Wolverhampton Low Level railway station

Wolverhampton Low Level railway station

Infobox UK disused station| name = Wolverhampton Low Level| manager = Great Western Railway| locale = Wolverhampton| borough = Wolverhampton

| caption = Main Entrance, January 2006
latitude = 52.588| longitude = -2.118| platforms = 5| years1 = 1854| events1 = Opened as Wolverhampton Joint
years2 = 1856| events2 = Renamed to Wolverhampton Low Level| years3 = 1869| events3 = Converted to standard gauge| years3 = 1922| events3 = Station mostly rebuilt| years4 = 1972| events4 = Closed to passenger traffic| years5 = 1981| events5 = Closed to goods traffic
years6 = 2006| events6 = Large parts of station demolished|

Wolverhampton Low Level was a railway station on Sun Street, in Springfield, Wolverhampton, England (gbmapping|SO920989).

It was built by the Great Western Railway, on their route from London (Paddington) to Birkenhead via Birmingham (Snow Hill). It was the most northerly broad gauge station on the Great Western network.


It opened in 1854, although work on the station's construction was not completed until late 1855. The station was initially called Wolverhampton Joint and was renamed to Wolverhampton Low Level in April 1856, at the same time as the nearby London and North Western Railway station was renamed as Wolverhampton High Level

The station was converted to standard gauge in 1869, and remained basically the same until 1922, when new booking office was built within the booking hall, and a new telegraph department was added to the stationmaster's office. The platforms were extended and the passenger footbridge was replaced. The overall roof had corroded badly and was replaced with standard GWR platform canopies.

In July 1939, an Irish Republican Army bomb exploded at the station, wrecking the parcels office area. [ [http://www.subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/stations/w/wolverhampton_low_level/index.shtml Subterranea Britannica: SB-Sites: Wolverhampton Low Level Station ] ]


Closure of the station was made likely by the West Coast Mainline electrification scheme in the 1960s which included the Stour Valley Line and a new High Level station. From late 1963 to March 1967 the Low Level saw a considerable increase in traffic, but this was only while the electrification work was in progress, and many services were temporarily diverted away from High Level.

When the Stour Valley Line reopened, the services through Low Level were quickly reduced. The last Paddington to Birkenhead express ran in March 1967, and in 1968 Shrewsbury services switched to the High Level. By 1970, the only services left running from Low Level were local trains to Birmingham Snow Hill. This service ceased in 1972.

In 1970, the station was converted to a Parcels Concentration Department. Much of the trackwork was removed, the north signal box was demolished and the platforms were greatly modified. It opened on 6 April 1970 and was very successful, handling up to 8,000 parcels each day.

However, British Rail's policy on parcel handling soon changed, and the station was closed on 1st June 1981.

The building was listed as grade 2 on 25 March 1986. It remained as the British Rail Divisional Engineer's Department until it was purchased by Wolverhampton Council in May 1986, who immediately renovated and preserved the exterior. Meanwhile, the route of the trackbed between Bushbury and Birmingham Snow Hill was preserved in case of future reopening of the line.


During the 1980s and 1990s, there were several proposals for redevelopment of the site, including re-opening the station and converting the station into a transport museum, but none came to fruition.

In 1999, the Midland Metro tramway opened, using most of the GWR route between Wolverhampton and Birmingham, but this turns towards the centre of Wolverhampton to run along the A41 Bilston Road before reaching Low Level.

Redevelopment of the Low Level station site began in 2006, retaining the main station building (which is a listed building) whilst the remainder of the station, including the former main southbound platform is being demolished to make way for a 'mixed use' retail, hotel and residential development.


External links

* [http://www.subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/stations/w/wolverhampton_low_level/index.shtml Subterranea Britannica]
* [http://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/business/economic_development/regeneration/low_level.htm Wolverhampton City Council regeneration]
* [http://www.railaroundbirmingham.co.uk/Stations/wolverhampton_low_level.php Rail Around Birmingham and the West Midlands: Wolverhampton Low Level railway station]
* [http://www.subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/stations/w/wolverhampton_low_level/index.shtml Article from Disused Stations]

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