Notes: North of Ashchurch there used to be a connecting curve linking the two branches, crossing the main line on the level just north of the station, 'flat crossings' were seldom built, this curve closed in 1957. There was an extensive goods yard to the south and to the north west a large grain store.
completely on 15th November 1971.
|The line to Tewkesbury, Upton-upon-Severn and Malvern, closed beyond Upton in December 1952, Ashchurch to Upton following on 14th August 1961. At this time Ashchurch station was renamed Ashchurch for Tewkesbury. Goods services were withdrawn on 1st June 1964 and Ashchurch station was unstaffed from 14th September 1970 and closed
A new station was built on the site of the old station and this was opened on 30th May 1997 and os still open.
parallel to the main line this was particularly important in the days of steam as the route bypassed the notorious
|BRIEF HISTORY OF THE
'GLOUCESTER LOOP' LINE
The line between Barnt Green and Ashchurch was built in four
stages between 1859 and 1868, providing an essential link for
the various communities. The main line from Birmingham
to Gloucester had failed to serve such centres as Redditch,
Evesham and Alcester. The line also formed an major diversionary route running
In July 1858 the Redditch Railway Act authorised a line between
Barnt Green & Redditch which opened on 18th September 1859.
Authorisation to build the Ashchurch and Evesham Railway was
given under the Midland Railway (New Lines) Act of 1861. It
opened to goods traffic on 1st July 1864 and to passengers on
1st October 1864.
of a mile south of the original
|The gap between those two lines was filled by the Evesham and
Redditch Railway which was authorised in 1863. The stretch between
Evesham and Alcester opened to goods traffic in June 1866 and
to passengers on 17th September 1866. The remaining section
between Alcester and Redditch opened on 4th May 1868 running
into a new station at Redditch 1/4
From the start the service was provided by the Midland Railway.
The Redditch Railway was bought by the Midland Railway in 1865
while the middle section between Redditch and Evesham was taken
over by the Midland in 1882.
passenger service between Evesham and Redditch was withdrawn from 17th June 1963 and the line closed completely on 6th July
1964 with the track being lifted by January 1965.
|From Redditch the line ran south through Evesham to a junction
at Ashchurch rejoining the Birmingham & Gloucester
Railway; the line became known as the Birmingham & Gloucester
Loop. There were intermediate stations between Redditch and
Evesham at Studley & Astwood Bank, Coughton, Alcester, Wixford,
Broom Junction (for the Stratford-on-Avon and Midland
Junction Railway), Salford Priors, and Harvington. Between Evesham
and Ashchurch there were intermediate stations at Bengeworth,
Hinton, Ashton-under-Hill and Beckford.
Although some stations on the line had closed during the 1950's.
The Evesham to Redditch section of railway line was closed to
passengers on a temporary basis on 1st October 1962 because
of the poor condition of the track and substitute bus service
was introduced. Goods traffic was retained at Studley and Alcester.
|On 1965 there was an attempt to close the remaining section
between Redditch and Barnt Green but the line was reprieved.
Redditch station was moved to north side of Bromsgrove Bridge
into the former goods yard. This allowed the former station
site to be cleared for the construction of a new bus station
as part of the Kingfisher Shopping Centre development.
part of Centro's
line to Birmingham New Street and Litchfield.
|In February 1990 the Cross City Line between Redditch and Litchfield
was authorised. This involved electrification of existing
lines including Barnt Green to Redditch and the rebuilding of
Redditch Station, with a new brick station building and an extension
to the platform to accommodate 6 car trains. This section of
the former Ashchurch line is still open forming an
Today much of the former track bed can still be traced; part
of the line has been incorporated into the Evesham
Country Park while another short section south of Redditch
now forms part of the realigned A441.
Route map drawn by Alan Young.
Further reading: An
illustrated History of Ashchurch-Barnt Green Line by R.J.
Essery published by Oxford Publishing Company 2002 ISBN 0860935620. Tickets from Michael Stewart
To see the other
stations on the 'Gloucester Loop' line click on the station
name: Redditch, Studley
for Astwood Bank, Coughton,
Broom Junction, Salford