LMS Route: Nuneaton to Coventry
For Nuneaton to Coventry
click here and for Coventry to
Leamington click here.
The line was built for the London and North Western Railway
and was opened on the 2nd September 1850. On 26th January 1857, twenty-three of
the twenty-eight arches of the Spon End viaduct collapsed. This meant trains
travelling south terminated at Coundon Road while the viaduct was rebuilt. This
took three and a half years to complete and services to Coventry were restored
on 1st October 1860. The line originally had intermediate stations at Coundon
Road, Foleshill, Longford and Exhall, Hawkesbury Lane, Bedworth and Chilvers
Coton. In 1917, Daimler Halt was opened between Coundon Road and Foleshill.
This was a private halt for the use of workers at the adjacent Daimler factory,
and was not accessible to the general public. There were also various branches
and sidings running from the line to serve local coal mines and factories, the
longest of which was the 'Coventry Loop
Line'. The line came under the ownership of the London, Midland and
Scottish Railway (LMS) on 1st January 1923, and then British Railways on 1st
January1948. The little used Longford and Exhall station was closed in 1949.
All of the other intermediate stations were closed on 18th January 1965 (along
with those on the Coventry to Leamington Line) when passenger services were
withdrawn as a consequence of Dr Beeching's Report The Reshaping of British
Railways report. On 11th May 1987 passenger services were reintroduced
under the Speller Act. Initially there were no intermediate stations on the
re-opened line until 16 May 1988 when the rebuilt Bedworth station was opened.
In 2015 a new station, the Ricoh Arena.
After considering the claims of an alternative route via
Oxford and Banbury, the proprietors of the London and Birmingham Railway
Company eventually selected a route passing through Rugby and Coventry.
Coventry station was opened, with the line, in 1838, and was at first available
only for passengers. It was a 'Tudor' building of brick with stone dressings,
close to Warwick Road Bridge and giving access to the railway by two flights of
stone steps. Shortly after 1846 the station was rebuilt and enlarged on a new
site about one hundred yards east of the first station which then became the
stationmaster's house. There was more rebuilding in 1873-4 and a new approach
to the station, Eaton Road, was completed in 1880. This station, which was
further enlarged in 1904, was replaced in 1962 by an entirely new station on
the same site. The new station, four times the size of its predecessor, is
characterized by its large areas of glass, and its imaginative lay-out. It is
entered from a wide concourse or booking-hall which projects into Station
Square and is flanked by the goods department on one side and a restaurant on
the other. Goods routed to and from Coventry were, for some years after 1838,
sent via Birmingham, but by 1863 there was a goods station west of Warwick Road
Bridge. Other main-line stations were opened at Tile Hill, about 3½
miles west of Coventry station, in 1864, and at Canley Halt in 1940. In 1844
the London and Birmingham Railway Company opened a branch line south from
Coventry to Milverton. A second branch line was completed in 1850 by its
successor, the London and North Western Railway Company, running north to
Nuneaton, and connecting, via the Trent Valley line, with the railway systems
of the north midlands and the north-east of England. The Nuneaton line included
a quarter-mile viaduct at Spon End, comprising 28 arches each of 48 ft. span.
Work began on this in 1848; 23 arches collapsed in 1857, and the line was not
fully reopened until 1860. A branch line to Wyken Colliery was completed in
1848. Several stations within Coventry were brought into service with the
Nuneaton line; Coundon Road, nearest Coventry station, Foleshill, Longford and
Exhall, and Hawkesbury Lane, open for passengers from 1850 and for goods from
1889. An additional station, Daimler Halt, was opened in 1917, dealing with
passenger traffic. Hawkesbury Lane was closed for passenger traffic in 1960 and
for goods traffic in 1965. The others were closed in 1965. The completion in
1852 of the Birmingham and Oxford Junction Railway, which passed through
Leamington, opened an indirect connexion with the Great Western system, and
provided a possible alternative route to London. The LNWR, however, continued
in sole control of all railway services to and from Coventry, and successfully
defended its position of monopoly against the attempts of other companies,
frequently with the support of the city council, to build a competing line.
Perhaps the most significant of such attempts was the plan for a Great Western
line from Birdingbury to Priory Street, canvassed in 1865. There were no
important changes in Coventry's rail communications after 1850. The line from
Berkswell to Kenilworth Junction, opened in 1884, enabled traffic from Warwick
to Birmingham to by-pass Coventry. The Coventry loop (avoiding) line, opened in
1914, skirted the eastern edge of the city, providing an alternative connexion
between the main line and the Coventry-Nuneaton branch line. Goods yards were
opened on this line at Gosford Green and Bell Green in 1914 and have never been
used for passenger traffic. Bell Green was closed in 1965.
Route continues on to Leamington (Avenue)
Signal Cabin Closures
|Coventry No 4 Signal Canin
|Coundon Road Station
|Three Spires Junction
|Bedlam Gates Crossing
|Foleshill Gas Works Siding
|Longford & Exhall Station
|*New box opened 25-02-03.