Station Name: BROMFORD BRIDGE RACECOURSE

[Source: Terry Callaghan]


Date opened: 16.5.1842
Location: On the east side of Bromford Lane
Company on opening: Birmingham & Derby Junction Railway
Date closed to passengers: 28.6.1965
Date closed completely: 28.6.1965
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Demolished
County: Staffordshire
OS Grid Ref: SP115896
Date of visit: 12.12.2013

Notes: Bromford Bridge Racecourse station was located on the Birmingham & Derby Junction Railway (B&DJR) Tame Valley Line which opened as a double-track route between Water Orton and Birmingham Lawley Street on 10 February 1842. The B&DJR opened a railway between Derby and a junction with the London & Birmingham (L&B) at Hampton in Arden on 12 August 1839. From Hampton the B&DJR trains had to travel over the L&B to reach Birmingham, which caused considerable expense. The Tame Valley Line gave the B&DJR their own route into the city where they opened their own terminus at Birmingham Lawley Street.

The original station on the site was named Bromford Forge and was opened on 16 May 1842. The surrounding area at the time was rural, and traffic receipts must have been poor as the station closed in around May 1843.

In 1895 a racecourse was built on a site close to the original station which would go on to attract many thousands of people, both from the local area and further afield. The Midland Railway (MR) decided that there was an opportunity to gain some of this traffic, and a new station was constructed on the site of the Forge station named Bromford Bridge Racecourse. The new station opened on 9 March 1896 and consisted of two lengthy platforms located on the up and down goods lines. A MR signal box was constructed in the centre of the down platform controlling movements into the large marshalling yard at Washwood Heath. The station was a basic affair. In common with many other racecourse stations, no buildings were provided at platform level. There was a booking office of wooden construction provided at street level with steps to reach the platform directly from the office. Main access was via sets of wooden steps leading to Bromford Lane directly from the up and down platforms; a horse dock was also provided at the station on the down side.

The station was used only in conjunction with race meetings and, therefore, never appeared in the public timetables. During these meetings staff were brought in from various other stations to work at Bromford Bridge. Contained within an accident report dated 27 January 1913, J.W Pringle states that the ‘station is closed all year, except for seven or eight occasions when it is opened for two or three days at a time’. Attendances at the racecourse dwindled in the early 1960s, and an offer of £1.25 million from Birmingham City Council for the land on which the racecourse stood was accepted by the shareholders, meaning they received £16 for every £1 share they owned. The final meeting was held on 21 June 1965 with Lester Piggott flying in from Newmarket to ride a double race. The station would officially close on 28 June 1965 although it is suggested that the station closed earlier as excursion leaflets during April and May 1965 show Birmingham New Street and Snow Hill as terminating points.

Today there is little evidence left that a station existed there although, on closer inspection, the apertures for the stairs from Bromford Lane bridge are still visible from trackside. The platforms and signal box have been demolished with the up platform side now the site of a storage yard.

Tickets from Michael Stewart and route map by Alan Young.

For Further information on this Midland Railway route see Mike Musson's
Warwickshire Railways website

Sources:

  • A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain - Volume 7 The West Midlands - Rex Christiansen - David St John Thomas Publisher 1991

To see other closed stations between Birmingham and Castle Bromwich click on the station name: Birmingham Lawley Street, Saltley,
Castle Bromwich


Bromford Bridge Racecourse station lookig south-east in July 1957. The Midland Railway style fencing synonymous with all stations along this line is seen in the foreground.
Copyright p
hoto from Stations UK


Bromford Bridge Racecourse station seen on a 1:2500 scale 1904 map.

Bromford Bridge race course and station shown on a 1:10560 scale 1963 map. The projected route of the M6 motorway is shown as a black and white line.

Looking east towards Derby from the Bromford Bridge at the racecourse station in September 1962. This was an extremely busy section of line with a constant flow of freight traffic. Heading east is a local working on the up slow line, headed by an ex-LMS 4F 0-6-0 locomotive running tender-first. This view was completely altered by the construction of the M6 Motorway and the A47 Spine Road.
Photo by Ben Brooksbank


Bromford Bridge Racecourse station looking west along the up platform in the early 1960's. Passing through the station is ex-LMS 8F 2-8-0 locomotive number 48694 of Burton shed (17B) on a train of mineral wagons.
Photo by Alan Pratt from his Flickr photostream


The down platform of Bromford Bridge Racecourse station seen in August 1969. The platform mounted signal box was still in use four years after the station had closed.The up platform had
been removed by this time.
Photo by Bill Wright from his Flickr photostream


The ex-Midland Railway signal box at Bromford Bridge Racecourse station seen in April 1969. The box was located on the down platform. The white building seen to the right of the box was the station office there being no other passenger facilities.
Photo by M A King

Looking east from the original down platform entrance at Bromford Bridge Racecourse station on 12 December 2013. The bridge in the background was built as part of the A47 Spine Road.
Photo by Terry Callaghan

To see more pictures of Bromford Bridge Racecourse click here

 

 

 

[Source: Terry Callaghan]




Last updated: Sunday, 04-Jun-2017 09:03:02 BST
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