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Birmingham Moor Street railway station is one of three main railway stations in the city centre of Birmingham, England. The old terminus station at Moor St., a Grade-II listed building, has been partially renovated to its 1930s condition at a cost of £11-million.
Moor Street was built by the Great Western Railway to relieve pressure on its tunnel under central Birmingham through to Snow Hill station as the railway network grew. It served as a terminus for trains from Warwickshire, and in particular those via Stratford-upon-Avon (then a mainline). It was opened with temporary buildings in July 1909 but the current buildings were not completed until 1914. The station and adjacent goods yard, were built on Moor Street adjacent to the entrance to Snow Hill tunnel, with warehouses beneath them, into which individual wagons were lowered in hydraulic lifts.
Also of interest is the large viaduct visible from Moor Street turning towards Birmingham Curzon Street, the original intended route of the line. A product of dirty political games, the viaduct was never used and the line was forced to take the route through to Snow Hill in the 1850s.
Birmingham Moor Street was initially a closure target during the Beeching Axe. The goods yard was turned into a car park. Most services running past Moor Street into Snow Hill were cut in 1972. Mainline services from London were diverted via a sharp junction into New Street as were some local services from Leamington Spa. Fortunately for Moor Street the station capacity at New Street was never sufficient to take all the services and Moor Street survived as a terminus for local trains. Over time the service to Snow Hill was cut back and then Snow Hill closed.
As part of a cross city transport plan for Birmingham a decision was made to re-open Birmingham Snow Hill and to restore the train service from the south of the city beyond Moor Street through the town centre to Snow Hill. The original Moor Street station location made it impossible to continue using the old station while routing trains through the restored tunnel to Snow Hill. A new station was built on the path of the old lines directly into Snow Hill, allowing commuter services to stop at the new Moor Street and continue onwards to Snow Hill. The new station opened in 1986, with platforms adjacent to the old ones.
The original station was a Grade II listed building and so was not demolished but remained crumbling. By the late 1990s huge cracks in the wall were visible from the roadside, not least those caused by the impact of a run-away bus.
After rail privatisation in the 1990s services were introduced by Chiltern Railways on the previously underused routes from Marylebone station London to Snow Hill via Banbury, Leamington Spa and Moor Street, thus making Moor Street a mainline station link to London.
In 2002 the original Moor Street station was renovated by the Birmingham Alliance and Chiltern at a cost of £11-million, and converted into a shopping and refreshment area connected to the new platforms. The original architecture was preserved and some remaining pieces of the old (demolished) Snow Hill station used to further enhance it. Refurbished in 1930s style the old station building now sports reproduction lamps, clock, seating but the signage has still, as at June 2006, to be completed. Passengers are routed through the old station which now provides the booking office and ticket area for the new station. Passengers for London bound trains are routed over a new footbridge to platform 1. The renovation won the Railway Heritage Trust award for 2004 and The Birmingham Civic Society's Renaissance Award for 2005.
Birmingham Moor Street is currently served by local train services on the local lines through Shirley, Henley-in-Arden and out to Stratford-upon-Avon as well as local trains to Leamington via Solihull, and Chiltern Clubman services to London Marylebone. On summer Sundays the station is used by steam locomotives running tourist specials between Snow Hill and Stratford upon Avon as well as trains between Snow Hill and Tyseley for Birmingham Railway Museum.
The biggest city station Birmingham New Street is not directly connected to Moor Street by rail services, although the line into New Street passes directly under Moor Street. Instead travellers must take a short well-signposted walk, or a bus or taxi, between the two stations.
The growth of services through Snow Hill and the re-commencing of services via Snow Hill through to Kidderminster is yet again straining the capacity of the tunnel through to Snow Hill. Widening this tunnel is commercially impractical and would require the demolition of prime city centre buildings. Thus the wheel has turned full circle and Network Rail plan to restore the tracks into the old station for use as further platforms for terminating local trains and for steam specials. This was originally planned for 2005 but as of July 2005 is now planned for late 2006 (Birmingham Post, 8 July 2005) due to delays in necessary engineering and signaling works before the connection can be made. In June 2006 the Department for Transport refused permission for the connection of the restored tracks unless the work was paid for without recourse to public funds.
- Birmingham International railway station
- Transport in Birmingham
- West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive