Birmingham Moor Street railway station

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Birmingham Moor Street National Rail
2013 at Birmingham Moor Street - ststion entrance.jpg
Restored GWR entrance to Moor Street.
Place Birmingham
Local authority City of Birmingham
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Grid reference SP074867
Station code BMO
Managed by Chiltern Railways
Number of platforms 4 (2 terminus, 2 through platforms)
DfT category B
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2009/10 Increase 4.259 million
2010/11 Increase 4.756 million
2011/12 Increase 6.385 million
2012/13 Decrease 6.101 million
2013/14 Increase 6.229 million
2014/15 Increase 6.521 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE West Midlands
Zone 1
1909 Opened
1914 Current buildings completed
1987 Station relocated, through platforms opened, terminal platforms closed.
2002 Renovated
2010 Two terminal platforms reopened.
National RailUK railway stations


* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Birmingham Moor Street from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Birmingham Moor Street is one of three main railway stations in the city centre of Birmingham, England, along with Birmingham New Street and Birmingham Snow Hill.

Moor Street has become more important in recent years, as it is now the terminus of many Chiltern Railways services from London Marylebone, as well as being an important stop for local services on the Snow Hill Lines. It is now the second busiest railway station in Birmingham.


Early history

At the turn of the 20th Century, suburban rail traffic into Birmingham was growing rapidly. The Great Western Railway greatly expanded their facilities in the city at that time to cope with the demands. Snow Hill station, their main station in Birmingham, was extensively rebuilt and expanded. However, the twin tracked Snow Hill tunnel, which ran underneath the city centre into Snow Hill, did not have enough capacity to accommodate all of the traffic, and widening the tunnel was considered impractical. Moor Street station therefore, was built at the opposite end of the tunnel to take terminating local trains from the south and relieve traffic.

Moor Street station in 1915, from end of the platform, looking back towards the city centre, with the goods shed to the left.

It was a terminus for local trains from Leamington Spa, and local trains from the North Warwickshire Line via Stratford-upon-Avon. It was opened with temporary buildings in July 1909, the permanent buildings were completed in 1914. The station was located to the western side of the entrance to Snow Hill tunnel, and had three terminal platforms, but the through tracks to Snow Hill running alongside were not provided with platforms.[1][2] It was the last terminal station to be built in Birmingham, within easy walking distance of the very first at Curzon Street.[citation needed]

Because the station was built on a confined site, it was equipped with two electrically operated traversers at the buffer end of the platforms as a space saving measure, in order to allow locomotives to move sideways between tracks, instead of having to reverse through crossovers. The traversers were removed from service in 1967, and a crossover was installed.[2][3]

Sunday trains at Moor Street began for the first time when Snow Hill was reopened in the mid-1980s. Before then, Sunday trains ran through the tunnel to Snow Hill station instead (pre 1967/8). With the Snow Hill tunnel closure in 1968, these trains were diverted into New Street.

Goods station

Moor Street was originally provided with a large goods station situated adjacent to the passenger station. This took many goods trains which would otherwise have passed through Snow Hill tunnel. Because it was built in a confined space, the goods station was built on two levels, with two wagon lifts to transfer wagons to and from the low level sheds. These were constructed from re-inforced concrete using the Hennebique technique.This was a method of re-inforcing concrete and patented by the Frenchman Henri Hennebique) [clarification needed] The fresh fruit and vegetables would arrive at the station in the mornings, to be lowered to the waiting vans below and taken straight to the nearby market in the Bull Ring. It was also equipped with electric traversers to move wagons between tracks.[4] The goods station was finally closed on 6 November 1972.[2] The site of the former goods station is now partly occupied by the Selfridges Building.

The terminus platforms in 1980.
The two through platforms, looking towards Snow Hill tunnel. These were opened in 1987, but were given a makeover in the 2000s to match the style of the original station


Moor Street was a closure target during the Beeching Axe. The local services to Stratford-upon-Avon and Leamington Spa were diverted to New Street from May 1967 and Moor Street was put out of use, but capacity at New Street proved insufficient, and so, after a gap of 11 years, the local services reverted to terminating at Moor Street from 8 May 1978.[5] Most services to Birmingham Snow Hill were withdrawn in 1967 and Snow Hill tunnel was closed to traffic the following year, leaving Moor Street as an isolated terminus for local trains.[1][6]


In the mid-1980s funding became available to re-open a station at Birmingham Snow Hill, along with Snow Hill tunnel. As part of the re-opening scheme, a new Moor Street station with through platforms was built at the southern portal of the restored tunnel. On completion of this project, the original Moor Street terminus became redundant, and closed down. The final train, on 26 September 1987,[6] was a steam special hauled by a locomotive from Birmingham Railway Museum, Clun Castle.[6]

The original station, now a Grade II listed building, was not demolished but, by the late 1980s, the former platforms were overgrown and dilapidated, and cracks in the wall were visible from the road side including some caused by the impact of a runaway bus.[7] After a public meeting the "Moor Street Station Historical Society" was formed to "Save Our Station". Dr Bernard Juby, a medical practitioner from nearby Yardley, became its Chairman and immediately set about making the Station and its warehousing Grade II Listed Buildings. Large teams of volunteers met each week-end to clean and preserve the various buildings. The existing artifacts were carefully renovated and stored and were subsequently re-used when the station re-opened to the public.[8]

In the 1990s the range of services stopping at Moor Street were expanded for the first time since it opened. In 1993, limited stop Network South East services were introduced from London Marylebone to Snow Hill via Banbury and Leamington Spa, stopping at Moor Street, thus making Moor Street a main line station for the first time.[9] This service was taken over by Chiltern Railways following privatisation. In 1995, the completion of the "Jewellery Line" project north of Snow Hill, meant that through services to Worcester via Stourbridge Junction and Kidderminster were introduced.[10]


The station entrance concourse as redeveloped in 2010
A Chiltern Railway Class 168 stands in the newly reopened Platform 4

In the 2000s, the growth in services on the Snow Hill Lines again strained capacity through Snow Hill tunnel, and so Chiltern Railways and the Birmingham Alliance decided to restore the original terminus and reopen it, to allow some services to terminate there rather than Snow Hill. In 2002 the original Moor Street station building and platforms were renovated at a cost of £11 million. However, there was a long delay before the old terminal platforms were connected to the network and opened for service, because of delays in carrying out the necessary signalling work by Network Rail.[11] The reconnected terminal platforms 3 & 4 were formally re-opened on 11 December 2010.[6]

The restoration project also unified the original station and the 1980s station into one. The 1980s main station entrance was enlarged with the provision of a new roadside canopy, and a new passenger access was created to the through platforms using the old station's ticket hall. The footbridge and canopies on the through platforms were also rebuilt to match the style of the original station.[6]

Refurbished in 1930s style, the station has reproduction lamps, clock, seating, and signage. The renovation won the Railway Heritage Trust award for 2004 and The Birmingham Civic Society's Renaissance Award for 2005.[12] The station became home to the cosmetically restored second GWR 2884 Class 2-8-0 No. 2885, which, until being removed on 4 June 2013,[13] stood in the disused platform five. Further renovations during 2011–12 included the installation of GWR-inspired gilt signage on the front and side elevations of the station building.

Since the December 2010 timetable change, two of the three south facing bay platforms at Moor Street station are now connected to the network and in use, enabling some of the Chiltern services to and from London Marylebone to terminate at Moor Street instead of Snow Hill.[14] Local Chiltern stopping services to Leamington Spa will also begin and terminate at the new terminal platforms. Chiltern Railways are engaged in a large-scale redevelopment of their route from London Marylebone to Birmingham with improvements to allow higher speeds.

A fast train service between Moor Street and London Marylebone was introduced on 5 September 2011 using locomotive-hauled coaches, furthering the competition with Virgin Trains' West Coast Main Line services from Birmingham New Street.[15]


Moor Street is currently served by London Midland who run local services on the Snow Hill Lines, and by Chiltern Railways who run longer distance services to London Marylebone. Some of the Chiltern services terminate at Snow Hill, calling at Moor Street, while other express locomotive hauled services terminate at Moor Street's recently re-opened terminal platforms. The present service pattern is:

Chiltern Railways:

(In peak hours some Chiltern Railways services extend beyond Snow Hill to Kidderminster)
  • An hourly stopping service to Leamington Spa.

(All Chiltern services call at Solihull, which when combined with London Midland services gives Moor Street six trains per hour to Solihull.)

London Midland:

of which one continues to Stratford-upon-Avon
of which one continues to Stratford-upon-Avon
of which four continue to Kidderminster:
of which two continue to Worcester Foregate Street
(services beyond Worcester, to Malvern and Hereford are irregular, generally about one per hour)

On summer Sundays Moor Street is used by steam locomotives running tourist specials between Snow Hill and Stratford upon Avon and trains between Snow Hill and Tyseley for Vintage Trains.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Birmingham Snow Hill   Chiltern Railways
Chiltern Main Line
Birmingham Snow Hill   London Midland
    Small Heath
Heritage Railways  Heritage railways
Birmingham Snow Hill   Vintage Trains
The Shakespeare Express

Links to New Street station

Moor Street station is a few hundred metres away from New Street station; the city's main railway station. There is a signposted route for passengers travelling between New Street and Moor Street stations which involves a short walk through a tunnel under the Bullring shopping centre. Although the railway lines into New Street pass directly underneath Moor Street station, there is no track connection. In 2013 a new direct walkway was opened between the two stations making interchange easier.[16]


In 2007 the station faced a new lease of life with proposals to reintroduce services along the Camp Hill Line towards Kings Norton including stations at Moseley, Kings Heath and Hazelwell. This would provide three or four trains per hour into the terminal platforms at Moor Street.[17]

These proposed services first require the building of a chord linking the Camp Hill Line to the Chiltern Main Line and Moor Street. If this proposal goes ahead then it has been speculated that further local services to Tamworth and along a reopened Sutton Park Line will begin and terminate at Moor Street.

The High Speed 2 terminus in Birmingham is planned to be built on an adjacent site and will likely be linked to Moor Street, though have a separate name (either Fazeley Street or Curzon Street). The station and high-speed line is proposed to be completed by the mid-2020s.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Moor Street Station 1909 - Present". Retrieved 24 March 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Moor Street Passenger Station". Retrieved 24 March 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Photograph of traverser -
  4. Photograph of wagon hoists -
  5. Bevan, Alan. The Story of The North Warwickshire Line 1908 - 2008. Alard Print & Reprographics Limited.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "Birmingham Moor Street Restoration". Tyseley Locomotive Works. Retrieved 21 April 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Birmingham Post and Mail[full citation needed]
  9. "The History of Network SouthEast. Year by Year Jan 1993 - Dec 1993". Network SouthEast Railway Society. Retrieved 9 Feb 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "THOSE WERE THE DAYS" (PDF). Retrieved 9 Feb 2013. External link in |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Moor Street set to expand". icbirmingham. 24 November 2004. Retrieved 5 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Reward for revamped rail station". Retrieved 24 March 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "BBC News - Locomotive winched out of Birmingham Moor Street Station". BBC News. Retrieved 5 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Evergreen Moor Street". 15 January 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "New Chiltern Railways' timetable promises faster times". BBC News Oxford. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "The first half of the new concourse at Birmingham New Street station will open on 28 April 2013". Network Rail. Retrieved 2 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Reinstatement of Camp Hill Rail Services Moves A Step Closer". Birmingham City Council. 2007-07-13. Archived from the original on 2008-01-13. Retrieved 2008-02-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Media related to Birmingham Moor Street railway station at Wikimedia Commons