[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 4.5.1868
Location: On the north side of Bromsgrove Road (A448)
Company on opening: Evesham & Redditch Railway
Date closed to passengers: 17.6.1963 (last train ran 1.10.1962 - replaced by bus service)
Date closed completely: 6.7.1964
Company on closing: British Rail (Western Region)
Present state: The station is extant and in good condition. It has been converted into a private residence with few changes. The station clock is still there and on house wall 'British Transport Commission;Warning is hereby given to persons not to trespass upon the Railway. Penalty not exceeding 40/-'. Next to the station house there is an old wooden goods carriage. At the rear of station, high brick goods shed covering siding track and loading platform is still extant.
County: Warwickshire
OS Grid Ref: SP060637
Date of visit: February 1983

The line between Barnt Green and Ashchurch was built in four stages between 1859 and 1868, providing an essential link for the various communities along it. The main line from Birmingham to Gloucester had failed to serve such centres as Redditch, Evesham and Alcester. The line also formed an important diversionary route running parallel to the main line this was particularly important in the days of steam as the route bypassed the notorious Lickey incline.

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.

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 of a mile south of the original site.

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.

From Redditch the line ran south through Evesham to a junction at Ashchurch

where it rejoined 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 (junction for The Stratford-upon-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. The 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.

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.

In February 1990 the Cross City Line between Redditch and Litchfield was authorised. This involved the 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 important part of Centro's line to Birmingham New Street and Litchfield.

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

To see the other stations on the 'Gloucester Loop' line click on the station name: Redditch, Coughton, Alcester, Wixford, Broom Junction, Salford Priors, Harvington, Evesham, Bengeworth, Hinton, Ashton-under-Hill, Beckford & Ashchurch

Studley & Astwood Bank Station in February 1983
Photo by Nick Catford

Studley & Astwood Bank Station in the early 20th century

Studley & Astwood Bank Station in February 1983
Photo by Nick Catford

Model of Studley & Astwood Bank Station
From Worcestershire area group of the N gauge society web site




:[Source: Nick Catford]

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