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Sutton Coldfield Station (LNWR)

LMS Route: Birmingham New Street to Lichfield

Sutton Coldfield station was opened on 2nd June 1862, as the northern terminus of the branch line from Aston built by the London and North Western Railway. The station is built using red brick and was equipped with elaborate ceilings and pillars. The population increased dramatically and in 1880 an extension to Lichfield City was authorised. This line was opened to goods traffic in September 1884 and to passenger traffic on 15th December 1884. A new passenger station, on a 15 chain radius curve, replaced the original station. The new line was extended north to Lichfield via a 171 yard tunnel built immediately beyond the end of the platforms. After the extension was opened the services serving Lichfield were a combination of trains terminating at Sutton Coldfield, Four Oaks - the next station to the north, or Lichfield. After the grouping of railway companies in 1923, the station came under the control of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway which resulted in the rationalisation of the former Midland Railway services at Sutton Town. Goods facilities were withdrawn from Sutton Coldfield on 1st May 1967 and a Motor Rail terminal for services to Scotland and the West Country opened. This facility was closed in 1972, together with Newton-le-Willows, when Crewe was designated to handle the requirements of the West Midlands.

Stephen Lea writes, 'regarding the 1862 LNWR Sutton Coldfield station, the illustrations are from my father's book 'Steaming Up to Sutton' which I see is in the bibliography. The photos and plans in that book were reproduced from originals held in the Local Studies collection at Sutton Coldfield Public Library - my father was at the time regional librarian for North Birmingham, based at Sutton Library. The one exception is the plan (your ref. lnwrsc2606) which was drawn by teenage me! - from a plan in the Local Studies collection that was unsuitable for copying or photography. Some of the reproduction methods were a bit crude for 'Steaming Up to Sutton' - there's a photo of the parliamentary bill or some such (I haven't right now been able to put my hands on my copy of the book) held flat with several library chair legs - the 1970s furniture was inclined to fall apart!

For a number of years now my father has had a weekly local history column in the Sutton Coldfield Observer which has occasionally strayed onto railway subjects - quite recently my collection of LNWR books - including Harry Jack's on Southern Division engines - helped out with the research for an item on the photo of No 734. That photo of (speculatively) the first train is rather controversial in LNWR carriage circles as the livery is quite clearly "plum and spilt milk" some 6 or 7 years before that livery was supposedly introduced. The 'Bloomer' is fascinating. I used to dismiss it as an artistic fantasy but I've become more convinced that the artist accurately reproduced what was before him - especially after reading Harry Jack's Southern Division book where he states that some Small Bloomers working in the West Midlands were given four-wheel tenders. Ramsbottom smokebox door with McConnell handle? Who can know at this distance what actually went on in the works!

The Original 1862 Station

View of Sutton Coldfield's first station when built as the terminus of the line from Birmingham via Aston
Ref: lnwrsc90
NRM
View of Sutton Coldfield's first station when built as the terminus of the line from Birmingham via Aston
Close up showing McConnell's 0-4-2T No 734 ready to haul its train bunker first to Birmingham New Street
Ref: lnwrsc90a
NRM
Close up showing McConnell's 0-4-2T No 734 ready to haul its train bunker first to Birmingham New Street
A circa 1870 view of Sutton Coldfield station's departure platform showing the new refreshment room on the left
Ref: lnwrsc2607
R Lea
A circa 1870 view of Sutton Coldfield station's departure platform showing the new refreshment room on the left
Painting showing the original Royal Hotel which was opened in May 1865 some three years after the railway
Ref: lnwrsc2610
R Lea
Painting showing the original Royal Hotel which was opened in May 1865 some three years after the railway
Close up showing an unknown LNWR 2-2-2 locomotive being turned on Sutton Coldfield's turntable
Ref: lnwrsc2610a
R Lea
Close up showing an unknown LNWR 2-2-2 locomotive being turned on Sutton Coldfield's turntable

Close up showing one of Sutton Coldfield's preeminent citizens leaving the station in their private horse drawn carriage
Ref: lnwrsc2610b
R Lea
Close up of one of Sutton Coldfield's citizens leaving the station in their private horse drawn carriage
A drawing showing part of the platform elevation to Sutton Coldfield station's 1862 booking office
Ref: lnwrsc2612
R Lea
A drawing showing part of the platform elevation to Sutton Coldfield station's 1862 booking office
A timetable showing the train times from Sutton Coldfield to New Street for the period of February 1870
Ref: lnwrsc2611
R Lea
A timetable showing the train times from Sutton Coldfield to New Street for the period of February 1870
A map showing the layout of Sutton Coldfield's 1862 station including goods shed and coal yard
Ref: lnwrsc2606
S Lea
A map showing the layout of Sutton Coldfield's 1862 station including goods shed and coal yard

The Rebuilt 1884 Station

An external view of Sutton Coldfield station's 1884 building located on Railway Road and which comprised just four rooms
Ref: lnwrsc96
P Kingston
An external view of Sutton Coldfield station's 1884 four room building located on Railway Road
Looking to Sutton Coldfield along the up platform after the accident had demolished much of the platform structure
Ref: lnwrsc89
Anon
Looking to Sutton Coldfield along the up platform after the accident had demolished much of the platform structure
View of the Birmingham platform showing the lengthy platform canopy and the numerous passenger facilities
Ref: lnwrsc97
Anon
View of the Birmingham platform showing the lengthy platform canopy and the numerous passenger facilities
Looking towards Lichfield from the Birmingham end of the down platform showing the platform's very long canopy
Ref: lnwrsc91
Anon
Looking towards Lichfield from the Birmingham end of the down platform showing the platform's very long canopy
View of the up platform after being repaired following the horrendous accident which occurred in 1955
Ref: lnwrsc93
Anon
View of the up platform after being repaired following the horrendous accident which occurred in 1955

Looking towards Lichfield from mid-way along the down platform with the main station building seen on the left
Ref: lnwrsc94
Anon
Looking towards Lichfield from mid-way along the down platform with the main station building seen on the left
Close up showing the passenger access to the up platform from road level via the incline structure
Ref: lnwrsc94a
Anon
Close up showing the passenger access to the up platform from road level via the incline structure
View of the station taken immediately from above Sutton Coldfield Tunnel looking towards the station
Ref: lnwrsc2406
S Jones
View of the station taken immediately from above Sutton Coldfield Tunnel looking towards the station
Close up showing Stanier 2-6-2T No 40080 in a relatively clean condition, in British Railway's lined black livery
Ref: lnwrsc92b
LGRP
Close up of Stanier 2-6-2T No 40080 in a relatively clean condition, in British Railway's lined black livery
Ex-LMS 2-6-2T No 40080 stands at the head of a down service from Lichfield to New Street station
Ref: lnwrsc92
LGRP
Ex-LMS 2-6-2T No 40080 stands at the head of a down service from Lichfield to New Street station

Close up showing the up platform's passenger waiting rooms and above, the bridge to the down platform
Ref: lnwrsc92a
LGRP
Close up showing the up platform's passenger waiting rooms and above, the bridge to the down platform
View of one of the excavators being used to build the extension to the line from Sutton Coldfield to Lichfield
Ref: lnwrsc95
Anon
View of one of the excavators being used to build the extension to the line from Sutton Coldfield to Lichfield
A 1913 25 Inch to the Mile Ordnance Survey Map showing Sutton Coldfield station and goods yard
Ref: lnwrsc4265
National library of Scotland
A 1913 25 Inch to the Mile Ordnance Survey Map showing Sutton Coldfield station and goods yard

British Railways Motorail Services

A view of the ramp used to load the cars into the Motorail carriages located at the rear of the train
Ref: lnwrsc4275
Derek TP
A view of the ramp used to load the cars into the Motorail carriages located at the rear of the train
Bentley S3 Continental MPW drophead coupe is seen being loaded into the motorail rolling stock
Ref: lnwrsc4292
Old Classic Cars
Bentley S3 Continental MPW drophead coupe is seen being loaded into the motorail rolling stock
A view of a Daimler DR450, Registration Number 510 FGK, being loaded onto a car train at Coleshill
Ref: lnwrsc4293
Old Classic Cars
A view of a Daimler DR450, Registration Number 510 FGK, being loaded onto a car train at Coleshill
Another view of a Daimler DR450, Registration Number 510 FGK, being loaded onto a car train at Coleshill
Ref: lnwrsc4294
Old Classic Cars
Another view of a Daimler DR450, Registration Number 510 FGK, being loaded onto a car train at Coleshill
A schematic plan of Sutton Coldfield station showing passenger and Motor Rail facilities circa 1969
Ref: lnwrsc2410
R Powell Hendry
A schematic plan of Sutton Coldfield station showing passenger and Motor Rail facilities circa 1969

William Rivitt Stationmaster

Mr Rivitt, Sutton Coldfield's stationmaster and a porter pose with a group of policemen on the up platform
Ref: lnwrsc544
P Rivitt
Mr Rivitt, Sutton Coldfield's stationmaster and a porter pose with a group of policemen on the up platform
Sutton Coldfield's stationmaster, William Rivitt, stands with his wife and daughter on the footbridge circa 1912
Ref: lnwrsc4269
W Rivett
Sutton Coldfield's stationmaster, William Rivitt, with his wife and daughter on the footbridge circa 1912
William Rivitt's Daughter in Law, Ruby (nee Lucas) Rivett stands in rose bed adjacent to Sutton Coldfield station
Ref: lnwrsc4270
W Rivett
William Rivitt's Daughter in Law, Ruby (nee Lucas) Rivett stands in rose bed adjacent to Sutton Coldfield station
The female side of the Stationmaster's family are seen feeding the chickens at Sutton Coldfield station
Ref: lnwrsc4271
W Rivett
The female side of the Stationmaster's family are seen feeding the chickens at Sutton Coldfield station
Clarification that William Rivitt's new position at Sutton Coldfield commences on Monday 6th March 1911
Ref: lnwrsc4268
W Rivitt
Clarification that William Rivitt's new position at Sutton Coldfield commences on Monday 6th March 1911

Dated 4th March 1991 and sent to William Rivitt at Smethwick. Can you decipher the handwriting?
Ref: lnwrsc4272
W Rivett
Dated 4th March 1991 and sent to William Rivitt at Smethwick. Can you decipher the handwriting?
Confirmation that William Rivitt moves from Smethwick to take up his new post at Sutton Coldfield on 6th March 1911
Ref: lnwrsc4267
W Rivitt
Confirmation that William Rivitt moves to take up his new post at Sutton Coldfield on 6th March 1911
Confirmation that the post William is 'now' filling is 'in class three' - has William challenged his salary?
Ref: lnwrsc4266
W Rivitt
Confirmation that the post William is 'now' filling is 'in class three' - has William challenged his salary?
Confirmation that the post William is 'now' filling is 'in class three' - has William challenged his salary?
Ref: lnwrsc4274
W Rivitt
Message sent to William arranging for him to meet an Inspector whilst a stand-in has been arranged as cover

Accident at Sutton Coldfield station on 23rd January 1955

On Sunday last, January 23rd, the London Midland Region 12.15 p.m. train from York to Bristol was derailed whilst passing Sutton Cold?eld Station, near Birmingham, at 4.l5 p.m. As a result of this accident seventeen people lost their lives and about forty were injured. It would appear that the train was passing round a left-hand curve when the derailment occurred. Normally this train runs via Tamworth, but on this occasion it had been diverted to a loop line passing through Sutton Cold?eld, as repairs were in hand on the main line near Tamworth. For this reason a pilot driver was also on duty on the footplate with the usual driver and ?reman. As a result of the derailment the locomotive was thrown over on to its side and nine of the ten coaches of the train left the tracks. Reports say that the leading coaches were telescoped, two of them being thrown on top of the locomotive and three others thrown on to their sides. Amongst those killed were the pilot driver and ?reman, whilst the driver of the train was seriously injured. For a more detailed account of the accident please see the Ministry of Transport Report.

Courtesy of The Engineer, January 28th 1955

View of one of the carriages and its bogie, twisted and distorted following their derailment
Ref: lnwrsc2407
Anon
View of one of the carriages and its bogie, twisted and distorted following their derailment
A night time view of the wreck of ex-LMS 5MT 4-6-0 No 45274 which is lying on its side next to the remains of one of the carriages
Ref: lnwrsc2408
Railways Archive
View of the wreck of ex-LMS 5MT 4-6-0 No 45274 which is lying on its side next to the remains of a carriage
One of fifteen photographs showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
Ref: lnwrsc4276
Anon
One of fifteen photos showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
One of fifteen photographs showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
Ref: lnwrsc4277
Anon
One of fifteen photos showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
One of fifteen photographs showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
Ref: lnwrsc4278
Anon
One of fifteen photos showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident

One of fifteen photographs showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
Ref: lnwrsc4280
Birmingham Post & Mail
One of fifteen photos showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
One of fifteen photographs showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
Ref: lnwrsc4281
Birmingham Post & Mail
One of fifteen photos showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
One of fifteen photographs showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
Ref: lnwrsc4282
Birmingham Post & Mail
One of fifteen photos showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
One of fifteen photographs showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
Ref: lnwrsc4283
Birmingham Post & Mail
One of fifteen photos showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
One of fifteen photographs showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
Ref: lnwrsc4284
Birmingham Post & Mail
One of fifteen photos showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident

One of fifteen photographs showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
Ref: lnwrsc4285
BBirmingham Post & Mail
One of fifteen photos showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
One of fifteen photographs showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
Ref: lnwrsc4286
Birmingham Post & Mail
One of fifteen photos showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
One of fifteen photographs showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
Ref: lnwrsc4287
Birmingham Post & Mail
One of fifteen photos showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
One of fifteen photographs showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
Ref: lnwrsc4288
Birmingham Post & Mail
One of fifteen photos showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
One of fifteen photographs showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
Ref: lnwrsc4289
Birmingham Post & Maill
One of fifteen photos showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident

One of fifteen photographs showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
Ref: lnwrsc4290
Birmingham Post & Mail
One of fifteen photos showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
One of fifteen photographs showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
Ref: lnwrsc4291
Birmingham Post & Mail
One of fifteen photos showing the rescue and recovery operations in the aftermath of the accident
Ex-LMS 2-6-4T No 42421 travels slowly through the accident damaged remains of Sutton Coldfield station
Ref: lnwrsc2339
Birmingham Post & Mail
Ex-LMS 2-6-4T No 42421 travels slowly through the accident damaged remains of Sutton Coldfield station
View of one of the excavators being used to build the extension to the line from Sutton Coldfield to Lichfield
Ref: lnwrsc2409
H Knox
Ministry of Transport report into the accident at Sutton Coldfield in 1955 - courtesy of Railways Archive