Wombourne branch line

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Wombourne Branch Line
Wolverhampton High Level
Wolverhampton Low Level
Oxford-Worcester-
Wolverhampton Line
to Stafford
to Stafford
Dunstall Park
Wolverhampton-
Shrewsbury Line
to Shrewsbury
Tettenhall
Compton Halt
Penn Halt
Wombourne
1913 proposed line to Bridgnorth
Himley
mineral railway
Baggeridge Colliery
Baggeridge Junction
Gornal Halt
Limit of remaining track
Pensnett Halt
Bromley Halt
Brockmoor Halt
Round Oak Steel Terminal
South Staffordshire line to Walsall
Brettell Lane
to Birmingham Snow Hill
Stourbridge Junction
South Staffordshire line
to Kidderminster
"Meccano Bridge", a steel truss skewed bridge today carrying the South Staffordshire Railway Walk along the route of the former Wombourne branch and over the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal in Smestow Valley Local Nature Reserve, Wolverhampton

The Wombourne branch (also known as the Wolverhampton and Kingswinford Railway) [1][2] was a railway situated in the English West Midlands. It branched from the Great Western Railway's Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton line at Kingswinford Junction to the north of Brettell Lane railway station and joined the same company's Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton line at the triangular Oxley Junction on the north-western approach to Wolverhampton Low Level.

Traffic[edit]

Construction of the line began in 1912 with the intention of operating goods trains. Construction work halted within three years following the outbreak of World War I. After the war ended in 1918, construction resumed and the line was opened in 1925.

A number of halts and stations were built at locations on the line including Wombourne and Tettenhall. Passenger services were short lived and were discontinued in 1932 after just seven years.

Closure[edit]

The line between Kingswinford and Tettenhall remained open to goods trains until 24 June 1965, though the branch which served Baggeridge Colliery survived until the closure of that facility on 2 March 1968. This meant that the line had been open for just over half a century when it closed. Its viability was not helped by the fact that it served a predominantly rural area.[3]

The final remaining section of the line continued to serve the Pensnett Trading Estate, developed since around 1970, until that section of railway closed in 1994. The line is now singled and heavily overgrown with vegetation and even mature trees, but most it is still in place and there have been many recent suggestions that this final stub of the line will re-open to serve the Pensnett Trading Estate once again.

The line today[edit]

The section north of Pensnett closed is now utilised as -

  • The South Staffordshire Railway Walk. The former station buildings at Wombourne station are still in use as a tea-room. Other various relics of this line still exist. The railway walk was opened in 1974, just six years after the last trains used the line.[4]
  • The Wolverhampton Railway Walk, which continues the walk northwards and through the Smestow Valley Local Nature Reserve.

References[edit]

  1. ^ By rail to Wombourn, J. Ned Williams and students of Wulfrun College, Uralia Press, 1969.
  2. ^ John Speller's Web Pages: Wolverhampton & Kingswinford Railway
  3. ^ "Closing of Baggeridge". The Black Country Society. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  4. ^ http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-60316741.html