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Unused railway "arm" in Digbeth.

guilbert53

master brummie
I was walking down Fazeley St in Digbeth a few weeks ago and you walk under a disused railway "arm" that comes out of the line that goes into Moor St station.

It crosses Allcock St and Liverpool St then goes over the canal, then just ends.

This is it here

https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=digb...h&z=17&vpsrc=6

What was this used for?

When was it discontinued?

Are there plans to do anything with it, or could it be knocked down?

Seems to serve no purpose and just "spoils" the area.
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
The disused arm you describe was never used in its entireity. It was originally designed to connect the GWR line to Snow hiull to the LMS line to new St, but was never connected, though a few maps of the period do anticipate its connection and show it connected. The end nearest Bordesley was used as a cattle station (bovine not human), and so rails did/do run onto that ens of it.
 

berniew

master brummie
Hi guilbert I read that there used to be a cattle station in Lower Trinity Street , the cattle used to be unloaded there and driven to market so it may be something to do with that .
Bernie
 

Ken_R

master brummie
Are there plans to do anything with it, or could it be knocked down?

Seems to serve no purpose and just "spoils" the area.

If it does come down, then I know some who could certainly use the bricks.

HERE

Imperial Blues are as rare as......:encouragement:
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
As an additional comment, the disused viaduct does at least add some character to the area, which is more than can be said of most of the modern metal and palstic boxes that have been erected in recent years
 

Rupert

master brummie
I wonder why it has not been demolished before now but agree about the boxes anywhere for that matter...ah well. You would have thought that it would have been the first thing to go. And yet it outlived Snow Hill Stn., and was completely useless except for storage sheds under it. Brums answer to Romes ruins. Perhaps the foliage growing on it keeps the bird nests off the buildings.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
I have often wondered about former railways which no longer have any track on which to provide a train service, either passenger or freight.

I have noticed that some former closed lines have been returned to farmland, developed for building purposes, made into to cycle routes or walking trails. But others lay unused and their infrastructure remains in situ in many cases sometimes with just a few bridges - probably due to maintenance or safety reasons which have been removed.

In this area there is a former branch line which was closed and had its track lifted back in 1964. However, whilst the station, goods depots and some small areas have had dwellings built upon it the majority of the almost three miles of the line has reverted to nature. All overbridges remain in place and are regularly maintained. It is curious why, after all this period of time, the whole has not been put to another use. This line, it seems, is not unique and presumably is deemed re-instateable. I never knew the 'small print' requirements of railway closures but get the impression that there may well be a distinction between the following descriptions: Closure, disused or abandonment that is if they form part of the official notices.
 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
Guilbert is some info on it here Bill Dargue - Deritend

The Bordesley Viaduct is then joined by the Duddeston Viaduct which was built in 1846 to link the Oxford and London lines with the new station being built at New Street. However, when the Great Western Railway bought the Oxford line in 1848 and Snow Hill Station was opened, access to New Street was no longer needed and work on the almost completed Duddeston Viaduct was abandoned. Only a small part of the line near Bordesley Station was ever used and that as cattle sidings which still remain high above Upper Trinity Street. Some arches over roads have been demolished but most remains. The unfinished end of the viaduct can be seen in Montague Street.
 

m.humphreys

master brummie
In this area there is a former branch line which was closed and had its track lifted back in 1964. However, whilst the station, goods depots and some small areas have had dwellings built upon it the majority of the almost three miles of the line has reverted to nature. All overbridges remain in place and are regularly maintained. It is curious why, after all this period of time, the whole has not been put to another use. This line, it seems, is not unique and presumably is deemed re-instateable.

Can I have a guess that the line you mention is the Churston to Brixham branch Alan?
 
N

Neville Philpott

Guest
I think it's really odd, you do see viaducts where trains did at least once run, but nothing has ever run on this particular stretch.

I seem to remember reading that the cost was to be shared by a number of railway companies and the GWR paid their share but the others didn't,

since by that time they were preparing to build New Street leaving the GWR with no alternative but to build their own station at a later date.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
It is indeed that line Michael. And I am sure Devon is not unique in this respect of lines seemingly 'mothballed'
 

Banjo

master brummie
I've always been intrigued by these structures in Great Barr St/ Liverpool St. Reading the previous comments, I conclude that they are an unfinished project. So, I'm wondering if anyone knows if the bridges were ever built over the roads and dismantled later.
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Banjo

The reason why the arches were never used was because of politics and arguments between the GWR & LNWR and the arches were completed even though it was known they would never be used.

I've always thought that they were completed as far as the point that they finish today that being the Council Depot in Montague Street and at some later date some of the bridges across the roads were demolished.

These two OS maps dated 1890 & 1905 showing the viaduct over Great Barr St & Liverpool St complete in 1890 and missing pieces in 1905 seem to confirm this fact.


LNWR 1 1890.JPG
LNWR 2 1905.JPG
 

Banjo

master brummie
Banjo

The reason why the arches were never used was because of politics and arguments between the GWR & LNWR and the arches were completed even though it was known they would never be used.

I've always thought that they were completed as far as the point that they finish today that being the Council Depot in Montague Street and at some later date some of the bridges across the roads were demolished.

These two OS maps dated 1890 & 1905 showing the viaduct over Great Barr St & Liverpool St complete in 1890 and missing pieces in 1905 seem to confirm this fact.


View attachment 110956
View attachment 110957
Thanks Phil, that clarifies it perfectly for me. Would love to see if there was a photo of them though.
 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
A more recent photo of mine from April 2015. Taken from the train on the Bordlesley Viaduct looking at the Duddeston Viaduct.



Where the cattle station was is now blocked off by fences.



I recently got a book with old maps of Birmingham, and even those maps show the viaduct complete (when it wasn't).
 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
From the book A History of Maps Birmingham by Paul Leslie Line.


One was Plan of Birmingham, 1851, published by John Tallis, drawn and engraved by John Rapkin. In the chapter of the book Clearing the Froggary. This one seems to link Bordesley Station to New Street Station.

In the Open Green Spaces chapter, the next map was Plan of Birmingham, 1866, published by Archibald Fullarton & Co., engraved by J. Bartholomew. On this one heading in the direction of Curzon Street Station.

The next one was in the chapter Visionary Leaders and Sporting Pioners. Street plan of Birmingham 1893, from the Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales. Their map shows the Duddeston Viaduct going towards the Lawley Street Goods Station.
 

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