Wolverhampton Low Level Station

The station was originally planned as a part of the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway, but the Act passed on 14th August 1848 stated that it was to be constructed and maintained jointly for the use of the Shrewsbury & Birmingham Railway, the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway, and the Birmingham, Wolverhampton & Dudley Railway. The buildings were designed by John Fowler, the track layout by Henry Robertson, and the overall roof by I. K. Brunel.

The station, which opened in 1854 had a grand entrance hall with booking offices, and waiting and refreshment rooms. The very wide and long platforms prevented overcrowding, and allowed both up and down trains to arrive on the same platform at the same time. The platforms were linked by an iron bridge. The GWR favoured the 7 foot ¼ inch broad gauge, whereas the Shrewsbury & Birmingham Railway used the 4 foot 8½ inch standard gauge. This resulted in mixed gauge track being laid in the station. In April 1869 the broad gauge track was replaced by standard gauge track. In 1922 a new booking office with 5 ticket windows was built, both platforms were extended, and the overall roof was replaced with standard GWR platform canopies. Electric lighting was installed in March 1930, and in July 1944 two ton electric goods lifts were added.

A fine afternoon as ex-GWR 43xx series, 2-6-0 number 6317 heads a local train.

A fine view of Low Level Station in the early 1960s.

The station continued in passenger use until March 1972. By that time the GWR mainline had come to the end of its life, having been superseded by the electrified West Coast Mainline, and the electrified Stour Valley Line. The Low Level Station had itself been superseded by the new High Level Station. From 1968 the Shrewsbury services had moved to the High Level Station, and the Low Level only catered for local shuttle services to and from Birmingham, run by diesel multiple units. In 1970 the station was converted to a Parcels Concentration Department at a cost of £30,000. Much of the track was removed, and the platforms greatly modified. It opened on 6th April 1970 and was very successful, handling up to 8,000 parcels each day. British Railway's policy on parcel handling soon changed, and the station closed on 1st June 1981.

Ex-GWR Castle Class 'Totnes Castle' number 5031 is about to depart from Low Level Station in the early 1960s. The locomotive was withdrawn in October 1963.

An ex-GWR Castle heads north from the station with a Royal train.

An unknown Castle Class locomotive leaves Wolverhampton tunnel and heads towards Low Level Station with a Royal train from Birmingham. It can be identified by the distinctive six-wheeled coach bogie with white painted wheels, and the unique headlamp code. 4 lamps on the front of the engine. Thanks to Vic Smith for the information.

Castle Class number 4082 'Windsor Castle' leaves Wolverhampton Low Level Station with a north-bound Royal train.

An ex-GWR Castle standing on the goods loop in front of the carriage shed.


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