Harborne branch

Status
Not open for further replies.

Harbornite

Established Member
Joined
7 May 2016
Messages
3,634
Is anyone here familiar with this railway, and does anyone remember seeing it while it was operational? I've been researching it for a good few years and every so often, I find some new pictures or footage of it.

The sites I had used quite a lot were these:

www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/bhamnsharborne.htm

www.keithhoban.com/harbranch.htm

www.disused-stations.org.uk/h/harborne/

Some great pictures there.

Lately, more pictures of the branch have appeared on flickr and new footage on youtube.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zJF2eqt0n3g

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mVem7_Er9NU

The latest info I have found on the branch was this picture and caption from the july 1952 issue of the railway magazine. I had seen this image in the book about the railway but it's good to see it again.


I've walked along the line quite a few times, my favourite structure is this bridge.

 

Attachments

  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    128.6 KB · Views: 20
Last edited:
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Harbornite

Established Member
Joined
7 May 2016
Messages
3,634
For some reason, I can't add two attachments.
 

Attachments

  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    142.7 KB · Views: 14

Xenophon PCDGS

Veteran Member
Joined
17 Apr 2011
Messages
28,337
Location
A semi-rural part of north-west England
Can I recommend the website that I frequently make reference to when researching journeys on the Closed Stations Journey Quiz on the Quizzes and Games forum.....
Disused Stations...Closed Railway Stations in the UK

There are well written articles with photographic images, map information and images of tickets on the following...
Monument Lane (1st station)
Monument Lane (2nd station)
Icknield Port Road (1st station)
Icknield Port Road (2nd station)
Rotton Park Road
Hagley Road
Harborne.
 

Harbornite

Established Member
Joined
7 May 2016
Messages
3,634
I've mentioned disused railways in my post, it's a great site and I remember when the articles on the branch were uploaded last year.
 

Mr Fizz

Member
Joined
27 May 2016
Messages
64
When going out of New St towards Wolverhampton i often glance at the bricked up tunnel entrance for the Harborne branch and wonder how on earth trains managed the incline and the curve to get up there. Must have been some difficult moments surely?
 

Spartacus

Established Member
Joined
25 Aug 2009
Messages
2,110
Walked it a few times myself when I lived in Harborne. I guess the trains were typically short enough for the climb off the main line not to matter.
 

Cowley

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Global Moderator
Joined
15 Apr 2016
Messages
11,402
Location
Devon
Well I didn't know anything about this line but I've enjoyed reading about it, I liked the turntable arrangement at the end of the platform and excuse my ignorance but I assumed Chad Valley was just a toy company's made up name but obviously not.
 

ChiefPlanner

Established Member
Joined
6 Sep 2011
Messages
6,885
Location
Herts
Someone said there were conveniently timed lunchtime trains in the 1920 / 1930's to allow the (presumably) well heeled pax to go home for lunch from Brum City centre.


If so "quality" ....
 

Harbornite

Established Member
Joined
7 May 2016
Messages
3,634
When going out of New St towards Wolverhampton i often glance at the bricked up tunnel entrance for the Harborne branch and wonder how on earth trains managed the incline and the curve to get up there. Must have been some difficult moments surely?


The opposite problem was actually encountered on two occasions (1906 and 1953) when wagons rolled down the branch and ended up derailing and falling into the canal!
 

randyrippley

Established Member
Joined
21 Feb 2016
Messages
3,785
I've walked along the line quite a few times, my favourite structure is this bridge.


to an amateur eye that bridge looks unstable. Whats the missing keystone in the bottom layer of bricks on both side? Could be a trick of the lens but the bridge appears to be sagging in the middle. I wouldn't be keen on parking under it!
 

Harbornite

Established Member
Joined
7 May 2016
Messages
3,634
to an amateur eye that bridge looks unstable. Whats the missing keystone in the bottom layer of bricks on both side? Could be a trick of the lens but the bridge appears to be sagging in the middle. I wouldn't be keen on parking under it!

I thought I had explained the issues with the bridge in my post on this thread, but it appears that I didn't!

Basically you're right, the bridge is sagging and the road was closed recently as some bricks fell out of the structure. Since I took this pic, a green net has been installed on the underside of the bridge, presumably to stop more bricks from falling. I do hope that the bridge isn't knocked down, although this hasn't been suggested by anyone yet.

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

Well I didn't know anything about this line but I've enjoyed reading about it, I liked the turntable arrangement at the end of the platform and excuse my ignorance but I assumed Chad Valley was just a toy company's made up name but obviously not.

That's right, Chad Valley vacated their factory in Harborne in 1972, rail traffic having ceased over 9 years before.

This pic shows the site of the turntable, it was located to the far right of this scene, the site is now occupied by a housing development called Baker mews. The flats you can see in the picture are a more recent development, appropriately called the sidings.



The brick shed is not a railway structure but it has appeared in period photos. The wall buttresses butted out onto the single platform. The following image shows this part of the station during the 1950s in "happier" times, altough the turntable had gone by then.



https://www.flickr.com/photos/blue-diesels/23049868379/in/photolist-By4qK4-B7QAPM-CeaTnk-BgEo6G


This image (one of my favourites of the line, taken by Peter Shoesmith and uploaded to flickr by Geoff Dowling) shows the view towards Birmingham.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/geoff...pas-DQP4aQ-Gkfwyo-Cj5wtq-wGVnLa-zuRvX9-yuS4oN

This cannot be replicated because the footbridge is gone, but here's a roughly similar view.




--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Speaking of before and after views, here's one of an SLS railtour that traversed the line in June 1950. The location is the overbridge at Woodbourne Road.



Here's the view today, it goes without saying that I prefer the older view. One of the of the links to the past is a row of railway sleepers that have been installed round the corner from here.

 
Last edited:

Cowley

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Global Moderator
Joined
15 Apr 2016
Messages
11,402
Location
Devon
It's good to see other people showing an interesting in this line, which as you can guess is quite local. If only it was still open!

I'm a bit partial to disused railways and old maps so I dug out an OS map of Birmingham and had a look at where the railway fitted into the area, the map's probably twenty years old now and you can see the route of the line nicely.
I could also see Chad Valley, land of mythical toy makers.
 

Harbornite

Established Member
Joined
7 May 2016
Messages
3,634
I'm a bit partial to disused railways and old maps so I dug out an OS map of Birmingham and had a look at where the railway fitted into the area, the map's probably twenty years old now and you can see the route of the line nicely.
I could also see Chad Valley, land of mythical toy makers.

Aye, the trackbed is almost entirely clear as it has been kept as a footpath, although some cuttings have been filled and some bridges have been removed. I also quite like old OS maps and I have the 1950 edition for Birmingham and the surrounding area which makes for interesting viewing,

One thing of interest was the Cape Hill brewery of Mitchells and butler which closed in 2005. They had been served by a spur from the Harborne railway (the junction was located near to Rotton park rd station) and the brewery had its own fleet of locomotives. Sadly they decided to switch to road traffic in 1962 and this helped to kill the branch.
 

Harbornite

Established Member
Joined
7 May 2016
Messages
3,634
There were several industrial features like the M& B Brewery and Chad Valley as well.

I mentioned the former in my previous post. They had their own fleet of quirky little shunting locomotives that were named John Barleycorn and Boniface.

There's an interesting story (at least for me) because during the 1940's they hired a pug, number 11221.




That locomotive was scrapped in 1960. However, I came across another pic online of another pug at Rotton Park Road, 51218. That locomotive is now preserved and is the only locomotive I am aware of that that worked the Harborne branch and has survived (46443 is another possibility.)


Anyway, here's the article about the M&B locos that features the picture of 11221.

Vintage shunters at M&B brewery remembered

IN addition to the many miles of mainline railway running through the Black Country there were many more miles of industrial track. Perhaps the most famous in our region was the Earl of Dudley’s mineral railway which linked his many collieries and ironworks in a network that predated the passenger railways.

Most major works in the Black Country had their own railways and sidings, connected to the national network, allowing for the easy transportation of raw materials in and the finished product out. These industrial railways were usually operated by small tank engines and the two pictures here show typical examples of the kind. The photographs come from a copy of the Mitchells and Butlers works newsletter, The Deerstalker, dated February 1949, a copy of which has been kindly loaned to the Bugle by Peter Howen of Halesowen.

That particular edition featured an article “Two Veterans of the Track” by John D. Mills, described as “the seventeen- years-old son of our Deputy Chief Engineer” in which he described a Victorian engine that was just about to stop work at the Cape Hill brewery and another old engine hired as a temporary replacement ...

“For a number of months now the Brewery has become the temporary home of a rather quaint and delightful engine. She is 0-4-0 saddle tank No.11221 hired from the LMS in place of the now aged ‘John Barleycorn.’ “During the week she can be seen busily trundling wagons around the Brewery yards, but on Saturdays she takes a trip to Monument Lane running sheds for a wash and brush-up.

“Curiously enough the appearance of this little engine has caused rather a sensation in railway circles in the Midlands as her ten remaining sisters are still at work in and around Manchester and Liverpool.

“Originally designed by Messrs Aspinall for the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, they were built at Horwick Works in 1891, and officially christened ‘Pugs’ on account of their diminutive size. Their outside cylinders of 13” x 18” are couples to disc driving wheels 3’ 0?” diameter by Stephenson’s Valve Gear, a rather unusual motion for the LYR which preferred Joy’s or Walschaert’s Gear.

“The Pugs develop a maximum tractive effort of 11,335 lbs and are thus classified OF, a very small amount when compared with 45,000 lbs tractive effort of a modern locomotive.

“Unusual features on these engines are the enclosed valve gear casing, the big wooden buffers and the stumpy stove pipe chimney, also those engines at work in the docks at Liverpool have spark arresters and brightly polished warning bells.

“Now that the days of ‘John Barleycorn’ are numbered, a few details of this unconventional and unique locomotive might be interesting.

“For many years now she has been the sole working example of a geared tramway locomotive. Built about the 1870s by the famous traction firm of Aveling Porter of Rochester, she has undergone very many changes, for when first built the flanges were ‘outside’ the wheels, the main frames carried right up to the steam chest and the idea of having a cab quite unthought of. In bygone days her motion gear was exposed to the elements while her funnel was adorned by a huge brass cap.

“I would like to end by pointing out like so many other railway enthusiasts have, that this grand old timer is now unique and strongly recommend the preservation of her so that the public may inspect a locomotive which might have influenced the whole of travel by rail. It would be a pity for it to end up in a scrap dealer’s yard as it is the only one of its type left in this country.”

The M&B railway was built in 1907 and ran from a spur off the LNWR’s Harborne Railway near Rotton Park Road station. The line passed under City Road then split in two, one line entering the brewery near Shenstone Road and the other by Oliver Road. It operated until November 1963 when the Harborne Railway, which linked M&B to the mainline, was closed and the track lifted.

It is unlikely that John Barleycorn was preserved but does anyone know otherwise? It was replaced at the Cape Hill brewery by another locomotive named John Barleycorn II.

LMS 11221 has not survived either. Of the 57 Class 21 Pugs built by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway between 1891 and 1910, only two have been preserved.

LYR 68 (later LMS 11218 and BR 51218) and LYR 19 (LMS 11243) are both owned by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Trust, the first is at Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and last steamed in 2005, while the second is on display at the Ribble Steam Railway.


http://www.blackcountrybugle.co.uk/...y-remembered/story-20147626-detail/story.html
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top