Snow Hill Walk - Stourbridge Line User Group

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Snow Hill to Handsworth Walk
On 5 October 1987, a much smaller Birmingham Snow Hill station (originally closed on 6 March 1972) was opened for services to Leamington Spa and Stratford-upon-Avon.  The aspiration at that time was to reopen the line between Snow Hill and Smethwick Junction to create a cross-city line.

On 21 October 1990, a charity walk was organised to enable people to walk the proposed new line as far as Handsworth and Smethwick railway station.  The fee for each walker was £1, with The Sunday Mercury Give a Child Health Fund, The Birmingham Mail Christmas Tree Fund and the BBC Children In Need Appeal benefitting from the proceeds.

A shuttle train service ferried walkers from Handsworth and Smethwick station along the remaining single track stub of the line to Smethwick West station, where it reversed to drop walkers off at New Street station.

The following photographs were taken that day.
Looking back towards Snow Hill station.  Within 5 years, trains would be passing over the spot from where the photograph was taken.
Approaching Livery Street bridge with the site of St Paul’s tram stop to the right of the photographer.  This is one of the bridges that had to be rebuilt before the line could reopen.
After passing under Livery Street and Kenyon Street, a short brick-lined cutting takes us towards Hockley No 1 tunnel.
Inside Hockley No 1 tunnel.
Standing between the two tunnels and looking back towards Hockley No 1 tunnel.
Emerging from the darkness of Hockley No 1 tunnel with a short cutting before entering Hockley No 2 tunnel.
It’s hard to believe that this is now the site of Jewellery Quarter station and tram stop.
The remains of Hockley station.  The platform edge was demolished before the Jewellery Line opened.
Looking back towards Snow Hill having passed under the bridge at Lodge Road between Jewellery Quarter and the Metro stop at Soho (Benson Road).
The point where the electrified line from Soho Junction to Perry Barr Junction crosses the line. The Metro stop at Winson Green, Outer Circle was built just behind the camera.
The end of the walk at Handsworth and Smethwick station.  The line in the foreground is still in use as a goods line to Cooper’s Metals sidings.
The platform faces at Handsworth and Smethwick station were still in good order but it would be completely demolished before the line reopened, with the Handsworth Booth Street tram stop built in its place.
Looking from the platform at Handsworth and Smethwick station.  The station at The Hawthorns is now in the far distance after the second bridge.
The train back to New Street very slowly traverses the line close to The Hawthorns station. There was a speed limit of 15 mph all the way to Smethwick West station.
The ticket that allowed participants to walk from Snow Hill to Handsworth and return by shuttle train to New Street.
Latest News

28 July 2021

West Midlands Railway is introducing a reduced timetable on Snow Hill line services from 2 August.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

23 May 2021

The Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail has been published by the Government.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

15 May 2021

Timetable changes take effect on Sunday 16 May 2021.  Full timetable details can be found on the Timetables page, with updated departure boards posted on each individual station's page.

26 April 2021

West Midlands Railway has announced an improved timetable for the Stourbridge line from 16 May.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

6 December 2020

The Office of Road and Rail has published the annual station usage estimates for the year ending March 2020.  Figures for each Stourbridge line station have been published under "Station Information" on the appropriate station page.

16 October 2020

Stourbridge Junction has narrowly missed out on being named the station of the year in a poll organised by the Rail Delivery Group.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

7 August 2020

Improvement works will shortly take place at Hartlebury.  The programme of works will include the extension of both platforms to accommodate the new four-car Class 196 trains, as well as the refurbishment of existing platforms.  The work is scheduled for completion in February 2021.

23 July 2020

The first of the new Class 196 units was out on the Stourbridge line today when it made its first ever test run from Tyseley to Hereford and back.

7 June 2020

The new station building at Kidderminster has been opened.
Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

23 May 2020

The 10 successful projects from the bids submitted in the first round under the Restore Your railways scheme have been announced by the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps.  A scheme submitted by PMOL for a light rail link between Stourbridge Junction and Brierley Hill was not among the 10 successful bids but PMOL has been asked to provide further details to a subsequent round.
The Membership Secretary
Stourbridge Line User Group
46 Sandringham Road
West Midlands

Site Last Updated on 28 July 2021
(News and Comment)
The Membership Secretary
Stourbridge Line User Group
46 Sandringham Road
West Midlands

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