·  LMS  ·  GWR  ·  LNER  ·  Misc  ·  Stations  ·  What's New  ·  Video  ·  Guestbook  ·  About

Olton

GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

Olton station opened in 1869 on the Birmingham and Oxford Junction Railway which by that time had been absorbed into the Great Western Railway. It was never seen as a station of significant importance and never warranted a goods yard. Its principle function was as a suburban passenger station for Birmingham commuters, which explained why the booking office was located on the down platform. Olton station had for some sixty-three years a two platform configuration with basic facilities, but taking advantage of the Development (Loan Guarantees and Grants) Act of 1929, the Great Western Railway continued to quadruple the Birmingham Main Line as far as Lapworth, rebuilding five stations including Olton with two wide island platforms.

Olton had two signal boxes, the first of which only had 10 levers. It was built by McKenzie and Holland and located at the Leamington end of the up platform. This signal box was replaced in June 1913, when the quadrupled track, which had been installed as loops as far as Tyseley in 1907, was extended to Small Heath North and remodelled to form main and relief running lines. The new signal box, located at the northern end of the station to oversee the junction, was a classic Great Western Railway design (type 7D), equipped with 31 levers. In December 1931, an interlocked ground frame was provided to control the switches associated with a siding that was connected to the up line at the southern end of the station. When the station was remodelled in 1933 and the quadrupled line was extended to Lapworth, the Signal Box was closed with control passing to the adjacent signal boxes.

Two transcribed articles, one on the tests undertaken on the bridges located between Olton and Solihull and the other on the quadrupling of the Birmingham main line, are available via Olton to Lapworth - Quadrupling the Birmingham Main Line.

Robert Ferris

Select an image below to view the larger version with accompanying text:

Views of the original station

View of Olton's original station looking towards Birmingham from the Leamington end of the up platform
Ref: gwro258
P Hopkins
View of Olton's original station looking towards Birmingham from the Leamington end of the up platform
Close up view of the brick built down platform building which accommodated the booking office, general waiting room and toilets
Ref: gwro258a
P Hopkins
Close up of the down platform building which accommodated the booking office, general waiting room and toilets
Close up of Olton station's original up platform building and the second signal box which was swept away by quadrupling
Ref: gwro258b
P Hopkins
Close up of the station's original up platform building and second signal box both swept away by quadrupling
Looking towards Birmingham Snow Hill with the down platform on the left and the up platform on the right with a barrow crossing in the foreground
Ref: gwro1021
Postcard
Looking towards Birmingham Snow Hill with the down platform on the left and the up platform on the right
Photograph of Olton Station's 1906 award winning best garden which won the prize in the Birmingham Division
Ref: gwro2304
Great Western Railway
Photograph of Olton Station's 1906 award winning best garden which won the prize in the Birmingham Division

Views of the rebuilt station

Looking from Ulverley Green Road along Station Drive towards Olton's new station's booking office with the two island platforms above
Ref: gwro1019
J Moss
Looking from Ulverley Green Road along Station Drive towards Olton's new station's booking office
A 1950s view of the exterior view of Olton's 1930s rebuilt station showing the booking office and the new approach 'Station Drive'
Ref: gwro257
Anon
A 1950s view of the exterior view of Olton's 1930s rebuilt station showing the booking office and 'Station Drive'
Looking towards Birmingham from the Solihull end of the relief island platform in British Railways days
Ref: gwro2154
Stations UK
Looking towards Birmingham from the Solihull end of the relief island platform in British Railways days
Looking towards Birmingham from the Up Relief platform across to the Down Main platform and station buildings
Ref: gwro1025
A Harvey
Looking towards Birmingham from the Up Relief platform across to the Down Main platform and station buildings
Close up showing the station building on platforms one and two on the island platform which served the Main line
Ref: gwro1025a
A Harvey
Close up showing the two station buildings on the island platform which served the Main line

Close up showing where passenger gained access to platforms 1 and 2 and the iron railings which protected passengers
Ref: gwro1025b
A Harvey
Close up of where passenger gained access to platforms 1 and 2 and the iron railings which protected passengers
Looking towards Snow Hill along platform 4 showing the platform buildings housing the passenger facilities
Ref: gwro1020
Lens of Sutton
Looking towards Snow Hill along platform 4 showing the platform buildings housing the passenger facilities

Locomotives and trains seen at Olton Station

Great Western Railway 2-2-2 No 55 'Queen' hauls the Royal Train through Olton station in March 1887
Ref: gwro2247
C Lines Collection
Great Western Railway 2-2-2 No 55 'Queen' hauls the Royal Train through Olton station in March 1887
An unidentified GWR 4-4-0 Badminton class locomotive passes Olton's now redundant signal box
Ref: gwro1022
Lens of Sutton
An unidentified GWR 4-4-0 Badminton class locomotive passes Olton's now redundant signal box
Ex-GWR 2-6-2T 'Large Prairie' No 5185 stands waiting to depart with local passenger service to Leamington
Ref: gwro256
NE Stead
Ex-GWR 2-6-2T 'Large Prairie' No 5185 stands waiting to depart with local passenger service to Leamington
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 No 6020 'King Henry IV' enters Olton station at the head of the 5:10pm Paddington to Birkenhead
Ref: gwro1579
M Mensing
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 No 6020 'King Henry IV' enters Olton station at the head of the 5:10pm Paddington to Birkenhead

Ex-GWR 4-6-0 No 6953 'Leighton Hall', modified to burn oil, passes through the station on the up main line
Ref: gwro2153
RS Carpenter
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 No 6953 'Leighton Hall', modified to burn oil, passes through the station on the up main line
British Railways 4-6-0 40xx ‘Castle’ class No 7008 ‘Swansea Castle’ steams away from the Down Relief platform at Olton station
Ref: gwro1585
A Harvey
BR built 4-6-0 40xx class No 7008 ‘Swansea Castle’ steams away from the Down Relief platform at Olton station
Ex-Great Western Railway 4-4-0 City Class No 3440 ‘City of Truro’ on a SLS Special passing a deserted Olton Station on the Up Main line
Ref: gwro1580
A Harvey
Ex-GWR 4-4-0 City Class No 3440 ‘City of Truro’ on a SLS Special passes through a deserted Olton Station
GWR 4-6-0 '4073 class' No 4096 'Highclere Castle' is seen heading a train of Southern Region coaching stock in August 1962
Ref: gwro1018
J Moss
GWR 4-6-0 '4073 class' No 4096 'Highclere Castle' heads a train of Southern Region coaching stock in August 1962
Ex-Great Western Railway 4-6-0 49xx ‘Hall’ Class No 5985 ‘Mostyn Hall’ with a clear route north and prepares to leave the Down Main platform
Ref: gwro1582
A Harvey
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 49xx Class No 5985 ‘Mostyn Hall’ with a clear route north and prepares to leave the Down Main platform

Ex-Great Western Railway 2-6-2T 5101 class No 5192 arrives at the Down Main platform of Olton Station on Monday 17th  August 1959
Ref: gwro1583
A Harvey
Ex-GWR 2-6-2T 5101 class No 5192 arrives at the Down Main platform of Olton Station on Monday 17th August 1959
Ex-GWR 2-6-2T 'Large Prairie' No 4158 stands at platform four on a Solihull to Handsworth service
Ref: gwro2152
A Harvey
Ex-GWR 2-6-2T 'Large Prairie' No 4158 stands at platform four on a Solihull to Handsworth service
Ex-GWR 2-6-2T 5101 class No 4158 crosses the Ulverley Green Road plate girder bridge as it leaves the Relief Down platform
Ref: gwro1584
A Harvey
Ex-GWR 2-6-2T 5101 class No 4158 crosses the Ulverley Green Road plate girder bridge on the Relief Down line
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 4073 No 5026 'Criccieth Castle' on the up main line south of Olton on Wednesday 29th August 1962
Ref: gwro2305
M Mensing
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 4073 No 5026 'Criccieth Castle' on the up main line south of Olton on Wednesday 29th August 1962

Diesel Dawn

Warship D817 'Foxhound' is seen between Olton and Solihull on the 7:30am Shrewsbury to Paddington service on 27th August 1962
Ref: gwro1581
M Mensing
Warship D817 'Foxhound' is seen near Olton on the 7:30am Shrewsbury to Paddington service
An original Derby built three-car Western Region Diesel Multiple Unit is seen leaving Olton station on 1.00pm Stratford upon Avon to Birmingham Snow Hill service
Ref: gwro1026
A Harvey Collection
An original Western Region DMU is seen leaving Olton station on 1.00pm Stratford upon Avon to Snow Hill service

Miscellaneous

An official photograph of the four road braced framework girder bridge built to carry the GWR's new widened lines over the main Birmingham Road
Ref: gwro1559
GWR Publicity Photo
An official photograph of the girder bridge built to carry the GWR's new widened lines over the main Birmingham Road
Four Great Western Railway 4-6-0 'Kings' carry out bridge tests on the newly quadrupelled track between Olton and Lapworth
Ref: gwro1578
GWR Publicity Photo
Four GWR 4-6-0 'Kings' carry out bridge tests on the newly quadrupelled track between Olton and Lapworth
'Express Train in Danger' was the title of this photograph, in the Birmingham Post on 3rd February 1930
Ref: gwro2490
Birmingham Post
'Express Train in Danger' was the title of this photograph, in the Birmingham Post on 3rd February 1930

Maps

Layout of Olton's original station showing the up platform at the top and the down platform at the bottom
Ref: old_olton_map
Anon
Layout of Olton's original station showing the up platform at the top and the down platform at the bottom
Layout of Olton's 1937 rebuilt station now comprising two island platforms and driveway to the ground floor station building
Ref: new_olton_map
Anon
Layout of Olton station following the quadrupling of the track to Lapworth and station rebuild of 1933