The Branch Lines of Worcestershire
Series: The Branch Lines of ...
- Colin Maggs MBE
15th October 2010
The branch lines of Worcestershire are especially interesting because of their variety, ranging from parts of the Severn Valley Railway, one of the country's largest preserved main lines, to former main lines, right down to lines which have always been branches. Many are now closed, yet several are still active and may be enjoyed by today's traveller. Although most branches were steam-worked until the 1960s when diesel power took over, one branch was cable-worked in its early days. Some of the lines were worked by steam railmotors - a coach and locomotive combined in the same vehicle. The Stourbridge Town branch was one of the last haunts of the GWR railmotors and less than six months after it ceased to use the line, early diesel railcars took over working the same branch. One branch has even been electrifi ed - that from Barnt Green to Redditch. Most of the stations still open have been modernised, but a few retain their nineteenth-century buildings, while the preserved Severn Valley Railway has erected a splendid terminus at Kidderminster in the GWR style of 1890. Other celebrated structures include the many timbered viaducts, as well as others in stone, brick or steel. In addition to describing the traffi c on each branch line and its history, well-known railway historian Colin G. Maggs tells of some of the mishaps which occurred on the 'Old Worse and Worse', the aptly nicknamed Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway. A lively and well-researched account of over a century's travel on the county's railways, The Branch Lines of Worcestershire is illustrated with over 180 photographs. It will appeal to railway enthusiasts and local historians alike.