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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

GWR Route: North Warwickshire Line

Tyseley Shed: gwrt3213

A 1904 letter from the GWR Civil Engineering Department about second thoughts about the suitability of the land acquired at Tyseley

In early 1904 the Civil Engineering Department of the Great Western Railway were having second thoughts about the suitability of the 60 acres of land acquired at Tyseley. They estimated that 958,000 cubic yards of infill was required to level the site, of which 382,000 cubic yards could be obtained from the cuttings to be constructed during the widening north of Birmingham (between Hockley and Handsworth). The cost of purchasing the total required infill, conveying this to site and carting out was estimated to be £95,800 and in addition the traffic constraints of bringing the material through Snow Hill Station would cause significant delays to the project. Building on infilled land also required additional foundations for both the Engine and Carriage Sheds which was estimated to cost £10,000. Furthermore it had been identified that the River Cole, the Cole Valley Sewer and three other sewers belonging to the Yardley District Council would need to be diverted and Sparkbrook would need to be culverted (these can be seen on map 'gwrt2967a'). This work was estimated to cost £35,000.

An alternative plot of land which would not require infill had been identified to the east of Hall Green Station. This site had the disadvantage that it was about half the size of the Tyseley site and was also about one mile further from the centre of operations in Birmingham. This was thought to require a pair of additional running lines laid between there and Tyseley junction, but even with the cost of these lines there was a significant saving, estimated to be £115,600.

The attached letter shows that by the end of March 1904 the final decision as to the location of the replacement Engine Shed and Carriage Sidings had still not been taken and it was therefore decided to postpone the widening work on the Bordesley and Tyseley section, but to pursue the work between a point north of Tyseley and another point north of Olton, which was required irrespective of the decision on the Engine Shed and Carriage Sidings location. The cost of the agreed Engineering works was recorded as only £56,500.

Robert Ferris