BIRMINGHAM SNOW HILL
Platforms (current): 3
CRS code: BSW
Nat. Location Code: 1006
Architect: Walter Y. Armstrong
Company on opening: Great Western Railway
Pre grouping company: Great Western Railway
Post grouping company: Great Western Railway
British Railways region: Western
British Rail sector: Regional Railways
Post privatisation operator 1: Central Trains 1997 - 2007
Post privatisation operator 2: London Midland 2007 - present
Also served by: Chiltern Railways, Midland Metro
Birmingham Snow Hill was the Great Western Railway's station in Birmingham. The original 1852 station had become inadequate by the end of the nineteenth century and so was enlarged and rebuilt in 1912. The station declined in importance after the electrification of the West Coast Main Line and in 1967 all main line services were withdrawn, leaving Snow Hill to serve only a local service to Wolverhampton. When this was withdrawn in 1972 the station closed completely and was used as a car park. The former Great Western Hotel on the station frontage and the booking hall were demolished in 1969 and the rest of the station was flattened in 1977. During the 1980s British Rail decided to reopen Snow Hill to replace Moor Street as the terminus for local services on the Leamington and Stratford lines. The new station opened in 1987 and in 1995 the Jewellery Line opened, linking the station with Smethwick and the line to Stourbridge and Worcester. In 1999 the Midland Metro opened and took over the former platform 4. Direct services to London were restored in 1993, initially only two-hourly and using 75 mph class 165 units with many intermediate stops. After privatisation Chiltern railways ordered a fleet of 100mph, air conditioned class 168 units to operate the services which were increased to hourly and speeded up.
Although the rebuilt station is entirely lacking in architectural merit, a little investigation reveals a number of features of the old station that survived the 1977 demolition.
Click on the small images below to open a slide show:
Image courtesy of Google Earth.