Notes: Although Wolverhampton Low Level Station was originally
promoted as part of the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton
Railway, its Act which was passed on 15.8.1848 stated that
the station should be constructed and maintained jointly to
serve the Shrewsbury & Birmingham Railway, the Oxford,
Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway, and the Birmingham, Wolverhampton
and Dudley Railway.
The station opened as Wolverhampton on 1.7.1854, and was
the northern terminus of the Great Western Railway's Oxford,
Worcester and Wolverhampton line with the Birmingham, Wolverhampton
& Dudley line opening on 14th November 1854; it was the
most northern broad gauge station. It was designed with long
wide platforms so that two trains from different directions
could use the same through platforms at once. The station
had Low Level was added it name in April 1856. As built the
station has an overall roof built by I K Brunel (removed in
|The station had an imposing entrance hall
with a decorated ceiling,
booking offices, railway company offices, waiting and
A massive explosion wrecked the parcels office area of
Wolverhampton Low Level Station in July 1939 as the town
was caught up in a wave of IRA violence which targeted
towns and cities across Britain just before WW2.
The end came in the 1960's when the decision was taken to
concentrate all local resources on the electrification of
what is now the West Coast Mainline, which used the Birmingham
New Street - Wolverhampton High Level line through the Black
Country, rather than the Birmingham Snow Hill - Wolverhampton
Low Level line. The last express to Paddington ran in March
1967, and the final passenger service ran on 6.3.1972 when
a local DMU service to Birmingham Snow Hill was 'suspended'.
With the end of the Snow Hill service the north-facing lines
were removed and the line to Snow Hill was severed, leaving
only the 'Loop Line' to Walsall via Willenhall attached.
Prior to final closure to passengers the station had been
converted into a parcel depot which opened on 6.4.1970. This
involved a partial rebuild with alterations to the platforms,
and some track removal. Despite handling up to 8000 parcels
a day this new used was short lived due to a changed in British
Rail's parceling handling policy and the depot closed on 1.6.1981.
Final closure came in May 1986 when the British Rail Divisional
Engineer's Department moved out of the offices shortly after
the building was given Grade II listing. With the departure
of British Rail the station was purchased by Wolverhampton
City Council, who preserved the site.
Many potential reuses have come and gone, including
a transport museum and a conference centre, and at one
point the eastern platforms were threatened with demolition.
It was also the original planned Wolverhampton terminus
for the Midland Metro, prior to the decision to reroute
into the city centre, and the so-called 'Wolverhampton
St. George's' station.
In January 2005, demolition of the Wednesfield Road
Bridge north of the station started, finally completely
cutting off the station sealing its fate never to reopen,
despite many petitions to both the City Council and
the West Midlands regional PTA.
In 2005 a £30 million mixed use scheme was proposed
for the nine acre site forming part of the major regeneration
of the Canalside Quarter area.
The restoration of the station will create the centre piece
of the development, using the platforms as patio areas for
a range of restaurants and cafes. Permission has been granted
for the demolition of the eastern platform as can be seen
in the picture above.
An interesting sideline arises from the closure story - the
line was never closed, just 'suspended', and so theoretically,
the Midland Metro is causing an illegal blockage of the line...
Other web sites: Urban
5 (Alan Perryman)
Further reading: Wolverhampton
Railway Gazette No. 6
The Oxford Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway by John Boynton
Oxford Worcester & Wolverhampton: Portrait of a Famous
Route - Part Two: Worcester to Wolverhampton: Pt. 2 by B.
Pixton - Runpast Publishing