Walsall railway station
Platforms one, two and three at Walsall.
|Managed by||London Midland|
|Number of platforms||3|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|Passenger Transport Executive|
|PTE||Transport for West Midlands|
|Original company||South Staffordshire Railway|
|Pre-grouping||London and North Western Railway|
|Post-grouping||London, Midland and Scottish Railway|
|9 April 1849||Opened|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
|* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Walsall from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
|UK Railways portal|
Walsall railway station is the principal railway station of Walsall, West Midlands, England and situated in the heart of the town. It is operated by London Midland, who run all of its train services. The main entrance is situated inside the Saddlers Shopping Centre.
The station has three platforms:
- Platform 1: operating northbound services to Rugeley;
- Platform 2: operating southbound, semi-fast services from Rugeley to Birmingham New Street;
- Platform 3: (a terminus platform) operating local services to Birmingham New Street.
Platforms 2 and 3 have been recently refurbished, with a new waiting room added and enigmatic "poetry" on the walls of the stairs to the platforms. The mainline platforms are not electrified, but platform 3 (and the through line next to it) are electrified to 25kV AC Overhead power. This electrification ends for both tracks at the northern end of the platforms.
An S&B self-service ticket machine was placed on Platform 1 but was no longer in place in April 2011; however, a similar machine remains in the station booking hall which is at street level above platform 3. The station has a staffed ticket office.
Monday to Saturday daytimes four trains per hour run south from Walsall to Birmingham New Street (two fast and two stopping) with most of the all stations services continuing past Birmingham to form the Birmingham to Wolverhampton stopping service. The fast trains call only at Tame Bridge Parkway and are routed via the direct line through Soho and Winson Green, whilst the stopping trains run via Aston.
From Walsall to Rugeley Trent Valley the service is hourly, though at peak times and on Saturdays it increases to half-hourly. On Sundays and weekday evenings there are two trains per hour to Birmingham (one fast and one stopping) and one train per hour to Rugeley Trent Valley.
Three daily services operate from Walsall to Liverpool Lime Street (for operational reasons, as extensions of regular Birmingham - Liverpool trains).
The Grand Junction Railway provided the town with its first rail service, albeit indirectly from 1837. Their Birmingham to Warrington line passed to the south and was provided with a station at Bescot Bridge (near the present Bescot Stadium), from where travellers could catch a connecting stagecoach. The Grand Junction company laid a branch line from Bescot to a temporary depot in the town at Bridgeman Place a decade later, but it wasn't until 9 April 1849 that a permanent station was opened on the present site. This was completed by the South Staffordshire Railway as part of their route from Wichnor Junction (south of Burton-upon-Trent) to Dudley, which opened the same day. Further route development followed - the SSR added a branch northwards to Cannock in 1858 (which was extended to Rugeley the following autumn), whilst the Wolverhampton and Walsall Railway line linked the town to Wolverhampton via North Walsall in 1872. The network was completed by the Midland Railway, whose line from Castle Bromwich via Aldridge opened in 1879. The Midland had by this time also purchased the W&WR from the rival London and North Western Railway, though the LNWR still ran occasional services over it until the 1923 Grouping. The station was rebuilt in 1883, due to increasing traffic levels, with five platforms and separate booking offices for each of the two companies using it. A fire damaged the main booking hall in 1916, but it wasn't until after the World War I had ended in 1918 that a full rebuild of the concourse could be effected. The new booking hall was completed & opened in 1923.
Under LMS auspices, the Midland line to Wolverhampton via Wednesfield and Willenhall Stafford Street closed to passengers in 1931 (it being less direct than the older Grand Junction line via Darlaston). As part of the Beeching axe, the South Staffordshire Line to Dudley lost its passenger services in June 1964. The lines to Wolverhampton via Willenhall Bilston Street, Rugeley via Cannock, Lichfield City and to Sutton Park & Castle Bromwich all closed early the following year (on 18 January 1965). This left only one passenger line running to the station from Birmingham New Street and the station's importance to the town was reduced even further when this service was reduced to just one train per hour in 1977. A year later, the old station building was demolished as part of a new retail development - a much smaller replacement ticket office & concourse being provided within the new Saddlers Centre shopping mall when it opened in 1980.
In the late 1980s and into the 1990s, vast improvements were made to the quality of services from Walsall. In April 1989 passenger services were reintroduced by British Rail on the previously freight only line to Hednesford 24 years after they were withdrawn. The number of trains to Birmingham was gradually increased from one to four trains per hour and the Hednesford service was extended to Rugeley in 1997 (and subsequently through to Stafford). Passenger services to Wolverhampton were reintroduced in 1998, but this service was short lived and the regular hourly service was withdrawn again in 2008 due to low passenger numbers. However, one train per day ran straight to Wolverhampton from Walsall, in the evening (leaving Walsall at 19.36) until the May 2013 timetable change as a parliamentary train to avoid the need for formal closure proceedings. This now runs in the opposite direction on Saturdays only (06.38 ex-Wolverhampton). Centro still has ambitions to reinstate a regular (half-hourly) weekday service on the route and reopen the station at Willenhall, but funding problems have precluded any action being taken on the proposals until the West Midlands area rail franchise comes up for renewal in 2015 (now pushed back to 2017). Electrification plans are also in place for the Chase Line in the next Network Rail control period (between 2014 and 2019), which could result in through services from Rugeley to more destinations in the West Midlands including Liverpool Lime Street, Coventry and Birmingham International (potential through trains to London Euston have also been mooted). The scheme is due to be completed in time for the December 2017 timetable change.
The line via Sutton Park meanwhile remains open for freight (as a bypass for the busy area around New Street station) & periodic passenger diversions, but the old Walsall & Wolverhampton line (1964) and both sections of the original South Staffordshire route to Lichfield (1984) and to Dudley & Stourbridge Junction (1993) have all been abandoned.
A view from platform 1 looking north towards the tunnel under the Saddlers Centre
- GB National Rail Timetable 2015-16 Edition, Table 70R (Network Rail)
- "History of Walsall's train station"Walsall Council; Retrieved 6 April 2016
- "Disused Stations - Sutton Park"Disused Stations; Retrieved 6 April 2016
- "Disused Stations - North Walsall Retrieved 6 April 2016
- GB eNRT December 2015 Edition, Table 70 (Network Rail)
- Plans to Reopen Rail Line Are Put On Hold www.express&star.com news article; Retrieved 30 August 2013
- "Walsall to Rugeley electrification – The Chase Line" Stanton, Peter; The Rail Engineer article; Retrieved 6 April 2016
- "Chase Line Electrification on target for completion"Cannock District Council press release; Retrieved 6 April 2016
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Walsall railway station.|
- Train times and station information for Walsall railway station from National Rail
- History of Walsall's train station
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
Wolverhampton to Walsall
Line and station closed
|London and North Western Railway||
Line and station closed
Line and station closed
Line and station closed