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Soho and Winson Green Station

GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

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Brief overview of Soho and Winson Green Station

Soho & Winson Green Station opened on the Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Dudley Railway’s mixed gauge line as Soho station on 14th November 1854. This intermediate station was a simple two road station without a goods yard. It should have opened in August, but a 63 foot long wrought iron tubular bridge over Winson turnpike to the west of Soho station collapsed the day after the Board of Trade inspection. The railway had been purchased by the Great Western Railway in 1846, but the engineer responsible for construction was John Robinson McClean of the South Staffordshire Railway. After examining all the bridges on the line, a further five bridges were condemned and had to be replaced or strengthened. In common with all lines north of Oxford, the third rails on the mixed gauge track, which allowed broad gauge operation were removed at the end of March 1869.

In May 1893 the station name was changed to Soho & Winson Green to reflect the growing importance of the expanding adjacent suburbs and at the same time a single goods siding was added. In December 1909 the lines between Handsworth Junction and the west end of Soho & Winson Green station were quadrupled and a temporary signal box built at the west end of the station. Prior to this, the line between Birmingham Snow Hill and Hockley had also been quadrupled. The missing section between Soho & Winson Green and Hockley was quadrupled on 9th June 1912 and the station completely remodelled and rebuilt at this date. A goods yard was constructed at the west end of the station and a new replacement signal box built at the east end of the station. There were now two pairs of lines (main and relief) from Snow Hill to Handsworth Junction. At the same time a fifth line was installed between Hockley and Soho & Winson Green as a Down goods line. In 1933 a sixth (pilot) line was introduced as part of the work associated with the construction of the enlarged Goods Depot and warehouse at Soho & Winson Green.

On 14th June 1965 the station name was changed to Winson Green. This followed the closure of the Stour Valley line station of this name. In 1966 British Railways proposed withdrawal of passenger services from the Birmingham Snow Hill to Wolverhampton Line and all the stations on the route (including Winson Green), but the line was retained following objections, By March 1967 the writing was on the wall again and in August 1968 the up and down main lines of the quadrupled section were taken out of use. Finally in November 1971 the line between Birmingham and Wolverhampton finally lost its passenger service and Winson Green station closed. At the same time the goods depot also closed. The signal box was closed the following year.

Robert Ferris

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Extract from Great Western Magazine: Volume 51, No 5, May 1939

Containers and their Control

Robert Ferris has also transcribed another article from the Great Western Magazine focusing upon Soho and Winson Green.

It is found that despite decreased general carryings of merchandise in recent months, the number of loaded containers forwarded has shown an increase on the corresponding periods of last year. A record total of 2,003 was reached for the week ended march 25 to be surpassed in the following week, when 2,116 containers were despatched. An outstanding example occurred during that week, when a special train conveying 33 container loads of bedsteads and mattresses was despatched on Saturday , April 1, from Soho & Winson Green station to Skegness. This contract had been secured by a well-known Birmingham firm for a holiday camp at Skegness, to replace beds destroyed in a fire. Special arrangements were made with the London & North Eastern Company for delivery of the traffic and return of the stock, and the empty containers were exchanged back to the Great Western Railway on Tuesday morning, April 4.

The supply of containers is regulated by the container control section in the Chief Goods Manager's development office at Paddington, where a card record is maintained of the movements of every container. An individual ‘container card’ of a different colour for each type of container, is kept for every unit, and on this is recorded the date of forwarding and destination for each journey, loaded or empty. This information is supplied by the district offices. The central feature of the control is a large board, divided into sections corresponding to the areas controlled by the district managers. Each section of the board is provided with four hooks on which the record cards of containers at stations in the particular districts are hung, each hook representing a day in transit. Upon an advice being received from the district office that a container has been despatched, the card for that particular container is endorsed with details of the movement and placed on the first peg of the district in which the destination station is situated. On the following day the card is transferred to the second peg, and on the third day to the third peg, and so on. This enables the control clerk to see at a glance how many containers of each type are in each district and how long they have been there.

If necessary pressure can be applied to prevent any undue detention, while at the same time the number of empty containers supplied for loading can be kept to the minimum consistent with requirements. Day by day all the district offices state their requirements for the next day, and indicate the spare stock on hand at stations in their respective districts. Orders are then given for disposal of the spares, and empty haulage is kept down to a minimum conditional upon prompt supply of stock to meet demands. It is no unusual feature for one container to make three loaded journeys in a week. A close watch is kept on the number of stock off the Great Western system to avoid undue delay in the return of Great Western containers. The result of this individual control of stock is that all demands can be promptly met, despite the wide variety of container types operated, as the whereabouts of particular containers, including those fitted for special traffic, are always known.

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Views of Soho and Winson Green station

The main station entrance and booking office above the up main line platform on the north side of Benson Road bridge
Ref: gwrswg1564
Anon
Station entrance & booking office above the up main line platform on the north side of Benson Road bridge
View of the main line station at Soho & Winson Green looking towards Wolverhampton in March 1966
Ref: gwrswg1562
A Muckley
View of the main line station at Soho & Winson Green looking towards Wolverhampton in March 1966
Looking towards Wolverhampton here is a close up of the relief lines and island platform buildings
Ref: gwrsw1562a
A Muckley
Looking towards Wolverhampton here is a close up of the relief lines and island platform buildings
Close up of Soho and Winson Green station's main lines and associated platform buildings
Ref: gwrswg1562b
A Muckley
Close up of Soho and Winson Green station's main lines and associated platform buildings
View of Soho & Winson Green Station with its three platforms looking towards Wolverhampton in 1956
Ref: gwrswg751
Roger Carpenter
View of Soho & Winson Green Station with its three platforms looking towards Wolverhampton in 1956

Looking towards Birmingham along the Up Main platform as a parcels train passes Soho and Winson Green Signal Box
Ref: gwrswg2286
Anon
Looking towards Birmingham along the Up Main platform as a parcels train passes Soho and Winson Green Signal Box
Looking towards Wolverhampton along the Up Main platform as a class C train approaches, circa 1960
Ref: gwrsw2287
Anon
Looking towards Wolverhampton along the Up Main platform as a class C train approaches, circa 1960
Looking towards Wolverhampton along Soho & Winson Green station's Down Relief platform
Ref: gwrsw2293
D Thompson
Looking towards Wolverhampton along Soho & Winson Green station's Down Relief platform
A special train of containers headed by an unidentified Grange class locomotive en-route from Vono Bedding
Ref: gwrsw2288
Signalling Record Society
A low resolution version of the Signalling Diagram for Soho and Winson Green Signal Box opened on 9th June 1912

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Views of Soho and Winson Green Goods Yard and Warehouse

Taken in 1933 this picture shows the new Soho & Winson Green goods transit shed with three storey warehouse above
Ref: gwrsw1568
GWR Publication
Taken in 1933 this picture shows the new Soho & Winson Green goods transit shed with three storey warehouse above
Another official photograph of Soho & Winson Green's goods shed erected using money from the Government’s Development Fund
Ref: gwrswg1572
GWR Publication
Another photograph of Soho & Winson Green's goods shed funded by the Government’s Development Fund
Close up showing the west end of the three storey warehouse with the hoist gear housings on the roof
Ref: gwrswg1572a
GWR Publication
Close up showing the west end of the three storey warehouse with the hoist gear housings on the roof
A close up of the external sidings in the goods depot, showing the concrete apron roads in more detail
Ref: gwrswg1572b
GWR Publication
A close up of the external sidings in the goods depot, showing the concrete apron roads in more detail
Interior of the new Soho & Winson Green Warehouse showing the transit area on the ground floor
Ref: gwrsw1569
GWR Publication
Interior of the new Soho & Winson Green Warehouse showing the transit area on the ground floor

Interior of the third floor of the new Soho & Winson Green Warehouse showing the reinforced concrete design
Ref: gwrsw1570
GWR Publication
Interior of the third floor of the new Soho & Winson Green Warehouse showing the reinforced concrete design
Interior of the third floor of the new Soho & Winson Green Warehouse showing the reinforced concrete design
Ref: gwrsw2266
GWR Publication
Publicity photograph of Soho & Winson Green warehouse showing M&B bags of hops being carried in LNER bags
A plan of Soho & Winson Green Station and Goods Depot after the completion of the new goods transit shed
Ref: gwrsw1574
GWR Publication
A plan of Soho & Winson Green Station and Goods Depot after the completion of the new goods transit shed

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Locomotives and trains seen at Soho and Winson Green station

Ex-Great Western Railway 2-6-2T 5101 class large prairie, No 4110 about to leave Soho and Winson Green Station
Ref: gwrsw1936
M Mensing
Ex-GWR 2-6-2T 5101 class large prairie, No 4110 is about to leave Soho and Winson Green Station
Ex-Great Western No.6016 King Edward V of the 60XX King Class hauls the up Cambrian Coast Express
Ref: gwrswg802
M Mensing
Ex-Great Western No.6016 King Edward V of the 60XX King Class hauls the up Cambrian Coast Express
Ex-GWR 0-4-2T No 1458 in black livery coupled to an auto-trailer leaving Soho and Winson Green Station
Ref: gwrswg1561
RS Carpenter
Ex-GWR 0-4-2T No 1458 in black livery coupled to an auto-trailer leaving Soho and Winson Green Station
Western Class D1006 'Western Stalwart' approaches Soho and Winson Green station on an up express
Ref: gwrswg1560
Mensing
Western Class D1006 'Western Stalwart' approaches Soho and Winson Green station on an up express
Ex-Great Western 4-6-0 King class No 6012 'King Edward VI' is seen steaming past Soho & Winson Green Station
Ref: gwrswg1563
M Mensing
Ex-Great Western 4-6-0 King class No 6012 'King Edward VI' is seen steaming past Soho & Winson Green Station

A special train of containers headed by an unidentified Grange class locomotive en-route from Vono Bedding
Ref: gwrsw1667
GWR Publication
A special train of containers headed by an unidentified Grange class locomotive en-route from Vono Bedding
Ex-GWR 0-6-0 No 3211 passing Soho and Winson Green station on the up relief line with a class H headcode
Ref: gwrsw2289
J Burrows
Ex-GWR 0-6-0 No 3211 passing Soho and Winson Green station on the up relief line with a class H headcode
Ex-GWR 28xx class 2-8-0 No 3865 passes through Soho and Winson Green Station on the up main line
Ref: gwrsw2290
D Montgomery
Ex-GWR 28xx class 2-8-0 No 3865 passes through Soho and Winson Green Station on the up main line
A special train of containers headed by an unidentified Grange class locomotive en-route from Vono Bedding
Ref: gwrsw2291
D Montgomery
BR built 4-6-0 No 6992 ‘Aborfield Hall’ passes Soho and Winson Green Station on the up relief line
Ex-GWR 49xx class 4-6-0 No 5977 ‘Beckford Hall’ passes Soho & Winson Green Signal Box on the up relief line
Ref: gwrsw2292
RS Carpenter
Ex-GWR 49xx class 4-6-0 No 5977 ‘Beckford Hall’ passes Soho & Winson Green Signal Box on the up relief line

Ex-GWR 49xx (Hall) class 4-6-0 No 4943 ‘Marrington Hall’ passes over the main to relief line crossovers
Ref: gwrsw2294
RS Carpenter
Ex-GWR 49xx (Hall) class 4-6-0 No 4943 ‘Marrington Hall’ passes over the main to relief line crossovers

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