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Just thought I'd kick off a discussion about this little survivor. The UK's shortest branch line at less than a mile long. (It has been shortened a couple of times..)  Heaven knows how it survived the wholescale closures in the 60's, especially of the ex WR routes in the West Midlands.

 

For the past decade or so the branch has been worked by the little Parry People Mover units, prior to that it was Class 153s on the services and 121/122 cars before that.

 

The branch is being relaid at the moment, the first time since god only knows when....   This is going to mean a couple of ballast trains working down the branch. I've no idea when a main line loco last went down there, it will certainly be an unusual sight!

Edited by LeeWL
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Of course it wasn't always so short and nor was it a single line.

 

It started out as double track and then was converted to two single lines running in parallel with the second continuing on to the goods depot which I think was somewhere across the road from the Bonded Warehouse and I believe continued across the road to serve the works beyond the warehouse..

 

The line was quite steeply graded and IIRC there was a restriction on the number of goods wagons allowed to be worked over the branch in a single train

 

Andy

 

 

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1 hour ago, SM42 said:

The line was quite steeply graded and IIRC there was a restriction on the number of goods wagons allowed to be worked over the branch in a single train

Not only steeply graded but it suffered a few runaways in its time.  Goods wagons which careered down to the wharf with catastrophic results and passenger trains which overshot the mark at Town station and ended up through the buffers and hung in mid-air over the road.  

 

Of note the buffers now used for the class 139 Parry units are of a non-standard design to account for the very different front-end shape because if the Parry were to strike a normal buffer it could cause severe damage including to the interior of the saloon.  

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Have a bubble car!

 

Stourbridge Junction, 28th Aug 1987.

 

I grew up halfway between Wolverhampton and Stourbridge, and used to catch a bus (256 became 556, or 257) to either place to start my rail travels when I visited my parents after I'd left home, and had days out from there.

Aug 87 11.JPG

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A little detail about the line beyond the goods depot,  which I believe had a canal interchange, is that engines  were  not  allowed  to cross  the road and sufficient reach wagons were needed to deliver the required wagons across the road, where the private locos would take over.

 

A fascinating little railway backwater. The whole branch is  real inspiration for an interesting model.

 

Andy

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This is the photo I always remember, although for about 20 yrs I never knew where it was.

The reason I knew it? Used in a spoof advert for Traveller's Fare in the 'Not The Nine O'clock News' book (about 1980?) The tag line being "Where else can you get a hamburger half way up the A37?" (Don't remember the actual road number used)

 

M55012 at Stourbridge Town, 2nd. April 1977

55012stourbridge1977.jpg.0a352c21ade8da4924579c2762b3063c.jpg

 

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I can't remember traveling over the branch, but have visited Stourbridge Junction once.

 

425108671_StourbridgeJunctionDMU.jpg.d11ead6cd866590e0d2318daf90e3b39.jpg

At Stourbridge Junction class 122 single power car M55004 approaches from Stourbridge Town as class 116 set 50880, 59361, 50827 departs for Birmingham New Street, 18/11/82.

 

cheers

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30 minutes ago, Rivercider said:

class 116 set 50880, 59361, 50827 departs for Birmingham New Street, 18/11/82.

 

The '116 is heading towards you* (the driver** is in the nearest cab & note the angle of the rear car leaving the siding).

 

* Having terminated from B'ham on the platform you're standing on, it's then crossed over via the siding behind the 'box

 

** Or more likely (allegedly) the guard, the driver staying in the rear cab to avoid changing ends three times! ;)

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39 minutes ago, Dave47549 said:

 

The '116 is heading towards you* (the driver** is in the nearest cab & note the angle of the rear car leaving the siding).

 

* Having terminated from B'ham on the platform you're standing on, it's then crossed over via the siding behind the 'box

 

** Or more likely (allegedly) the guard, the driver staying in the rear cab to avoid changing ends three times! ;)

Ah yes, I see it now. In my defence it was a long time ago!

 

cheers 

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16 minutes ago, Rivercider said:

Ah yes, I see it now. In my defence it was a long time ago!

 

cheers 

No problem, just glad you put the pic up as a reminder of how things were. Cheers!

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2 hours ago, Rivercider said:

I can't remember traveling over the branch, but have visited Stourbridge Junction once.

 

425108671_StourbridgeJunctionDMU.jpg.d11ead6cd866590e0d2318daf90e3b39.jpg

At Stourbridge Junction class 122 single power car M55004 approaches from Stourbridge Town as class 116 set 50880, 59361, 50827 departs for Birmingham New Street, 18/11/82.

 

cheers

 

Hasn't changed much since. 

The trains have gone

The up loop  (on the right) has gone

The ground signals have been replaced. 

Add a facing crossover

Otherwise it looks very much the same

 

Andy

Edited by SM42
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2 hours ago, Rivercider said:

class 116 set 50880, 59361, 50827 

That would be TS520.  The norm in the 1980s IIRC was TS5xx for non-gangwayed, TS6xx for gangwayed.

 

1 hour ago, Dave47549 said:

the driver** is in the nearest cab 

 

** Or more likely (allegedly) the guard, the driver staying in the rear cab to avoid changing ends three times! 

Driving from the back cab was normal in those days when crossing over provided there was a competent person in the leading cab to work the horn and give buzzer signals to the driver. 

At Stourbridge Junction it was common to back out and if just a quick crossover to return and change ends in the platform rather than in the sidings especially with non=gangwayed stock.

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A couple of photos that might be of interest.

 

394105111_1982_08.14204RPUBStourbridgeTown-M55006onshuttletoStourbridgeJn.jpg.b4cb5983532048908d592c306a7f44b4.jpg

14/08/1982 - M55006 waits to return to Stourbridge Junction at the platform constructed after the Branch was shortened to allow construction of a bus station.

 

1979542518_2016_02.04002RPUBStourbridgeTown-139002ParryPeopleMoverwaitstoform1250toStourbridgeJncopy.jpg.fff4f0b6a1b330fb3498b2e01be6a602.jpg

04/02/2016 - Parry People Mover 139002 forming the 1250 to Stourbridge Junction waits to depart from the new station on the further shortened Branch

 

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