Rugby-Birmingham-Stafford Line

Rugby-Birmingham-Stafford Line

The Rugby-Birmingham-Stafford Line is a loop off the West Coast Main Line (WCML) between Rugby and Stafford via the West Midlands cities of Coventry, Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

Places served

The cities, towns and villages served by the line are listed below.
*Dudley Port - a proposed interchange for Midland Metro
*Adderley Park (Saltley)
*Lea Hall
*Marston Green
*Birmingham International - for National Exhibition Centre and Birmingham International Airport
*Tile Hill


The line from Rugby to Birmingham Curzon Street opened as part of the London and Birmingham Railway in 1837.The following year, the Grand Junction Railway opened from Curzon Street to Wolverhampton, Stafford and north to the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. However, this ran via Aston to Wolverhampton (see map). These two companies merged in 1846 to form the London and North Western Railway (LNWR). in 1852, the line from Birmingham to Wolverhampton via Smethwick opened by the Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Stour Valley Railway, which was later absorbed by the LNWR. The LNWR itself became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) in 1923, and part of British Railways at Nationalisation in 1948.

The line was electrified along with the rest of the WCML during the late 1950s in the wake of the 1955 BR modernisation plan.

In 1987 twelve different horse sculptures by Kevin Atherton, titled "Iron Horse", were erected between New Street station and Wolverhampton. ["Public Sculpture of Birmingham including Sutton Coldfield", George T. Noszlopy, edited Jeremy Beach, 1998, ISBN 0-85323-692-5]


Main-line services are operated by Virgin Trains and London Midland, and stop at the principal stations only. These are joined by occasional services over the northern section of the route by Arriva Trains Wales. Local services are operated by London Midland, generally to the following daytime patterns:

*Birmingham to Birmingham International, then all stations to Coventry: two trains per hour, with one going on to Rugby and Northampton.
*Walsall to Birmingham, and all stations to Birmingham International: two trains per hour (alternate trains do not stop at Adderley Park).
*All stations between Birmingham and Wolverhampton: two trains per hour.
*Additionally, one train per hour between Birmingham, Stafford and Liverpool Lime Street calls at Coseley, Wolverhampton and Penkridge.

Trains from London to the north of England and Scotland are frequently diverted via this route at weekends, due to engineering work on the Trent Valley Line - the direct route from Rugby to Stafford.

Line gallery


*Jowetts Railways Centres Volume 1, Alan Jowett (PSL, 1993)
*A Century of Railways Around Birmingham and the West Midlands, Volumes 1, 2 & 3, John Boynton (Mid England Books, 1997-1999)
*Rail Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland, S K Baker (OPC, 2004)

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