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Redditch Railway Stations

The town of Redditch has had four railway stations (with a fifth now in the planning) they are:

The first station

The first Redditch station was alongside the current rail line and was accessed from what is now Clive Road. The Redditch Railway opened this station when they opened the rail line from Redditch to Barnt Green on Monday 19th September 1859. It was used until Monday 4th May 1868 when the last section of the Redditch and Evesham Railway opened from Alcester to Redditch  was opened. To link the existing Redditch Railway with the Evesham and Redditch Railway the railway was rerouted via an embankment alongside Clive Road and a bridge over Hewell Road The station consisted of a single platform face and a small station building not too dissimilar to that that was provided at Alvechurch station.

The second station

This station was opened in May 4th 1868 and was alongside the junction of the two roads of Plymouth Road and Red Lane (now known as Bromsgrove Road). This station was provided with a standard Midland Railway design station building and two platform faces. A signal box was built at the north end of the platforms built and was known as Redditch South signal box.

 

 

At the same time in 1868 a small goods yard was provided with the first and smaller of soon to be two goods sheds that in latter years was the parcel shed. (The fourth station building is now on the site of this original goods shed). During the early 1920ís at the time of Railway Grouping and when the Midland Railway had become part of the London Midland and Scottish Railway the Redditch Station site was further expanded. The whole of the rail line from the Gas Works in the north to the entrance to the Redditch tunnel in the south was doubled. A new expanded goods yard on what was known as Pound Meadow was created with the building of the second and much larger goods shed. At the same time the station complex was totally re-signalled the original Redditch, Gas Works Signal Box and Redditch North Signal Boxes were combined with construction of a new Redditch North Signal Box opposite the Locomotive Shed. This new Redditch North signal box was opened on 8th November 1925 when the old Gas Works signal box was closed. Redditch North signal box was finally closed on 10th August 1986 when the Redditch branch from Barnt Green to Redditch became a "long siding" . This resulted in all the sidings being removed from the goods yard. A new Redditch South Signal Box was also provided just before the entrance to the tunnel. This was opened on 23rd August 1925 and was closed on 29th January 1967. The picture to the left was taken soon after the closure of the signal box. 

How we got from the second to the third station

When a start was made to redevelop the town centre in the early 1970's to create the Kingfisher Shopping Centre it was decided to move the town's bus station onto more or less the site of the second station. To facilitate this a start was made to demolish the second station. Initially the canopy on the station building was removed whilst the main platform face continued to be used for the limited passenger train service to operate from which was was operating at the time.

Whilst trains continued to operate into the old station site a new station was created on the north side of  Bromsgrove Road. The platforms for the third station were built during 1971. This view from what would become the Birmingham end of the platform shows the platform walls awaiting the next stage of construction when then the area between them was in filled so that the platform surface could be created.

A new replacement building for the third station was built in the corner of the goods yard. This was to serve as the station until the current station building was constructed in 1992 as part of the cross city electrification works. During the construction works as shown in this picture the former station entrance from Bromsgrove Road was shut off to allow a start on the construction the bus station to be made and passengers had to walk under Bromsgrove Road to the catch the train. This arrangement continued until February 1972 when the third station opened.

Once the station moved into the goods yard on the north side of Bromsgrove Road in February 1972 the former station site was soon cleared to allow the new bus station to be constructed. The building seen under construction was part of the the new bus station and formed the area where the escalators from the shopping centre came down into the centre of the bus station.

 

 

 

The third station

This "new" station was opened on 7th February 1972 when the 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 the then new bus station as part of the Kingfisher Shopping Centre development. The new station consisted of an island platform though only one platform face was ever used for passenger trains. The other formed the head shunt to the goods yard run round loop. Station building facilities were provided in 1977 by way of a wooden hut away from the platform face. It wasnít until the frequency of train service was increased in the 1980ís that a bus shelter was provided on the platform.

 

The two view above show the site of the third and fourth stations. The picture on the left was taken in the late 1960's and shows the area still being used as a goods yard and approach to the station which was at the time still beyond the bridge in the distance. The picture on the right shows the third station in the mid 1970's. Note the large factory building in the first picture has gone - it burnt down.

The fourth Station

This was a reconstruction of the third one as part of the electrification project. Work on this new station started on Monday 5 October 1992. A new brick built station building was provided together with an extension to the platform to allow the operation of six coach car electric trains.    

 

The site of the new station building was actually the site of the original goods shed or what in latter years was known as the Parcels Good Shed because of it's main use after the construction of the much larger new Good Shed. The Parcel Shed in the late 1960's only a matter of years before it's demolition to make way for the third station in the early 1970s.

The area that had once formed the second platform face was filled in as part of a car park expansion project. The BBC local television presenter Kay Alexandra officially opened this new station on 28 May 1993. 

The former railway bridge under Bromsgrove Road that is now used as a pedestrian subway to access the town's Bus Station and Kingfisher Shopping. The dated stone on the above bridge showing the date May 1909 when the Midland Railway expanded the facilities at Redditch Station and double the whole line between Redditch South and the new Redditch North Signal boxes (This date stone is no longer visible as a new wall has been built in front of it)

The potential  fifth Station

In March 2018 Redditch Borough Council drew up a plan to regenerate Redditch town centre. This vision created a number of well defined quarters and a retail hub within the Town Centre. One of these quarters is the Railway Gateway. This area embraces the current rail station site and land around it that have previously been used for industrial purposes. Much of this land will go for new residential developments. At the station it would see a new multi storey car park on some of the current land used as the existing station car park. This would release land for other uses which would include a hotel and new station building. The plans would also retain the option of installing a second platform face for the station. With planned train service increases in the future there would be a need for more of the Redditch branch to be double tracked with one of the options being the section close to the existing station and an extra station platform. Currently these improvements are not funded though Redditch Borough Council did received £1M funding in August 2020 from central government as part of the Getting Building Fund to Kickstart the developments. 

Arial View of the Station in the 1970's

As the Redditch Development Corporation rebuilt Redditch as a new town during the late 1960's, 1970's and early 1980's they took care to create a photographic record of the changes and improvements they made. This picture shows the goods yard area of Redditch Station in the early 1970's after the third station had been built but before the Redditch town centre ring road was built. The picture must have been taken in the morning as regular stone train is being shunted.