General plan showing the relationship of Lawley Street Depot's new shed compared to the 1850 diverted course of the river. Details of the old watercourses at Lawley Street had been given by Mr Barbey in 1943. The investigations were made during the summer of 1940, and the above plan showed the main culverts involved. The shed was in the angle between the Birmingham to Stafford line (the old Grand Junction Railway) and the line of the old London to Birmingham Railway from Euston. Before those two railways were built, there was a road called Watery Lane (marked B in Fig. 3), and in 1806, Lawley Street was carried down across the area marked A¹, A² and A³. At that time, the river Rea followed the course A³GJ, with a branch (marked C) into a mill stream which, since 1758, if not earlier, had always been considerably larger than the river Rea itself. That branch portion of the original river or mill stream existed as an open stream until about 1839, when it was culverted; but at the time the new Goods Shed came to be built, and the site was being investigated, it was not known that such a culvert existed.
That was because in 1869 a diversion was made, as shown by line D¹, D²; that culvert was in turn reconstructed in 1891, and again in 1933 as the triple-barreled culvert which had already been mentioned, and having three spans of about 12 feet each. The original culvert C had long been dead, but prior to the building of the shed it was investigated and found to be still there, though blocked up. A further complication arose because, about 1869, the course of the river Rea marked G was completely abandoned, and replaced by that marked F. Again, prior to 1839 the river was given an alternative course, marked H, which was discovered from the fact that land sold to the Midland Railway Company, for the development of the site, had its boundary along that line. The diversion to line E, part of the present course F E D¹D², of the existing triple culvert, took place about 1850.