Wolverhampton railway station

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Wolverhampton National Rail
Wolverhampton station entrance.jpg
The station building of 1964-67 by Ray Moorcroft
Place Wolverhampton
Local authority City of Wolverhampton
Coordinates 52°35′15″N 2°07′12″W / 52.5875°N 2.1200°W / 52.5875; -2.1200Coordinates: 52°35′15″N 2°07′12″W / 52.5875°N 2.1200°W / 52.5875; -2.1200
Grid reference SO919988
Station code WVH
Managed by Virgin Trains
Number of platforms 6
DfT category B
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2011/12 Decrease 4.189 million
2012/13 Increase 4.207 million
2013/14 Increase 4.406 million
2014/15 Increase 4.496 million
– Interchange   0.318 million
2015/16 Increase 4.746 million
– Interchange  Increase 0.332 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE Transport for West Midlands
Zone 5
Original company Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Stour Valley Railway
Pre-grouping London and North Western Railway
Post-grouping London, Midland and Scottish Railway
1 July 1852 Opened as Wolverhampton (Queen Street)
1 June 1885 Renamed Wolverhampton (High Level)
7 May 1973 Renamed Wolverhampton
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Wolverhampton from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Wolverhampton railway station in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England is on the Birmingham Loop of the West Coast Main Line. It is served by London Midland, CrossCountry, Virgin Trains and Arriva Trains Wales, and was historically known as Wolverhampton High Level.


The first station on this site was opened on 1 July 1852 by the Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Stour Valley Railway, a subsidiary of the London and North Western Railway (LNWR); it was named Wolverhampton Queen Street.[1] The only visible remnant of the original station is the Queen's Building, the gateway to Railway Drive which was the approach road to the station. The building was originally the carriage entrance to the station and was completed three years before the main station building. Today, it forms part of Wolverhampton bus station.[2]

Diagram of railways around central Wolverhampton from 1914.

Two years later, on 1 July 1854, the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway (OWWR) opened a second station, located behind the older station on lower ground, which became known as the Wolverhampton Low Level station from April 1856, the other becoming known as Wolverhampton High Level from 1 June 1885.[1]

From 1923, the LNWR was amalgamated into the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS), and in 1948 it became part of the London Midland Region of British Railways.[3]

Services over the former Grand Junction Railway line to Walsall (and thence to Lichfield City and Burton-on-Trent) ended in January 1965, this route being the only one from here to fall victim to the Beeching Axe.

The present Wolverhampton station dates from 1964-67[4] when the High Level station was completely rebuilt by the architect Ray Moorcroft as part of the modernisation programme which saw the West Coast Main Line electrified.[2] It consisted of three through platforms (the present platforms 1, 2 and 3). As part of this scheme, most services on the OW&WR route from Shrewsbury were diverted here from Low Level (though a few peak-hour trains continued to serve the latter until March 1968); these then continued to Birmingham New Street via the Stour Valley line rather than via the ex-GWR line to Birmingham Snow Hill as before. In the 1980s, a parcels siding was converted into a south-facing bay platform (the present platform 5), and a new north-facing bay was constructed (the present platform 6).

One of Kevin Atherton's Iron Horse sculptures, at Wolverhampton station.

In 1987 twelve different horse sculptures by Kevin Atherton, titled Iron Horse, were erected between New Street station and Wolverhampton, including one at the southern end of platforms 2 and 3.[5]

More recently (in 2004), a new through platform (platform 4) was constructed on the site of infrequently-used sidings. This has greatly enhanced the capacity of the station. A new footbridge was also constructed, to allow access to the new platform but also to improve access to the existing ones. A proposal for a more comprehensive redevelopment of the station and surrounding area was announced on 18 October 2006.[6]

The management of the station will be transferred from Virgin Trains - the current franchise holder of InterCity West Coast to West Midlands Trains - the successful bidder of the new West Midlands Rail Franchise on December 10th 2017.[7]


Typical weekday operations are as follows:

Virgin Trains:

London Midland:


Arriva Trains Wales:

London Midland also run a single Saturdays-only parliamentary train on the line to Walsall via Pleck (the former Grand Junction Railway route that continues to New Street via Aston). This replaced the regular direct service that ran between 1998 and 2008 (when it was withdrawn due to low usage). Centro hope to reintroduce a regular service over the line in the future (ideally when the West Midlands area franchise comes up for renewal in 2016/7)[13] and reopen the old station at Willenhall, though it would require some infrastructure improvements here to accommodate it (i.e. a new bay platform & associated signalling).

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Galton Bridge
  Arriva Trains Wales
North Wales Coast Line
  Telford Central
Galton Bridge
  Arriva Trains Wales
Cambrian Line
  Telford Central
Galton Bridge
  London Midland
Coseley   London Midland
Sandwell and
Birmingham New Street or
  London Midland
Mondays-Saturdays only
Coseley   London Midland
Walsall - Birmingham/Wolverhampton via Tipton
Terminus   London Midland
Wolverhampton to Walsall
Terminus   London Midland
Bescot Stadium-Wolverhampton
  Bescot Stadium
Sandwell and
  Virgin Trains
Sandwell and Dudley   Virgin Trains
London Euston-Shrewsbury
  Telford Central
New Street
Sandwell and Dudley
  Virgin Trains
West Coast Main Line
New Street
Cross Country Network
  From 10 December 2017  
National Rail National Rail
Sandwell and Dudley
Birmingham New Street
  West Midlands Railway
Birmingham New Street - Shrewsbury
Disused railways
Terminus   Wolverhampton and
Walsall Railway

Later Midland Railway
  Heath Town


The new (dating from 2004) Platform 4 (left) at Wolverhampton.

Wolverhampton station has six platforms: platforms 1 to 4 are through platforms, while platforms 5 and 6 are bay platforms at the south and north ends respectively. Although all four platforms are reversible, in practice platform 1 is used for northbound services, platform 2 is used for northbound and southbound services, platforms 3 and 4 are used for southbound services. Platform 3 is also used for northbound services at busy times. Platform 5 is used by local services to Walsall via Birmingham New Street. Platform 6 was designed for local services on the Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury Line (and was formerly numbered Platform 1c) but is now rarely used, as the majority of services on that route travel through to Birmingham (or occasionally to Walsall). It is generally used for the first service of the day to Shrewsbury and for holding trains when they are not in use.

Platform 4 is now used for all Virgin Trains services from Edinburgh/Glasgow to London Euston. The timetable change on 8 December 2013 saw Virgin Trains running an hourly timetable from Scotland to Euston via the West Midlands and vice versa, replacing the Wolverhampton - Euston service.

All platforms at the station are electrified to 25 kV AC overhead power.[14]

The Interchange Project[edit]

The railway station is earmarked for redevelopment as part of the Wolverhampton Interchange Project. Neptune Developments were selected for the project and plan to create a major mixed used area that includes both bus and railway stations, a hotel, retail outlets, bars, cafes and offices.

The plan is to completely rebuild the railway station and improve pedestrian access over the ring road, with a new footbridge link direct to the bus station. After a shortfall in funding for the project, it was decided that the development would take place in phases. Phase One began in April 2010 with the construction of the new bus station which was completed in 2011. A date for Phase Two, which includes the railway station, canalside development, and a hotel, has yet to be decided.[15]

On 31 December 2014 the first phase of the redevelopment of the Railway Station was announced, with the redevelopment of the station's car park, it will see the car park refurbished and extended to take the existing capacity from 520 to just over 900, it will also see a new entrance to the car park created from Mill Street, and will also include parking for Bikes and Motorbikes. It is also expected that a hotel will eventually be developed to change the facade of the Car Park.[16]

From Sunday 8 January 2017, vehicular access to the railway station changed, with access now via Corn Hill. This change coincided with the opening of the extended car park. This has also created a new short stay and drop off area including a new taxi rank. The change will see Railway Drive completely close to enable they laying of tracks for the new Metro extension to commence and the rebuilding of the Railway Station. [17]

Midland Metro stop[edit]

Wolverhampton Station
Midland Metro
Midland Metro tram stop
Location Railway Drive
Line(s) Line 1 (Birmingham – Wolverhampton)
Platforms 2
Opening By 2019
Passengers N/A

As part of the Interchange project, Midland Metro Line One will be extended to the railway station with the addition of a new Metro stop. It is expected to be operational by 2019.

Preceding station   MidlandMetroGenericSymbol.svg Midland Metro   Following station
  By 2019  
Terminus   Line 1   Piper's Row


  1. ^ a b Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 253. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508. 
  2. ^ a b Biddle, Gordon. Britain's Historic Railway Buildings: A Gazetteer of Structures (Second ed.). Hersham, Surrey: Ian Allan Publishing. pp. 379–380. ISBN 9780711034914. 
  3. ^ Whitehouse, Patrick; Thomas, David St John (1987). LMS 150: The London Midland and Scottish Railway - A Century and a Half of Progress. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. pp. 30–31, 188. ISBN 0-7153-8740-5. 01LO49. 
  4. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). The Buildings of England. Staffordshire. Penguin Books. p. 317. ISBN 0140710469. 
  5. ^ Public Sculpture of Birmingham including Sutton Coldfield, George T. Noszlopy, edited Jeremy Beach, 1998, ISBN 0-85323-692-5
  6. ^ "All change at station". Express & Star. 2006-10-18. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  7. ^ "Supporting the Cities–Connecting Communities-West Midlands Rail Franchise: Stakeholder Briefing Document and Consultation Response" (PDF). Department for Transport. 2016-08-30. Retrieved 2016-08-30. 
  8. ^ GB eNRT December 2015 Edition, Table 65
  9. ^ GB eNRT December 2015 Edition, Tables 68 & 70
  10. ^ GB eNRT December 2015 Edition, Table 74
  11. ^ GB eNRT December 2015 Edition, Table 51
  12. ^ GB eNRT December 2015 Edition, Table 75
  13. ^ Plans to Reopen Rail Line are Put On Hold www.expressandstar.com, Retrieved 2013-09-02
  14. ^ Bridge, Mike (2013). Railway Track Diagrams book 4: Mdlands & North West (3 ed.). Bradford-on-Avon: Trackmaps. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-9549866-7-4. 
  15. ^ http://www.wolverhamptoninterchange.co.uk/index.php
  16. ^ http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2014/12/31/500-extra-car-parking-spaces-to-be-created-at-wolverhampton-railway-station/
  17. ^ http://www.expressandstar.com/news/transport-news/2017/01/07/all-change-wolverhampton-railway-station-work-is-revealed-pictures/

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]