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GWR & LMS Joint Route: Halesowen to Longbridge Junction

Longbridge Station

A station at Longbridge on the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway opened on 15th November 1841, but this was short lived and had closed by 1849. When the Halesowen Railway was opened on Monday 10th September 1883, there was no station at Longbridge on either railway. An additional platform was to have been constructed at Northfield Station to act as an interchange with the Midland Railway, but the early Great Western Railway passenger services from Old Hill all terminated at Rubery, while the Midland Railway passenger services operated between Kings Norton and Halesowen. Only after the rapid expansion of the Austin Motor works during the First World War was a platform constructed on the Halesowen Railway at a position 26 chains from the Midland Railway’s main line junction and this was specifically for the workers. At the same time extensive private sidings for the works were also under construction paid for by the government.

Longbridge station appears in the Midland Railway Summer 1915 Working Timetable and in the Great Western Railway’s Winter 1915 Service Timetable. From July 1915 the Midland Railway operated Workman's trains from New Street, but it was not until 18th April 1917 that the Great Western Railway commenced Workman's Trains along the Halesowen Railway from Old Hill. There was no public passenger service to Longbridge station. Initially the Midland Railway’s Workman's trains were run empty from Longbridge to Rubery to enable the locomotive to run around in the loop there for the return journey, but by September 1917 a new loop line outside the platform line, with a signal box at each end, had been opened at Longbridge. Longbridge station consisted of a single island platform with lines on either side, but this was changed in 1918 by the addition of one extra outer platform, so that workers could disembark simultaneously from both sides of their train. At the same time, a footbridge and platform waiting shelters were also provided. Two platforms were also added on the Midland Railway’s main line for trains approaching from the south, but these closed shortly after the war and were swept away when this line was quadrupled in 1929. After the First World War, the Austin Motor's work force shrunk dramatically from over 20,000 to 1,100 in 1919, but then gradually increased again, so by 1936 there were 25,000 employed on the site. All public passenger services on the Halesowen Railway had ceased in April 1919, but the workman's trains from both railway companies continued to operate to Longbridge. Workman train services from Old Hill continued until 1st September 1958 and those from New Street until 4th January 1960.

Robert Ferris

Looking towards Longbridge Junction at the East end of Longbridge Station on 11th July 1954
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DJ Norton
Looking towards Longbridge Junction at the East end of Longbridge Station on 11th July 1954
Looking towards Longbridge Junction at the East end of Longbridge Station on 12th March 1962
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DJ Norton
Looking towards Longbridge Junction at the East end of Longbridge Station on 12th March 1962
View looking towards Halesowen Junction from Longbridge East Signal Box on 12th March 1962
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DJ Norton
View looking towards Halesowen Junction from Longbridge East Signal Box on 12th March 1962
Longbridge West Signal Box on the right with the station in the distance on 12th March 1962
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DJ Norton
Longbridge West Signal Box on the right with the station in the distance on 12th March 1962
Looking towards Rubery Station with Longbridge West Signal Box on the left on 12th March 1962
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DJ Norton
Looking towards Rubery Station with Longbridge West Signal Box on the left on 12th March 1962

Looking in the direction of Rubery towards Longbridge station with Longbridge East signal Box on the right
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DJ Norton
Looking in the direction of Rubery towards Longbridge station with Longbridge East signal Box on the right
Kitson 0-6-0ST 'Austin 1' passes the former Midland Railway Longbridge East Signal Box on 4th April 1958
Ref: mrlong1445
P Shoesmith
Kitson 0-6-0ST 'Austin 1' passes the former Midland Railway Longbridge East Signal Box on 4th April 1958
Looking towards Rubery with the former Midland Railway Longbridge East Signal Box on the left
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M Westley
Looking towards Rubery with the former Midland Railway Longbridge East Signal Box on the left
Ex-MR 2F 0-6-0 No 58271 stands at Longbridge station with an SLS Railtour on Saturday 30th May 1959
Ref: mrlong1452
PB Whitehouse
Ex-MR 2F 0-6-0 No 58271 stands at Longbridge station with an SLS Railtour on Saturday 30th May 1959
GWR 0-6-0PT  No 1835 is seen leaving Longbridge station with a GWR Workman’s train for Old Hill circa 1946
Ref: mrlong1453
PB Whitehouse
GWR 0-6-0PT No 1835 is seen leaving Longbridge station with a GWR Workman's train for Old Hill circa 1946

British Railways built 0-6-0PT No 7449 arrives with a Workman’s train from Old Hill on 20th August 1957
Ref: mrlong1454
M Hale
British Railways built 0-6-0PT No 7449 arrives with a Workman's train from Old Hill on 20th August 1957
BR 0-6-0PT No 7432 leaves Longbridge station with the 5:09pm Workman's train for Old Hill on Monday 8th April 1957
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R Casserley
BR 0-6-0PT No 7432 leaves Longbridge station with the 5:09pm Workman's train for Old Hill on 8th April 1957
British Railways 0-6-0PT 64xx class No 7448 leaves Longbridge station in the late 1950s
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R Darlaston
British Railways 0-6-0PT 64xx class No 7448 leaves Longbridge station in the late 1950s
GWR 0-6-0PT No 1835 at Longbridge station with the 17:09 GWR Workman's train for Old Hill in 1947
Ref: mrlong1462
Anon
GWR 0-6-0PT No 1835 at Longbridge station with the 17:09 GWR Workman's train for Old Hill in 1947

Railway Timetables and Notices

Booklet entitled 'Instructions affecting GW Employees when working over the LMS dated July 1945
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R Ferris
Booklet entitled 'Instructions affecting GW Employees when working over the LMS dated July 1945
Extract for the Joint Halesowen Railway from the GWR’s Service Time Table No 12 for 14th July 1916
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R Ferris
Extract for the Joint Halesowen Railway from the GWR’s Service Time Table No 12 for 14th July 1916
Extract for the Joint Halesowen Railway from the GWR’s Service Time Table No 13 July to September 1929
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R Ferris
Extract for the Joint Halesowen Railway from the GWR’s Service Time Table No 13 July to September 1929
Operational Instructions for the Halesowen Joint Line from the GWR Appendix to Service Time Table March 1929
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R Ferris
Operational Instructions for the Halesowen Joint Line from the GWR Appendix to Service Time Table March 1929