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  • Writer's picturePatrick Hearn

'Wolverhampton Railways Revisited' - now available

In 2010 the Wolverhampton Branch of the Severn Valley Railway published “Wolverhampton’s Railways in Colour” written by Simon Dewey, a full colour album of photographs of Wolverhampton railway scenes, locations and locomotives.

The Branch have now published a companion volume, titled “Wolverhampton’s Railways Revisited”. The book, again in hardback, follows a similar format to the earlier book but has been increased to 88 pages with over 100 photographs, again in full colour and each accompanied by an informative caption.

Locations featured include the Low Level and High Level stations, the engine sheds at Stafford Road, Oxley and Bushbury, Stafford Road locomotive works and Wednesfield Road Goods Depot amongst others.

Locomotives both steam and modern traction are well covered, with such famous types as “Kings”, “Castles”, “Halls”, “Royal Scots”, “Jubilees”, Black 5’s, 8F’s and 9F’s, together with Diesel and electric types , many themselves over half a century old, including Classes 25, 33, 40, 47, 50, 52, 60, 81, 86 and 87.

Wolverhampton as an important railway centre declined with the rundown of steam operations during the 1960’s and the progressive closure of the engine sheds between 1963 and 1967 and Stafford Road Works in 1964. Through services from Paddington to Wolverhampton Low Level and northwards to Shrewsbury, Chester and Birkenhead via the old Great Western Railway route ceased in 1967 when the then newly electrified service from High Level to Euston replaced the London-bound trains. The Low Level itself closed to passenger traffic (by that time an infrequent shuttle service to and from Birmingham Snow Hill) in 1972 but lasted in use as a parcels depot until 1981.

The book covers the latter days of steam in Wolverhampton and the electrified railway through the city in more recent times, including “The Old Line”, the original railway through what was then the town, opened in 1837. This skirted the town on its way from Stafford to Birmingham, passing between Bushbury to the North and Portobello to the South. Wolverhampton’s first railway station, at Wednesfield Heath, lay on this line and existed until the late 1960’s.

Much of Wolverhampton’s railway landscape has changed during the last 50 or so years but the new book and its photographs will rekindle memories of both long-lost and more recent scenes.

The book is available from the SVR shops, Ian Allan Bookshops, Waterstones, other good bookshops, Tettenhall Post Office, and Ashwood Nurseries at  £17.99. Alternatively it can be ordered by post from Severn Valley Railway Wolverhampton Branch, 49 Tyninghame Avenue, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton WV6 9PP for £21.00 including postage & packing.

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