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Handsworth Wood Station

LMS Route: Birmingham - Soho Road - Perry Barr - Birmingham

Handsworth station was opened by the LNWR on 1st January 1896 some eight years after they had built the short loop line between the New Street to Wolverhampton High Level route and the Grand Junction route. This route had been opened on 1st April 1889 with the intention of aiding the moving of traffic through and around Birmingham by avoiding New Street station. It was primarily envisaged for goods traffic, especially for servicing the coal mines around Perry Barr and Great Barr (Hamstead). Both passenger stations on the line, Handsworth Wood and Soho Road, (the latter opened with the line in 1889) were in competition with the GWR's more direct route between Wolverhampton and Birmingham. Consequently with the commencement of the Second World War, which required the railways to be efficient with scarce resources and labour, the two stations were closed in 1941 never to re-open although the route remains open to this day.

Handsworth station consisted of two wooden platforms with each having four lightweight timber structures in order to provide a booking office; ladies waiting room, general waiting room and gentlemen's urinal. They were mirror images of each with the booking offices for both platforms being at the Soho Road end of the four structures, alongside a short set of steps which led up to the pathway which ran on both embankments to Hamstead Road. At one end of the station was a short tunnel which ran beneath Church Hill House whilst at the other end was a footbridge provided to maintain a right of way across Handsworth Park.

Gates were fitted to the paths at Hamstead Road allowing the railway to close the pathway for one day of the year to prevent a public right of way being established. Initially the station was, for its type, well staffed with a station master and two junior porters. Staff levels were reduced and finally removed by the 1920s because of the need for the railway to make economies in the face of competition from the city's bus and tram routes. The station only provided a passenger service with freight traffic being serviced by Soho Pool Wharf a short distance away. The photographs below show that initially a ranch style of fencing was used at the rear of the platforms, the steps and pathways to Hamstead Road. However within a few years the section of fencing between the tunnel portal and the station buildings, together with the fencing up the steps, were replaced with iron 'spearhead' railings, in the latter case the railings continued beyond the steps to the top of the embankment.

Looking towards Soho Road station with Handsworth Wood Park on the right beyond the footbridge circa 1895
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LNWR Society
Looking towards Soho Road station with Handsworth Wood Park on the right beyond the footbridge circa 1895
Close up showing the Walsall end of the station and the four structures recessed in to the embankment
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LNWR Society
Close up showing the Walsall end of the station and the four structures recessed in to the embankment
Close up showing the down platform buildings with a modesty screen sited at 45 to the platform
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LNWR Society
Close up showing the down platform buildings with a modesty screen sited at 45° to the platform
Looking towards Handsworth Junction as a LNWR four-coach local passenger service enters the short tunnel
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LNWR Society
Looking towards Handsworth Junction as a LNWR four-coach local passenger service enters the short tunnel
Close up of the buildings on both platforms and the access to the station via paths from Hamstead Road
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LNWR Society
Close up of the buildings on both platforms and the access to the station via paths from Hamstead Road

Postcard<BR>Close up of the up platform and the iron spear railings which ran up the steps and also the embankment
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Postcard
Close up of the up platform and the iron spear railings which ran up the steps and also the embankment
View of Handsworth Wood station in 1933 after it had been down graded to an unmanned Halt status
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Anon
View of Handsworth Wood station in 1933 after it had been down graded to an unmanned Halt status
Looking along the up platform towards Soho Road station from the tunnel entrance beneath Hamstead Road
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LNWR Society
Looking along the up platform towards Soho Road station from the tunnel entrance beneath Hamstead Road
Looking towards Walsall and the tunnel portal from the footbridge joining the two parts of Handsworth Park
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LNWR Society
Looking towards Walsall and the tunnel portal from the footbridge joining the two parts of Handsworth Park
An unidentified LNWR 2-4-0 'Jumbo' class locomotive is seen departing from Handsworth Wood station
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LNWR Society
Close up of the down platform showing signs of the station falling in to disrepair, including the station signage

Close up of an unknown ex-LNWR 2-4-2T locomotive arriving at the up platform with just one passenger waiting
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LNWR Society
Close up of an unknown
ex-LNWR 2-4-2T locomotive arriving at the up platform for just one passenger
A 1912 OS map of the station showing the access paths to both platforms from Hamstead Road
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LNWR Society
A 1912 OS map of the station showing the access paths to both stations platforms from Hamstead Road

Locomotives seen at or near Handsworth Station

An unidentified LNWR 2-4-0 'Jumbo' class locomotive is seen departing from Handsworth Wood station
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Anon
An unidentified LNWR 2-4-0 'Jumbo' class locomotive is seen departing from Handsworth Wood station
LNWR No 683 is seen passing through the station with an up goods train most likely destined for Wolverhampton
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LNWR Society
LNWR No 683 passes through the station with an up goods train most likely destined for Wolverhampton
An unidentified LNWR 2-4-0 'Jumbo' locomotive heads a train out of the tunnel and en-route to New Street
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Postcard
An unidentified LNWR 2-4-0 'Jumbo' locomotive heads a train out of the tunnel and en-route to New Street
Two LNWR locomotives storm out of the tunnel whilst at the head of an up train to Birmingham New Street
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Postcard
Two LNWR locomotives storm out of the tunnel whilst at the head of an up train to Birmingham New Street
 LNWR 2-4-2T No 1155 is seen passing under the footbridge at the head of a train to New Street station circa 1900
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LNWR Society
LNWR 2-4-2T No 1155 passes under the footbridge at the head of a train to New Street station circa 1900

Ex-LNWR 0-8-0 'Super D' No 9345 passes through Handsworth Park at the head of a train of mineral wagons
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LNWR Society
Ex-LNWR 0-8-0 'Super D' No 9345 passes through Handsworth Park at the head of a train of mineral wagons
An unidentified LNWR 2-4-0 'Jumbo' class locomotive is seen departing from Handsworth Wood station
Ref: lnwr_hw3069
R Postill
British Railways Standard Class 9F 2-10-0 No 92059 passes through Handsworth Park at the head of an oil train