Birmingham Moor Street railway station

Birmingham Moor Street National Rail

Restored GWR entrance to Moor Street.
Place Birmingham
Local authority City of Birmingham
Coordinates 52°28′44″N 1°53′35″W / 52.479°N 1.893°W / 52.479; -1.893Coordinates: 52°28′44″N 1°53′35″W / 52.479°N 1.893°W / 52.479; -1.893
Grid reference SP074867
Station code BMO
Managed by Chiltern Railways
Number of platforms 4
DfT category B
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2010/11 Increase 4.756 million
2011/12 Increase 6.385 million
2012/13 Decrease 6.101 million
2013/14 Increase 6.229 million
2014/15 Increase 6.521 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE Transport for West Midlands
Zone 1
1909 Opened
1914 Current buildings completed
1987 Station relocated, through platforms opened, terminal platforms closed.
2002 Renovated
2010 Two terminal platforms reopened.
National Rail – UK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Birmingham Moor Street from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Birmingham Moor Street is one of three main railway stations in the city centre of Birmingham, England, along with Birmingham New Street and Birmingham Snow Hill.

Originally opened in 1909 by the Great Western Railway as a terminus for local trains, a new Moor Street station a short distance from the original was opened with through platforms in 1987, and the original terminus closed. In 2002, the original station was restored and expanded in 1930s style and combined with the 1987 station, which was also rebuilt.

Moor Street has become more important in recent years; two of the original terminus platforms were reopened in 2010, and the station is now the terminus of many Chiltern Railways services from London Marylebone, as well as being an important stop for local services on the Snow Hill Lines. It is now the second busiest railway station in Birmingham.


Earlier history (1909-1987)

At the turn of the 20th Century, suburban rail traffic into Birmingham was growing rapidly. The Great Western Railway greatly expanded their facilities in the city at that time to cope with the demands. Snow Hill station, their main station in Birmingham, was extensively rebuilt and expanded. However, the twin tracked Snow Hill tunnel, which ran underneath the city centre into Snow Hill from the south, did not have enough capacity to accommodate all of the traffic, and widening the tunnel was considered impractical. In order to solve the capacity problem therefore, Moor Street station was built at the opposite end of the tunnel to take terminating local trains from the south and relieve traffic.[1][2]

Moor Street station in 1915, from end of the platform, looking back towards the city centre, with the goods shed to the left.
A local train waits at the terminus platforms in 1975.

It was a terminus for local trains from Leamington Spa, and local trains from Stratford-upon-Avon via the recently opened North Warwickshire Line. It was opened with temporary buildings in July 1909, the permanent buildings were completed in 1914. The station was located south of the entrance to Snow Hill tunnel, at the end of a short branch (the Moor Street branch) which connected the station to the main line, it originally had a single 700ft (213 metre) long island platform with two platform faces, a third side platform, 600ft (183 metres) long was added in 1930. The through tracks to Snow Hill running alongside however were not provided with platforms.[1][3]

Because the station was built on a confined site, it was equipped with two electrically operated traversers at the buffer end of the platforms as a space saving measure, in order to allow locomotives to move sideways between tracks, instead of having to reverse through crossovers. The traversers were removed from service in 1967, when all services to the station switched to diesel multiple unit operation.[1][4][3]

Trains only used Moor Street during Mondays to Saturdays, on Sundays, Snow Hill station was quiet enough to allow the train to terminate there instead.[3]

In 1948, upon nationalisation, Moor Street came under the control of the Western Region of British Railways, transferring to the London Midland Region, in 1963.[3]

Snow Hill station was run down during the late 1960s, and on 4 March 1968 the line between the junction with the Moor Street branch and Birmingham Snow Hill, including Snow Hill tunnel closed, leaving Moor Street as an isolated terminus for local trains. Moor Street itself came under threat of closure in 1969, however five local authorities objected and took the case to the High Court, which sided with the local authorities, preventing closure.[3]

From 1967 until the mid-1970s, Moor Street was at its lowest ebb; the infrequent local trains used Moor Street during peak hours only, at other times they ran to and from New Street. In the 1970s, local services from the station came under the control of the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive (WMPTE) under whose auspices service frequencies were improved. From 1975, a regular interval half hourly service was introduced between Moor Street and Dorridge and Shirley.[5]

Goods station

Moor Street was originally provided with a large goods station situated adjacent to the passenger station, which opened in 1914. This took many goods trains which would otherwise have passed through Snow Hill tunnel. Because it was built in a confined space on a steep gradient, the goods station was built on two levels, with one high level, and two low level sheds. Three wagon lifts were provided to transfer wagons to and from the low level sheds. The low level sheds were equipped with electric traversers to move wagons between the lifts and sidings where they would be loaded and unloaded.[6][7]

A major source of traffic at the goods station was fresh fruit and vegetables, which would arrive at the station in the mornings, and be taken straight to the nearby market in the Bull Ring. The goods station was finally closed on 6 November 1972, and the main high-level shed was demolished three years later. The site of the former goods station is now partly occupied by the Selfridges Building, and some of the former low-level goods sheds are now used as a car-park.[1][7]

The two through platforms 1 & 2, looking towards Snow Hill tunnel. These were opened in 1987, but were given a makeover in the 2000s to match the style of the original station


In the mid-1980s funding became available to re-open a station at Birmingham Snow Hill, along with Snow Hill tunnel. As part of the re-opening scheme, a new Moor Street station with through platforms was built at the southern portal of the restored tunnel. On completion of this project, the original Moor Street terminus became redundant, and closed down. The final train, on 26 September 1987,[8] was a steam special hauled by a locomotive from Birmingham Railway Museum, Clun Castle.[8]

The original station, now a Grade II listed building, was not demolished but, by the late 1990s, the former platforms were overgrown and dilapidated, and cracks in the wall were visible from the road side including some caused by the impact of a runaway bus.[9] After a public meeting the "Moor Street Station Historical Society" was formed to "Save Our Station". Dr Bernard Juby, a medical practitioner from nearby Yardley, became its Chairman and immediately set about making the Station and its warehousing Grade II Listed Buildings. Large teams of volunteers met each week-end to clean and preserve the various buildings. The existing artifacts were carefully renovated and stored and were subsequently re-used when the station re-opened to the public.[10]

In the 1990s the range of services stopping at Moor Street were expanded for the first time since it opened. In 1993, limited stop Network South East services were introduced from London Marylebone to Snow Hill via Banbury and Leamington Spa, stopping at Moor Street, thus making Moor Street a main line station for the first time.[11] This service was taken over by Chiltern Railways following privatisation. In 1995, the completion of the "Jewellery Line" project north of Snow Hill, meant that through services to Worcester via Stourbridge Junction and Kidderminster were introduced.[12]


The station entrance concourse as redeveloped in 2010
A Chiltern Railway Class 168 stands in the newly reopened terminus platform 3

In the 2000s, the growth in services on the Snow Hill Lines again strained capacity through Snow Hill tunnel, and so Chiltern Railways and the Birmingham Alliance decided to restore the original terminus and reopen it, to allow some services to terminate there rather than Snow Hill. In 2002 the original Moor Street station building platforms were renovated at a cost of £11 million. However, there was a long delay before the old terminal platforms were connected to the network and opened for service, because of delays in carrying out the necessary signalling work by Network Rail.[13] Two of the three former terminal platforms, numbered 3 and 4 were reopened for use on 11 December 2010, platform 5 remains disused.[8]

The restoration project also unified the original station and the 1980s station into one. The main 1980s station entrance was demolished, and a new passenger access was created to the through platforms using the old station's ticket hall. The footbridge and canopies on the through platforms were also rebuilt to match the style of the original station.[8]

Station frontage with gilt sinage.

Refurbished in 1930s style, the station has reproduction lamps, clock, seating, and signage. The renovation won the Railway Heritage Trust award for 2004 and The Birmingham Civic Society's Renaissance Award for 2005.[14] The station became home to the cosmetically restored second GWR 2884 Class 2-8-0 No. 2885, which, until being removed on 4 June 2013,[15] stood in the disused platform five. Further renovations during 2011–12 included the installation of GWR-inspired gilt signage on the front and side elevations of the station building.

Since the December 2010 timetable change, two of the three south facing bay platforms at Moor Street station are now connected to the network and in use, enabling some of the Chiltern services to and from London Marylebone to terminate at Moor Street instead of Snow Hill.[16] Local Chiltern stopping services to Leamington Spa will also begin and terminate at the new terminal platforms. Chiltern Railways are engaged in a large-scale redevelopment of their route from London Marylebone to Birmingham with improvements to allow higher speeds.

A fast train service between Moor Street and London Marylebone was introduced on 5 September 2011 using locomotive-hauled coaches, furthering the competition with Virgin Trains' West Coast Main Line services from Birmingham New Street.[17]


Moor Street is currently served by London Midland who run local services on the Snow Hill Lines, and by Chiltern Railways who run longer distance services to London Marylebone via the Chiltern Main Line:

Chiltern Railways

Some of the Chiltern London services terminate at Snow Hill, calling at Moor Street's through platforms, while other services terminate at Moor Street's terminal platforms. Some of the through Chiltern services continue beyond Birmingham to Kidderminster during peak hours. The Chiltern service is:[18]

London Midland

Six London Midland trains per hour call at Moor Street in each direction, running as follows:[19]


of which one continues to Stratford-upon-Avon
of which one continues to Stratford-upon-Avon
in peak hours some London Midland services continue from Dorridge to Leamington Spa.


of which four continue to Kidderminster:
of which two continue to Worcester Foregate Street
(services beyond Worcester, to Malvern and Hereford are irregular, generally about one per hour)

On summer Sundays, Moor Street is used by steam locomotives running tourist specials between Snow Hill and Stratford upon Avon and trains between Snow Hill and Tyseley run by Vintage Trains.

Preceding station National Rail Following station
Birmingham Snow Hill   Chiltern Railways
Chiltern Main Line
Birmingham Snow Hill   London Midland
    Small Heath
  Heritage railways
Birmingham Snow Hill   Vintage Trains
The Shakespeare Express

Links to New Street station

Moor Street station is a few hundred metres away from New Street station; the city's main railway station. There is a signposted route for passengers travelling between New Street and Moor Street stations which involves a short walk through a tunnel under the Bullring shopping centre. Although the railway lines into New Street pass directly underneath Moor Street station, there is no track connection. In 2013 a new direct walkway was opened between the two stations making interchange easier.[20]

Proposed future developments

Plans are being pursued to introduce new services into Moor Street by constructing new chords linking the station to the Camp Hill Line, which is currently mostly used by freight trains. The new chords would run into Moor Street's terminus platforms, and would allow a new local passenger service south to Kings Norton and beyond, including new stations at Moseley, Kings Heath and Hazelwell. This would also allow for new local services into Moor Street from the lines from Birmingham to Tamworth and Nuneaton including a new station at Castle Bromwich. The currently disused third bay platform would be reopened, and an additional new fourth bay platform would be opened to accommodate the new services.[21][22][23]

The High Speed 2 terminus in Birmingham is planned to be built on an adjacent site and will likely be linked to Moor Street, though have a separate name (either Fazeley Street or Curzon Street). The station and high-speed line is proposed to be completed by the mid-2020s.[23]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Moor Street Passenger Station". Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  2. "Moor Street Station 1909 - Present". Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Station Name: BIRMINGHAM MOOR STREET". Disused Stations. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  4. Photograph of traverser -
  5. Boynton, John. A Century of Railways around Birmingham and the West Midlands, Volume Three 1973-1999. Mid England Books. ISBN 0-9522248-6-0.
  6. Photograph of wagon hoists -
  7. 1 2 "BIRMINGHAM MOOR STREET GOODS 1914 - 1972". Disused Stations. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  8. 1 2 3 4 "Birmingham Moor Street Restoration". Tyseley Locomotive Works. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  10. Birmingham Post and Mail
  11. "The History of Network SouthEast. Year by Year Jan 1993 - Dec 1993". Network SouthEast Railway Society. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  12. "THOSE WERE THE DAYS" (PDF). Retrieved 9 February 2013. External link in |publisher= (help)
  13. "Moor Street set to expand". icbirmingham. 24 November 2004. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  14. "Reward for revamped rail station". Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  15. "BBC News - Locomotive winched out of Birmingham Moor Street Station". BBC News. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  16. "Evergreen Moor Street". 15 January 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
  17. "New Chiltern Railways' timetable promises faster times". BBC News Oxford. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  18. Table 115 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  19. Table 71 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  20. "The first half of the new concourse at Birmingham New Street station will open on 28 April 2013". Network Rail. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  21. "Could Moseley to Birmingham trains return to end commuter hell?". Birmingham Mail. 9 June 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  22. "£4Bn West Midlands transport boost unveiled by council leaders". The Chamberlain Files. 15 June 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  23. 1 2 "Rail renaissance in the West Midlands". Rail magazine. 14 October 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2016.

External links

Media related to Birmingham Moor Street railway station at Wikimedia Commons

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