? - 1948
  • H.J. Turner 1948 - 1954[22] (formerly station master at Camp Hill)
  • W. Close ???? - 1959 (afterwards station master at Portishead, Somerset)
  • W.H. Shepperson 1959[23] - ???? (formerly station master at Sharnbrook)


  1. ^ "Selly Oak (SLY)". National Rail. Rail Delivery Group. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Local and District News". Worcester Journal. British Newspaper Archive. 8 April 1876. Retrieved 23 July 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  3. ^ a b c d "1899-1908 Coaching; Piece 1027". Midland Railway Operating, Traffic and Coaching Depts: 31. 1899. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  4. ^ "Accident at Selly Oak on 20 August 1883". Railways Archive. Railways Archive. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  5. ^ "Alarming Railway Accident at Selly Oak". Birmingham Mail. England. 20 August 1883. Retrieved 24 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. ^ "Midland Railway Report". Nottingham Evening Post. England. 15 August 1885. Retrieved 27 December 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  7. ^ "Midland Railway Diversion into Birmingham. An Interesting Work". Birmingham Daily Post. England. 26 May 1885. Retrieved 27 December 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  8. ^ "New Birmingham Bridge". Birmingham Daily Gazette. England. 29 December 1931. Retrieved 27 December 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  9. ^ Lawrence, David (2018). British Rail Architecture 1948-97. Crecy Publishing Ltd. p. 155. ISBN 9780860936855.
  10. ^ "Rail Snatch". Sandwell Evening Mail. England. 12 April 1993. Retrieved 24 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  11. ^ UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
  12. ^ "Station unveils new look". Sandwell Evening Mail. England. 1 July 1994. Retrieved 24 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  13. ^ "Birmingham City Council - Railway Station Car Parks".
  14. ^ "Class 323 fleet". West Midlands Railway.
  15. ^ "Train Timetables and Schedules | Selly Oak". West Midlands Railway.
  16. ^ "Train Times | The Cross City Line | 30 December 2023 until 1 June 2024". West Midlands Railway.
  17. ^ a b "1871-1879 Coaching". Midland Railway Operating, Traffic and Coaching Depts: 767. 1871. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  18. ^ a b c d e f "1881-1898 Coaching". Midland Railway Operating, Traffic and Coaching Depts: 329. 1881. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  19. ^ a b c "1881-1898 Coaching". Midland Railway Operating, Traffic and Coaching Depts: 822. 1881. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  20. ^ "Midland Railway Staff Changes". Derby Daily Telegraph. England. 3 September 1891. Retrieved 24 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  21. ^ "King's Cliffe". Peterborough Standard. England. 29 March 1935. Retrieved 27 December 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  22. ^ "Mr. H.J. Turner". Birmingham Daily Post. England. 30 November 1954. Retrieved 24 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  23. ^ "New Stationmaster for Selly Oak". Birmingham Daily Post. England. 2 September 1959. Retrieved 24 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.

External links[edit]