Jewellery Line Reopening
Eight years after Snow Hill station reopened for passenger services on the Leamington Spa and Stratford-upon-Avon lines, the line from Snow Hill to Smethwick West Junction was reopened for passenger services. New stations were built at Jewellery Quarter, The Hawthorns and Smethwick Galton Bridge, the last of these being built on two levels to allow connections between services on the Snow Hill to Stourbridge and New Street to Wolverhampton lines (Worcestershire Parkway, take note!). Smethwick Galton Bridge also replaced Smethwick West station which closed a year later.
On Sunday 24 September 1995, the Shadow Minister of Transport, John Prescott, travelled on the first service over the new line which was hauled by the Severn Valley Railway’s BR 2-6-4T No 80079, and officially opened the three new stations. After that initial journey, 80079 hauled a number of public services between Snow Hill and Stourbridge Junction. All of these services were pre-booked, and every one was full.
The following video film was taken that day. In September 2020, the line will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 crisis has scuppered any plans of an anniversary celebration.