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26 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Reopening the Camp Hill Line at Moseley Station, Kings Heath Station and at Hazelwell Station

Today the Camp Hill Line is Freight only and Cross Country through trains only. But hopefully new stations will be built at the sites of the old ones at Moseley, Kings Heath and Hazelwell (in Stirchley). The stations originally opened in 1867 but closed in 1941 during the Second World War and were never reopened. But now it is possible that new stations may open by 2022.

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Reopening the Camp Hill Line at Moseley Station, Kings Heath Station and at Hazelwell Station





Today the Camp Hill Line is Freight only and Cross Country through trains only. But hopefully new stations will be built at the sites of the old ones at Moseley, Kings Heath and Hazelwell (in Stirchley). The stations originally opened in 1867 but closed in 1941 during the Second World War and were never reopened. But now it is possible that new stations may open by 2022.


Moseley Station

Moseley Station was located at a site between Woodbridge Road and St Mary's Row in Moseley from 1867 until it closed in 1941 on the Camp Hill Line. A previous station named Moseley Station was later renamed to Kings Heath Station (it's near Highbury Park). This station is close to St Mary's Church in Moseley Village.

There has been many proposals for a new station here sine 2007, but they were revised in 2016 by the West Midlands Combined Authority. In 2019 plans for the new stations gained Government funding. Construction could start later in 2020, to open in time for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

 

My original photos of the old Moseley Station site were taken from the Woodbridge Road Bridge near the end of April 2009. Remains of the old platforms are visible towards the tunnel.

I only had a compact camera at the time (having started taking photos around Birmingham in April 2009), so this was as far as I was able to zoom in to the tunnel. But you can see the overgrown platforms remains.

The other side of the Woodbridge Road Bridge. This direction towards Birmingham New Street. The Camp Hill Line goes through Balsall Heath, before joining other lines at Proof House Junction. Freight trains and Cross Country Trains operate non stop trains down here.

A new March 2020 photo from the bridge on the Woodbridge Road. A zoom in to the Moseley Tunnel that goes under St Mary's Row. Recently West Midlands Railway had stopping trains at Moseley and at the other sites in Kings Heath and Hazelwell. Stopping for the first time in almost 80 years.

This is the view of the Moseley Station site from St Mary's Row during February 2018 near St Mary's Church. The view was taken from the no 1 bus. This would be an ideal site to build the new station building and car park. Although I've noticed that their's land on Woodbridge Road for a car park as well.

Kings Heath Station

Kings Heath Station on the Camp Hill Line was located near the High Street and Highbury Park. It was open from 1840 until it closed in 1941 during the Second World War. It was originally called Moseley Station, but when a new station opened in Moseley at the site between Woodbridge Road and St Mary's Row, that station was named Moseley Station, and this one renamed Kings Heath Station. The new station could be built later in 2020 to open in time for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

 

These views from December 2009. Now the Findlay Road Retail Park, down the bottom is Homebase. Building at the top used to have MFI and Allied Carpets. By 2009 Topp Tiles occupied some of the units. Easy Gym moved in to the upper units by 2014. That is now The Gym.

Walking towards Highbury Park is this car park, somewhere near the old Kings Heath Station site. Bit hard to see behind the trees.

There is land here to build a new station, but wonder if they will have to knock down any of the retail units to the left?

The bridge on the Kings Heath High Street is too high to look over, so got this view from the top deck of the no 50 bus during April 2015. Here you can clearly see where the old station used to be. They might have to take over some of the land in Highbury Park when they build the new station.

Another view from the no 50 bus on the Kings Heath High Street. Snow on the line. The line heads in this direction towards Moseley and onto Balsall Heath. This was during January 2018.

Hazelwell Station

Hazelwell Station opened in 1903 and closed during 1941 (World War 2). The station was located on a site between Vicarage Road and Cartland Road. Being near Kings Heath and Stirchley. Hopefully the new station will begin construction here later in 2020, to open in time for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

These photos taken from the Vicarage Road Bridge between Kings Heath and Stirchley during December 2009.

There was snow on the line at the time. Remains of the platforms were close to the Cartland Road Bridge.

These views were taken from the Cartland Road Bridge in Stirchley during January 2015. This was the old Hazelwell Station building. It is currently Designer Bathrooms by Michael, but this building could be demolished when the new station is built here.

There are several fenced off areas at the site, that used to lead to the platforms.

One fence next to the Cartland Road Bridge. This could have been an old pedestrian footbridge. Now overgrown and with a large pipe to the right.

Behind this gate was the old ramp down to one of the platforms. Now grassy and had a lot of litter down there at the time.

Zooming further down to a gate. Currently no access to the public, only to Network Rail staff.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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60 passion points
Transport
18 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Class 172/0 from the London Overground to the West Midlands Railway

In 2019, West Midlands Railway inherited 8 trains from the London Overground of the Class 172/0. Initially I saw some of them at Tyseley in the old colours, before they were changed inside and out to the orange and purple of WMR. They are now used on the Leamington Spa to Nuneaton via Coventry branch line (replacing the single car Class 153's). Merging the two branch lines to Coventry.

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The Class 172/0 from the London Overground to the West Midlands Railway





In 2019, West Midlands Railway inherited 8 trains from the London Overground of the Class 172/0. Initially I saw some of them at Tyseley in the old colours, before they were changed inside and out to the orange and purple of WMR. They are now used on the Leamington Spa to Nuneaton via Coventry branch line (replacing the single car Class 153's). Merging the two branch lines to Coventry.


The Class 172 DMU trains were built between 2010 and 2011. London Midland had the Class 172/2 and 172/3 from the autumn of 2011. West Midlands Railway took over the franchise in December 2017. The 172/0 trains were on the London Overground, but only ended up with West Midlands Railway during 2019 (after the LO lines were upgraded and they got new electric trains down there).

West Midlands Railway Birmingham Tyseley

Seen at the Tyseley Diesel Multiple Unit Depot was the former London Overground train now inherited by West Midlands Railway. It was London Overground 172 002. Seen from the Wharfdale Road Bridge in Tyseley during February 2019.

The lines in London that they used to run on have been electrified and new trains have been introduced down there. 8 Class 172/0's were inherited by West Midlands Railway. Before they could go into service in the West Midlands they had to of had their liveries changed on the outside, and the seating covers and signs done on the inside.

I returned to Tyseley early in March 2019 and saw the former London Overground 172 006 train. This view was from the Warwick Road, not far from the entrance to the Tyseley Locomotive Works. Still in the old LO colours at this point.

The first train I saw in the new West Midlands Railway orang and purple livery was 172003, this was during May 2019. The view from the Warwick Road in Tyseley. Probably one of the first 172/0's that got changed inside and out.

But 172 006 was still in the old London Overground colours as of May 2019, as you can see here. The view from the Wharfdale Road Bridge. It wouldn't be long before it was transformed into the new West Midlands Railway colours.

By September 2019, I had another look from the Wharfdale Road Bridge near Tyseley Station. This was now West Midlands Railway 172002, and is used on both the Leamington Spa to Nuneaton line and on the Snow Hill lines.

Birmingham Snow Hill Station

I actually saw West Midlands Railway 172003 at Birmingham Snow Hill Station during August 2019. This was a zoom in from the Livery Street bridge (near St Paul's Tram Stop). At this point I had yet to travel on one.

Leamington Spa Station

On the 29th February 2020, I got a crowded Chiltern Railways train from Solihull down to Leamington Spa, so I could have a ride on a 172/0 for the first time to Coventry. West Midlands Railway 172003 arrives at the platform which would form the next service towards Nuneaton.

West Midlands Railway coming into the platform at Leamington Spa Station.

The weather was actually nice, got a lovely blue sky in Leamington Spa, before I got on the train towards Coventry.

This is what the interior of West Midlands Railway 172003 looks like now. The train would have one stop before Coventry, and that was Kenilworth. When I last had a ride on this line to Kenilworth, they were still using the old Class 153's. This was a much more comfortable ride to Coventry.

Coventry Station

After a journey of about 15 to 20 minutes, I was in Coventry. I got off West Midlands Railway 172003 as more passengers boarded towards Nuneaton. The next stop would have been Coventry Arena.

Here you are also seeing passengers getting off the train and heading to the exit at Coventry Station.

The train heading on it's way towards Nuneaton. From platform 4. I had later hoped to get one back to Leamington Spa, but had to go to platform 2. And the first train to Leamington Spa was a Cross Country Voyager (I stood all the way back to Leamington Spa from Coventry).

Leamington Spa Station

Later back at Leamington Spa Station. Having got off my Cross Country train and went under the subway to the platform back to Solihull, I saw West Midlands Railway 172006 arriving at the station.

Where I was sitting at Coventry, I saw a 172/0 heading towards Nuneaton, and would be a long wait. I had 30 minutes waiting to go back to Leamington Spa, when I got Cross Country. Here we see West Midlands Railway 172006 coming to a stop and the passengers getting off.

Side of the train with a Leamington Spa sign.

Train doors now closed with the next bunch of passengers ready to head towards Coventry and Nuneaton.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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50 passion points
History & heritage
16 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

HS2 unveil a Turntable at Curzon Street dating to 1837

The HS2 preporatory works continue at the Curzon Street Station site in Eastside. They have recently uncovered a turntable dating to 1837, which is thought to have been designed by Robert Stephenson. I got a train on the Cross City line one stop from Birmingham New Street to Aston just to see it. Hopefully they could preserve it in the new station somehow?

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HS2 unveil a Turntable at Curzon Street dating to 1837





The HS2 preporatory works continue at the Curzon Street Station site in Eastside. They have recently uncovered a turntable dating to 1837, which is thought to have been designed by Robert Stephenson. I got a train on the Cross City line one stop from Birmingham New Street to Aston just to see it. Hopefully they could preserve it in the new station somehow?


Information courtesty of BBC Birmingham: Birmingham HS2 work unearths 1837 railway turntable.

Excavation works by HS2 at the Curzon Street Station site have led to the discovery of a Robert Stephenson designed turntable. It is thought to date to about 1837. They were exposing the remains of the former Grand Junction Railway terminus. Robert Stephenson was a civil engineer and the son of "The Father of the Railways" George Stephenson.

The original Curzon Street Station opened in 1838 as part of the London & Birmingham Railway. At the time the journey to London took almost 5 hours.

 

I was on a Class 323 West Midlands Railway train heading just one stop from Birmingham New Street to Aston (the train was going to Lichfield Trent Valley), just to see if I could see the turntable. Initially a Avanti West Coast Pendolino was waiting in the Eastside Tunnels and I thought it would be in the way. But luckily it wasn't.

This was my first view, although the overhead wire support columns were in the way.

Slightly better view here looking to the University Locks student accommodation of Birmingham City University.

For many years this was a car park after the Parcel Force Depot closed down. This view of the turntable towards BCU's Curzon Building and University Locks.

Slightly more head on view of the turntable towards Millennium Point, BCU's Parkside Building and Curzon Building.

 

You can see a working turntable if you go to one of Tyseley Locomotive Works open days. Photos below taken from the September 2016 open day.

The engineer here presses a button to turn the turntable.

You see the turntable spinning around.

The driver of the train No 1 - 43958 slowly moves it onto the turntable, guided by the engineer.

5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe gets it's turn on the turntable.

I later saw 7029 Clun Castle going round on the turntable.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

 

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60 passion points
Squares and public spaces
10 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Customised buses and lorries seen in St Martin's Square over the years

It's not just the Coca Cola Truck that comes to visit St Martin's Square. Other lorries and even buses have come to promote a product or event. Everything from a Cadbury Creme Egg related lorry, to an old double decker bus promoting the movie Minions. And more like that, as you will see in the post below. I've not seen much like this recently though. Usually in Rotunda Sq

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Customised buses and lorries seen in St Martin's Square over the years





It's not just the Coca Cola Truck that comes to visit St Martin's Square. Other lorries and even buses have come to promote a product or event. Everything from a Cadbury Creme Egg related lorry, to an old double decker bus promoting the movie Minions. And more like that, as you will see in the post below. I've not seen much like this recently though. Usually in Rotunda Sq


Previous related posts: Coca Cola Christmas Truck and Festival of Light.

Seen in St Martin's Square during May 2015 was this old London Routemaster bus with a livery for the animated movie Minions. The buses licence plate no was JJD 573D. The film came out on the 26th June 2015. I have never seen it or any of the Despicable Me films either!

View from the side, as a little boy was by chance wearing a Minions backpack and a yellow top. How cute!

They had a screen on the right, probably showing a trailer of the Minions movie.

Minions on Tour was brought to Birmingham with Capital FM. You can still see the little boy in his Minions backpack.

Another former London Routemaster bus, this one seen during March 2016 for Virgin Holidays. Licence plate no VVS 373

They had added thinkings to this bus with the Dream Bigger hashtag. At the time advertising holidays to Mexico and Jamaica.

There is always good views from the balcony above, hence why I always go up there for views like this.

It looks like most people were just ignoring this one, and walking past, not much interest by the looks of it.

It is now July 2016 and during the height of the summer in St Martin's Square was Vita Coco.

Fake palm trees, a sky blue pick up truck and a Coconut Grove bar.

Some sand near the Vita Coco pick up truck.

It was about Coconut Oil mainly. "Eat it, Wear It, Swear By It" what ever that means?

Winter again and it is now during February 2017 in St Martin's Square. The Hunter's Lodge (a wooden looking lorry) was in town with the Cadbury Creme Egg.

It was for the Cadbury Creme Egg Hunting Season. Beware of Poachers.

The best view from one of the balconies from above. A contrast to the Coca Cola Christmas Truck that used to go in the exact same spot.

I try to get as many views as I can from up there.

This view from the balcony on the far side near Selfridges. Hope people liked their Cadbury Creme Egg's! Used to have them, but not for years. Anyway since they introduced the white Creme egg, people keep unwrapping them and re-wrapping them in store, so not worth buying. Although sometimes buy Mini Eggs, but not recently. Not good for your (or my) teeth.

Bud Light was in town during April 2017. They had these 4 Toyota Hilux pick up trucks in blue.

Each one had boxes in the back.

Was also signs saying Dunk Responsibily.

This one was parked close to St Martin's Church.

This one near to where Hand Made Burger Co used to be. The path leading down to Park Street and Digbeth.

One more view of all four trucks. Most people walking past, showing little interest in the drinks on offer.

One year on to April 2018 with BJ's Bingo on this bus. Licence plate no W866 PNL. With a reflection of Selfridges.

The bus had this digital screen on the side and a slogan: Everyones a Winner, and Your 1st Time is Free.

So basically gambling then. Only a few people stopping to talk to the assistants.

Brew Dog during July 2018, was the last major thing like this with a lorry that I've spotted in St Martin's Square.

So another beer truck then. Beer without Borders. Punk State is Here.

Looks like people could try the drinks in the trailer of the lorry. Taste the Revolution.

Standard side view from one of the balconies towards Selfridges. Visitors could sit on those crates and have a drink.

One last view before I left and headed up St Martin's Walk, or into one of the malls.

I could do a similar post to this, but from Rotunda Square, as they have those lorries or buses up there too. Usually Formula 1 simulators. Cars on display etc. 

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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60 passion points
Transport
02 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Trams at the Black Country Living Museum (August 2011)

Some old tram photos of mine taken from a day out at the Black Country Living Museum during August 2011. Tram 34 and tram 49. We actually had a ride at the time on tram 49 on the top deck, which was in the open air. The museum is located in Dudley in the Black Country. The museum opened in 1975. I'm sure it's probably changed since my visit including Peaky Blinders filming.

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Trams at the Black Country Living Museum (August 2011)





Some old tram photos of mine taken from a day out at the Black Country Living Museum during August 2011. Tram 34 and tram 49. We actually had a ride at the time on tram 49 on the top deck, which was in the open air. The museum is located in Dudley in the Black Country. The museum opened in 1975. I'm sure it's probably changed since my visit including Peaky Blinders filming.


From a day out at the Black Country Living Museum, on the 14th August 2011. There was plenty to see on my first (and so far) only visit to this open air museum. So my visit precedes the filming of episodes of Peaky Blinders by a few years.

Tram 49

This is a Wolverhampton Corporation double decker tram, built in 1909. It is a typical Edwardian tramcar with a lower saloon and open upper deck. It was withdrawn in 1921. It was restored by the Black Country Living Museum and put into service in 2004.

 

I first saw tram 49 before we headed to have a look in the museum full of vintage cars and other vehicles. It was passing the war memorial. Which was passing these umbrella looking shields.

In this view the tram is seen heading to "Penn Fields" (well not really) and had an old Express and Star advert on the side.

Seen from the other direction getting close to the end of the journey. There was stairs at both ends, and they have to manually move the overhead pantograph, so that the tram can go in the other direction.

Again seen here, passengers are getting off the tram.

A lady seemed to reverse backwards down the steps.

Adverts also at the front and back. Here you see "Gray's Herbal Tablets".

The tram driver and the ticket inspector have a chat, or hand over the keys?

They only had two volunteers, we had to wait for the tram to get back before we could ride it. By then they had 3 volunteers and we went up to the top deck of the tram.

Seen here, visitors are seeing heading down the steps and getting off the tram. It was the stop close to the village, and wasn't too far from where tram 34 was. This was after my tram ride, so I took this photo after I got off.

A few hours later, saw tram 49 again. This time passing the Underground Mine. This side was an advert for the Co-op.

Tram 34

This tram was built in 1919 for operation on Wolverhampton District Tramways. It was an enclosed single decker tram that could accommodate 32 seated passengers. It was withdrawn in 1928.

 

Saw this model of tram 34 in the exhibitions rooms which were housed in the former Rolfe Street Baths building. It was the second exhibition in this room.

Now onto the real tram 34. We did not ride it, and I'm not sure if it was in use on the day of our visit. It's destination was Dudley.

It was positioned at the time next to the tram depot.

They have other trams in the collection at the Black Country Living Museum, Horse Drawn Tram 23 and Tram 5 although I didn't see them at the time (almost 9 years ago now). More details here: Tram Collection.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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