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LMS Routes

LMS Route: Nuneaton to Coventry

Route History

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were closed on 18th January 1965 (along with those on the Coventry to Leamington Line) when passenger services were withdrawn as a consequence of Dr Beeching's Report The Reshaping of British Railways report.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.

Nuneaton (Trent Valley):
Chilvers Coton
Hawkesbury Lane
Longford & Exhall
Coventry Gasworks
Coventry Loop Line:
Three Spires Junction
Foleshill Road
Daimler Halt
Coundon Road

Route continues on to Leamington (Avenue)

Signal Cabin Closures

Location Date
Coventry No 4 Signal Canin 16-04-62
Coundon Road Station 23-05-09
Webster's Siding 24-06-73
Foleshill Station 26-04-66
Three Spires Junction 09-98 *
Bedlam Gates Crossing 13-11-88
Foleshill Gas Works Siding 02-08-70
Longford & Exhall Station 09-06-65
Hawkesbury Lane 23-05-09
Newdigates Siding 04-05-83
Bedworth Station 09-67
Griff Junction 03-02-85
*New box opened 25-02-03. Closed 23-05-09