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Dudley 2 railway station geograph-2206722

An auto-train at the station in 1961.

Dudley Signal-box (4)

The former Dudley signal box's remnants in 2003.

OverviewEdit

Dudley Railway Station was a railway station in Dudley, West Midlands, England, built where the Oxford-Worcester-Wolverhampton Line and the South Staffordshire Line diverged to Wolverhampton and Walsall and Lichfield respectively. 

HistoryEdit

  • Location- Dudley. 
  • Coordinates- 52.5146°N 2.0747°W.
  • Grid reference- SO950907. 
  • Operators- 
    • Original company- Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway.
    • Pre-grouping- Great Western Railway. 
    • Post-grouping- Great Western Railway.
  • Platforms- 5 passenger platforms and 3 nearby freight platforms.
  • Opened- 1 May 1850.
  • Closed- 6 July 1964.

Pre-WW2Edit

The station was built as a collaboration between the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway (which was soon to fall into the hands of the Great Western Railway, and the London and North Western Railway (which had taken control of the South Staffordshire Railway – the company that had constructed the line from Lichfield, via Walsall, to Dudley). The latter eventually became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. The station was completed in 1860.

A racecourse had been situated just north of the station until the mid-1840s when it was closed to make way for the railway, but its name was revived during the 1980s when Racecourse Colliery, a model colliery, was opened on the site as part of the Black Country Living Museum.

The line had reasonable passenger usage until about the early 1880s, when it began to slump at several stations, leading to the line becoming a largely freight only operation in 1887. It would remain open for goods traffic, which was considerable at this time, as the district had become highly industrialised in the then heyday of the Black Country's industrial past.

Post-WW2Edit

As the local industry declined and road transport became more common, the station entered a post-World War 2 decline, although not as heavily as most others on the line.

ClosureEdit

The station was popular with local people who appreciated its convenient location and frequent trains, with high numbers of passengers still using the services as recently as the 1950s. The OW&WR line from Stourbridge Junction to Wolverhampton Low Level closed to passengers in 1962, but Dudley remained as a terminus for trains from Walsall on the South Staffordshire Line, Old Hill on the Bumble Hole Line and Birmingham Snow Hill until the Beeching Axe had its effect in 1964 despite the station's high passenger turnover at the time.

The South Staffordshire Line's uses were complicated, since some trains terminated at Dudley from Lichfield and Walsall, and some continued through to Stourbridge Junction. Similarly, the same applied with the journey in reverse.

The buildings of Dudley Station remained open for parcels until early 1967, when they were knocked down and replaced by Dudley Freightliner Terminal. It was one of the first of its kind in Britain.

Since 1986, there have been plans to redevelop the station to become part of the local Midland Metro tram network, with the line reopening between Wednesbury, Dudley Port, Dudley, and the Merry Hill Shopping Centre, with trams on one track and freight on the other. After 30 years of delays and difficulties in securing funding, the scheme got the go-ahead from the government in the autumn of 2016, with clearance of vegetation and the remaining track getting underway early in 2017 and full scale work would begin around two years later, with the line being open by 2023.

MiningEdit

Limestone mineral lineEdit

It connected to a works tramway that lead to a local engineering works and near by several limestone quarries. I was there as of 1880 and lasted until the end of WW2. It was removed in either 1946 or 1947.

Coal minesEdit

The Black Country Living Museum has more than 40 old mine shafts on its site, which have largely been lost, in-filled, collapsed, stabilised or capped. One of the original surviving shafts has been used to create the Racecourse Colliery exhibit. It was originally the shaft of one of the Earl of Dudley's small pits, Coneygree Colliery Pit No 126, which operated between 1860 and 1902 (first test pits were in 1846). After the pit was abandoned, all the surface landmarks, along wih the linking tramline, were removed and the shaft itself was eventually filled in. Those mines in the Black Country Museaun site also had a tram line linking it to the local railway between about 1875 and 1910.

Work started on the creation of the Racecourse Colliery exhibit in 1979 and, with the exception of the head frame, all work was carried out on Sundays by volunteers from the Birmingham Enterprise Club and the Friends of the Black Country Museum Mining Group. The colliery was re-created following exactly the same sequence as the creation of an actual working Black Country pit. The shaft was re-opened to a depth of 64 feet (its original depth was between 100–120 feet). The lining brickwork was also repaired. The coal obtainable from this pit is Bottom Coal- about 100 ft down. Close to this exhibit another original shaft was used to create Racecourse Colliery Number Two Pit, also referred to as Brook Shaft. Here coal was worked at 30 ft and has 8 ft of Bottom Coal showing. Moulds from this shaft were used to create the 'coal' for the Museum's underground drift mine experience, 'Into the Thick'.

Other principle coal seams in the South Staffordshire Coalfield include Brooch, Flying Reed, Upper Heathen, Stinking (sulphur), New Mine, Fireclay and the famous Thick Coal.

MuseumEdit

The Black Country Living Museum (formerly The Black Country Museum) is an open-air museum of rebuilt historic buildings in DudleyWest Midlands, England. It is located in the centre of the Black Country, 10 miles west of Birmingham. The museum occupies 105,000 square metres (26 acres) of former industrial land partly reclaimed from a former railway goods yard, disused lime kilns, canal arm and former coal pits.

The museum opened to the public in 1978, and has since added over 50 shops, houses and other industrial buildings from around the Metropolitan Boroughs of DudleySandwell and Walsall and the City of Wolverhampton (collectively known as the Black Country); mainly in a specially built village. Most buildings were relocated from their original sites to form a base from where demonstrators portray life spanning 300 years of history, with a focus on 1850-1950.

The museum is constantly improving as new exhibits, especially buildings, are being added.

TerminalEdit

  1. name = Dudley Freightliner UK Terminal.
  2. owner = British rail, then Freightliner Group Limited.
  3. locale = Dudley.
  4. borough = Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.
  5. platforms = 0, but it had 1 loading bay under the craine.
  6. Opend in\as = Opened as Dudley Freightliner Terminal in 1967
  7. Closed in =1989.

OverviewEdit

Dudley Freightliner Terminal was opened on the site of Dudley railway station in October 1967, as one of Freightliner (UK)'s first rail terminals. It was an instant financial success and by 1981 was one of the most profitable Freightliner terminals in Britain, but Freightliner UK announced plans to close it and transfer the staff to the less successful Birmingham terminal. These plans were shelved in 1983 but resurfaced in 1986, with the terminal finally closing in September 1989. Trains passed through the site of the Freightliner terminal until the Wednesbury to Round Oak Steel Terminal section of the South Staffordshire Line closed in 1993.

Cold warEdit

The station platform became the depot platform, but with no buildings save for the odd shed. A concrete strip was built over one of the Tipton Five Way lines to act as a footing for a large gantry crane that had its other footing on the old platform. The old signal box was at the Blower's Green end of the station and was demolished in 1967 and replaced by a modernized one besides the main road's embankment. The sidings near the castle's side embankment were replaced by the manager's office, a staff room and some sheds.

ClosureEdit

The Freightliner equipment was removed in about 1990 and the site of the former terminal is now little more than an overgrown field, though the some of concrete surface remains in place near the tracks - most of it was ripped up and removed in the late 1990s. The adjacent signal box was closed on 5 June 1988 and damaged in an arson attack the following year, being dismantled in the early 1990s.

Since 1986, there have been plans to redevelop the station to become part of the local Midland Metro tram network, with the line reopening between Wednesbury, Dudley Port, Dudley, and the Merry Hill Shopping Centre, with trams on one track and freight on the other. After 30 years of delays and difficulties in securing funding, the scheme got the go-ahead from the government in the autumn of 2016, with clearance of vegetation and the remaining track getting underway early in 2017 and full scale work would begin around two years later, with the line being open by 2023.[6]

UK Cold War transport situationEdit

...

Today's usageEdit

The Freightliner Terminal closed in 1989, and the line passing through Dudley closed to all traffic in 1993. Over the next 23 years, the railway and former station and freightliner terminal sites became increasingly overgrown with vegetation, although this was cleared in early 2017 to make way for the planned re-opening of the line to the Midland Metro and goods trains.

People regularly use it for walking, bird watching and walking their dogs.

There were plans for a waste reception centre to be developed on the site in 1997, but these were quickly shelved. There have also been plans for housing and even a new football stadium to be built on the site. In 2014, part of the land was developed for a road link between Dudley Zoo and the Black Country Museum, as well as parking facilities for visitors to these attractions.

Since 1986, there have been plans to redevelop the station to become part of the local Midland Metro tram network, with the line reopening between Wednesbury, Dudley Port, Dudley, and the Merry Hill Shopping Centre, with trams on one track and freight on the other. After 30 years of delays and difficulties in securing funding, the scheme got the go-ahead from the government in the autumn of 2016, with clearance of vegetation and the remaining track getting underway early in 2017 and full scale work would begin around two years later, with the line being open by 2023.

In December 2014, plans separate from the Midland Metro proposals were unveiled to re-open the stretch of line from Dudley railway station to Dudley Port, providing a light rail link to the West Coast Main Line. If the plans went ahead, it would be the first time Dudley town centre would be served by passenger rail since 1964.

Midland MetroEdit

A £1.1 million/15-year-long regeneration project will see the station become part of the local tram network with the line reopening between Walsall, Dudley Port railway station, Dudley railway station and the Merry Hill Shopping Centre for trams on one track and for freight on the other. The freighters would continue on past Brettell Lane railway station and on to the mainline at Stourbridge junction. The closed section of railway through Dudley is expected to re-open by 2023, as a combined Midland Metro tramway and a heavy rail line for goods trains.

When the Midland Metro opens, it is expected that the route will involve trams leaving the traditional line near the former terminal site and passing through Dudley town centre before rejoining the line at the north mouth of the Dudley Railway Tunnel.

Part of the terminal site was expected in 2014 to be occupied by an expansion to Dudley Zoo and its overflow car park is already in situ in 2016.

Work to clear the site of vegetation and the old track began in early 2017, but soon ended.

Historic imagery of the siteEdit

SourcesEdit

  1. http://www.railphotoprints.co.uk/index/detail/1076/20063-68-Dudley-030281-RP129-1.jpg.html
  2. http://www.miac.org.uk/dudley.htm
  3. http://blackcountryhistory.org/collections/search/?q=train+trains+station&cb_submit=Search&fq%5Bpartner_code%5D%5B%5D=GB145&cb_page=11
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  6. http://blackcountryhistory.org/collections/getrecord/GB145_p_2945/
  7. http://blackcountryhistory.org/collections/getrecord/GB145_p_2950/
  8. http://www.railaroundbirmingham.co.uk/Stations/dudley.php
  9. http://www.centro.org.uk/Metro/Nov%2003/W-B%20Timetable.asp
  10. http://chasewaterstuff.wordpress.com/2010/08/25/some-south-staffordshire-railway-byways/localhistory.scit.wlv.ac.uk
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Country_Living_Museum
  12. https://www.racingbreaks.com/racecourses/hereford-racecourse?msclkid=bf9a14864dab13b61b3c488317672101&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Hereford%20Racecourse%2BUK&utm_term=hereford%20racing&utm_content=Hereford%20Racecourse%2BBM
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  15. file:///C:/Users/DC7900User/Downloads/wMidlands%20(2).pdf
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  17. http://www.railaroundbirmingham.co.uk/Stations/dudley.php
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  19. https://web.archive.org/web/20120131215934/http://www.localhistory.scit.wlv.ac.uk/articles/Wednesbury/Transport.htm
  20. http://www.railphotoprints.co.uk/index/detail/1076/20063-68-Dudley-030281-RP129-1.jpg.html
  21. http://www.miac.org.uk/dudley.htm
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  27. http://www.railaroundbirmingham.co.uk/Stations/dudley.php
  28. http://www.birminghampost.net/news/west-midlands-transport-news/2010/11/25/plans-for-1-1-bn-west-midlands-metro-system-unveiled-65233-27711546
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  30. http://www.centro.org.uk/Metro/Nov%2003/W-B%20Timetable.asp
  31. https://www.expressandstar.com/news/transport/2016/10/03/midland-metro-extension-work-across-the-black-country-will-begin-next-year/
  32. https://www.expressandstar.com/news/2014/12/01/new-20m-rail-link-between-sandwell-and-dudley/
  33. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dudley_railway_station
  34. http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/d/dudley/index.shtml
  35. http://blackcountryhistory.org/collections/getrecord/GB145_p_145/
  36. https://www.bclm.co.uk/locations/racecourse-colliery/7.htm#.XAVXP1T7Tct
  37. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Racecourse_Colliery
  38. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/butty
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