Tamworth railway station

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Tamworth National Rail
Tamworth railway station MMB 14 390XXX.jpg
Tamworth Station looking westbound on the West Coast Main Line
Local authorityBorough of Tamworth
Coordinates52°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 referenceSK213044
Station codeTAM
Managed byLondon Northwestern Railway
Number of platforms4
DfT categoryC2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase 1.025 million
2014/15Increase 1.054 million
2015/16Increase 1.148 million
2016/17Increase 1.199 million
2017/18Increase 1.223 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 and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

Tamworth is a split-level railway station which serves the town of Tamworth in Staffordshire, England. It is an interchange between two main lines; the Cross Country Route and the Trent Valley section of the West Coast Main Line (WCML). It has four platforms: Two low-level platforms (1 and 2) on the WCML, and two high level platforms (3 and 4) served by the Cross Country Route. Historically there were chords connecting the two lines, but there is no longer any rail connection between them.


The original station was opened on 12 August 1839[1] 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.

From the Illustrated London News, 4 December 1847
Tamworth high level platforms, looking north.

On 26 June 1847 the London and North Western Railway opened its Trent Valley Line[2] passing beneath the original line with a new joint station designed by John William Livock.[3]

The joint station didn't acquire the "High Level" and "Low Level" names until 1924.[4] 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 Valley 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 a new station was designed by the architects for the London Midland Region of British Railways, Maurice Wheeler, E.G. Girdlestone and J.B. Sanders.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7]


Class 350
Class 350 at the Low Level platforms
Class 221
Class 221 at the High Level platforms

There are four platforms:

  • Platforms 1 and 2 on the low level (the West Coast Main Line):
    • Platform 1 is a westbound platform for northward services towards Crewe;
    • Platform 2 is an eastbound platform for southward services towards Northampton and London.
  • Platforms 3 and 4 on the high level (on the Cross Country Route):
    • Platform 3 is a northbound platform for northward services towards Derby and beyond;
    • Platform 4 is a southbound platform for southward services towards Birmingham and beyond.


The main buildings are adjacent to platform 1 and incorporate a ticket office (manned seven days per week – 06:10 to 20:00 Mondays to Saturdays and 09:45 – 16:15 Sundays), customer service enquiry counter, photo booth, toilets, post box and a coffee shop. Two self-service ticket machines are sited on the station frontage for use when the ticket office is closed. Platform 2 only has a waiting shelter, whilst both high level platforms have waiting rooms. Train running information is provided via automatic announcements, CIS displays and timetable poster boards.

Both low-level platforms are directly linked with both high-level platforms by staircases (4 in total). All platforms are fully accessible for disabled passengers, as the two levels are also linked by lifts (3 in total).[8] There is, however, no direct lift between platforms 2 and 3; step-free access between these platforms is only via platforms 4 and 1.[8]


Low level[edit]

West Midlands Trains[edit]

West Midlands Trains operating under the London Northwestern branding, operates a regular Monday to Sunday semi-fast hourly service between London and Crewe via Stoke-on-Trent which calls at Tamworth. This service uses Class 350 multiple units. Some peak services start or terminate at Northampton.[9]

Virgin Trains[edit]

Virgin Trains provide additional services during the peak hours and weekends.[10] Westbound, there are:

Eastbound, there are:

All Virgin Trains services are operated by Class 390 Pendolinos.

High level[edit]

On the Cross Country Route all trains are served by CrossCountry and operated by Class 170, 220s, 221s and HST sets.

Northbound, the typical Monday-Saturday frequency of services is as follows:

On Sundays this is reduced to 1 train per hour to Nottingham and 1 train per 2 hours to Glasgow.

Southbound, the typical Monday-Saturday frequency of services is as follows:

On Sundays the hourly service to Birmingham does not operate.

There is also a small number of trains between Newcastle and Reading or Southampton Central which stop at Tamworth.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway". Aris’s Birmingham Gazette. British Newspaper Archive. 12 August 1839. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Private Opening of the Trent Valley Railway". Derby Mercury. British Newspaper Archive. 30 June 1847. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  3. ^ "The Trent Valley Railway". Illustrated London News. England. 4 December 1847. Retrieved 9 March 2019 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  4. ^ "Railway Stations. Alterations in Names of Tamworth Stations". Tamworth Herald. British Newspaper Archive. 17 May 1924. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  5. ^ Lawrence, David (2018). British Rail Architecture 1948-97. Crecy Publishing Ltd. p. 106. ISBN 9780860936855.
  6. ^ Pixton, B., (2005) Birmingham-Derby: Portrait of a Famous Route, Runpast Publishing
  7. ^ Hall, Stanley (1990). The Railway Detectives. London: Ian Allan. pp. 38–39. ISBN 0 7110 1929 0.
  8. ^ a b Tamworth station facilities National Rail Enquiries
  9. ^ GB eNRT May 2017 Edition, Table 67
  10. ^ GB eNRT May 2016 Edition, Table 65
  11. ^ GB eNRT May 2016 Edition, Tables 51 & 57

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 Northwestern Railway
  Lichfield Trent Valley
London Northwestern Railway
Limited Service
Nuneaton   Virgin Trains
  Lichfield Trent Valley
London Euston   Virgin Trains
  Lichfield Trent Valley
London Euston or
  Virgin Trains
London-North West
  Lichfield Trent Valley
  Historical railways  
Line and station open
  Midland Railway
Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway
Line open, station closed