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LMS Route: Nuneaton to Leamington

Coundon Road Station

Counden Road Station (the spelling was not changed to Coundon Road until 1894) saw its first passenger train on the 2nd September 1850. A prominent local citizen, William Andrews, recorded in his diary that so popular was the service that one train had thirty passengers riding on top of the carriages as there was not enough room inside (It should be remembered that until the very late 1850s most carriages had rails on their roofs to hold luggage which was another practice carried over from the days of stage coaches). Coundon Road was the first station out of Coventry on the line to Nuneaton. The line was opened on 2nd September 1850 and was to become a very busy secondary route primarily for coal trains avoiding the Trent Valley line. The Midland Railway possessed running powers for goods traffic into Coventry over the route from Leicester and at least one train per day in each direction passed through the station. In 1891 there were plans to build a short branch line from the end of the platforms at Coundon Road to the gas works in Abbotts Lane. The plans were quite well advanced but were subsequently cancelled when the decision was made by Coventry City Council to build a new gas works at Foleshill. Coundon Road station became the temporary terminus on the route when the nearby Spon End Viaduct collapsed one night in January 1857. The fault was found to be the quality of the stone used to construct the viaduct although poor workmanship was also a factor. Passengers from Nuneaton had to alight at Coundon and proceed to Coventry by horse drawn bus.

Reg Kimber writes, The second most momentous occasion for the station is described below. At 2. 00 a.m. on a Sunday morning in December 1896, the signalman at Coundon Road station noticed smoke and flames emitting from the waiting room on the down platform of the station. A locomotive was shunting in the nearby goods yard and was hastily driven alongside the burning building to enable the crew to endeavour to quell the fire with water from the engine. They were unfortunately unsuccessful and the building being burnt to the ground. However there was cause for rejoicing amongst the passengers who used the station as they had been campaigning for improved accommodation and now the LNWR were compelled to do something about it.

The interesting point about this story is that an engine was shunting in the yard at two o'clock on a Sunday morning. This gives some indication of the amount of traffic handled by the Coventry - Nuneaton line in these days. In fact, so heavy was coal traffic on the line that the railway company was at one stage seriously considering quadrupling the tracks on parts of the line. The last scheduled passenger train to use the station called on 18th January 1965, although on the 19th August of the same year a special train chartered by Radford Social Club called at the station. For many years a workman's train ran to and from Coundon Road, the carriages being stabled in the goods yard opposite the signal box during the day. When the station closed it was evident that the station had two distinct architectural styles. This was because the fire mentioned above destroyed the original building requiring a replacement to be erected nearly fifty years after the original was built. Possibly the most famous person to use the station was the Duchess of Kent in 1958 when she visited the Belgrade Theatre. The station master's house still stands today and this must be one of the oldest surviving railway buildings in the area. It is built from stone quarried at nearby Rosehill, home of the Bray family for many years. The level crossing gates were replaced in the early 1980s with automatic barriers. The wharf is now but a shadow of its former self and it is hard to believe that until the 1960s shunting was being carried out around the clock (with the help of floodlights in later years) in order to cope with the heavy coal traffic. The wharf, which contained 11 sidings, had a capacity for about 330 wagons.

Coundon Road Station

Looking towards Coventry

Looking towards Coventry as a down goods train approaches Coundon Road level crossing gates which are open to allow its passage
Ref: lnwrcr39
Anon
Looking towards Coventry as a down goods train approaches Coundon Road level crossing gates which are open to allow its passage
Close up showing Coundon Road level crossing and the station's up LNWR upper quadrant semaphore starter signal on the left
Ref: lnwrcr39a
Anon
Close up showing Coundon Road level crossing and the station's up LNWR upper quadrant semaphore starter signal on the left
Looking towards Coventry from the down platform showing Coundon Road Coal Wharf on the left the other side of the level crossing
Ref: lnwrcr44
Geoff Edmands
Looking towards Coventry from the down platform showing Coundon Road Coal Wharf on the left the other side of the level crossing
View of Coundon Road station's level crossing and goods yard from the Nuneaton end of the down platform
Ref: lnwrcr2100
HF Wheeller
View of Coundon Road station's level crossing and goods yard from the Nuneaton end of the down platform
Close up showing Coundon Road station's principal buildings sited on the up platform diagonally opposite the signal box
Ref: lnwrcr2100a
HF Wheeller
Close up showing Coundon Road station's principal buildings sited on the up platform diagonally opposite the signal box

Close up of Coundon Road station's up platform building which accommodated the booking office and the passenger waiting room
Ref: lnwrcr44a
Geoff Edmands
Close up of Coundon Road station's up platform building which accommodated the booking office and the passenger waiting room
Coundon Road level crossing, with coal wharf on the left and the signal cabin on the right, on 12th November 1960
Ref: lnwrcr3385
HB Priestley
Coundon Road level crossing, with coal wharf on the left and the signal cabin on the right, on 12th November 1960
An oblique view of the down platform building which was a simpler version of the LNWR's early standardised structure
Ref: lnwrcr3379
Anon
An oblique view of the down platform building which was a simpler version of the LNWR's early standardised structure

Looking towards Nuneaton

View of passengers waiting on Coundon Road station's down platform for a Coventry to Nuneaton Trent Valley service
Ref: lnwrcr2101
HF Wheeller
View of passengers waiting on Coundon Road station's down platform for a Coventry to Nuneaton Trent Valley service
Close up showing the station's down platform building which provided accommodation for a general waiting room and a ladies waiting room
Ref: lnwrcr2101a
HF Wheeller
Close up showing the station's down platform building which provided accommodation for a general waiting room and a ladies waiting room
British Railways built 2-6-2T 3MT No 41226 is seen approaching the station whilst at the head of a Nuneaton to Coventry service
Ref: lnwrcr2102
Coventry City Local Studies
British Railways built 2-6-2T 3MT No 41226 is seen approaching the station whilst at the head of a Nuneaton to Coventry service
Looking towards Nuneaton with Coundon Road station's down platform on the left and the up platform for Coventry trains on the right
Ref: lnwrcr40
Anon
Looking towards Nuneaton with Coundon Road station's down platform on the left and the up platform for Coventry trains on the right
Close up showing Coundon Road station's brick utilitarian built gentlemen's toilets situated at the Nuneaton end of both platforms
Ref: lnwrcr40a
Anon
Close up showing Coundon Road station's brick utilitarian built gentlemen's toilets situated at the Nuneaton end of both platforms

Looking towards Nuneaton station with one of the new colour light signals seen on the right on a wet 1st June 1964
Ref: lnwrcr3384
DT Thompson
Looking towards Nuneaton station with one of the new colour light signals seen on the right on a wet 1st June 1964
View of the original station's up platform building which accommodated the booking office, the waiting room and a porter's room
Ref: lnwrcr42
Anon
View of the original station's up platform building which accommodated the booking office, the waiting room and a porter's room

Miscellaneous Views

View of the station's master's house which was located at the end of Coundon Road station's up platform next to the level crossing
Ref: lnwrcr1472
Preston-Hendry
View of the station's master's house which was located at the end of Coundon Road station's up platform next to the level crossing
LMS railway photo
Ref: lnwrcr2062
Anon
Coundon Road Station Signal Box was erected in 1876 and had 22 levers for operating both signals and pointwork controlling the station
A gas lit lamppost on Coundon Road station's up platform displaying a British Railway's 'totem' station sign erected in 1954
Ref: lnwrcr43
Geoff Edmands
A gas lit lamppost on Coundon Road station's up platform displaying a British Railway's 'totem' station sign erected in 1954
Looking towards Coventry with the level crossing on the left, the under bridge in the centre and on the right Coundon Road Signal Box
Ref: lnwrcr1283
Coventry City Local Studies
Looking towards Coventry with the level crossing on the left, the under bridge in the centre and on the right Coundon Road Signal Box
Looking towards Birmingham this late Victorian view of the station master's house shows the level crossing closed to road traffic
Ref: lnwrcr2057
Coventry City Local Studies
Looking towards Birmingham this late Victorian view of the station master's house shows the level crossing closed to road traffic

Looking in the direction of Birmingham along Coundon Road with the entrance to Coundon Road station's Coal wharf on the left
Ref: lnwrcr2058
Coventry City Local Studies
Looking in the direction of Birmingham along Coundon Road with the entrance to Coundon Road station's Coal wharf on the left
Plan showing the track layout of Coundon Road station, the station buildings, the level crossing, under bridge and the signal box
Ref: lnwrcr2063
R Preston-Hendry
Plan showing the track layout of Coundon Road station, the station buildings, the level crossing, under bridge and the signal box

Coundon Road Coal Wharf

Looking towards Coundon Road which in this view lay behind the Coal Wharf whilst Coundon Road Station Signal Box is on the left
Ref: lnwrcr41
R Preston-Hendry
Looking towards Coundon Road which in this view lay behind the Coal Wharf whilst Coundon Road Station Signal Box is on the left
Close up showing the proximity of the signal box and station master's house to the end of the Coal Wharf's first three sidings
Ref: lnwrcr41a
R Preston-Hendry
Close up showing the proximity of the signal box and station master's house to the end of the Coal Wharf's first three sidings
Close up showing Sidings No 7 to 11 and some of the eighteen coal stacking plots which included plots belonging to the Cooperative Society
Ref: lnwrcr41b
R Preston-Hendry
Close up showing Sidings No 7 to 11 and some of the eighteen coal stacking plots which included plots belonging to the Cooperative Society
Plan showing the layout of Coundon Road station's 330 wagon capacity Coal Wharf across  eleven sidings plus the coal stacking plots
Ref: lnwrcr2063a
R Preston-Hendry
Plan showing the layout of Coundon Road station's 330 wagon capacity Coal Wharf across eleven sidings plus the coal stacking plots

Trains seen at or near Coundon Road Station

British Railways built Ivatt 2MT 2-6-2T No 41322 is seen in 'push' mode at the rear of a two-coach motor-fitted train to Nuneaton
Ref: lnwrcr38
R Barby
British Railways built Ivatt 2MT 2-6-2T No 41322 is seen in 'push' mode at the rear of a two-coach motor-fitted train to Nuneaton
Ex-LMS 4-6-0 'Stanier Black 5' No 44915 is seen coasting through the station at the head of an express working to Coventry
Ref: lnwrcr37
G Edmands
Ex-LMS 4-6-0 'Stanier Black 5' No 44915 is seen coasting through the station at the head of an express working to Coventry
Looking towards Nuneaton station with one of the new colour light signals seen on the right on a wet 1st June 1964
Ref: lnwrcr3383
R Kosys
Looking towards Nuneaton station with one of the new colour light signals seen on the right on a wet 1st June 1964

Ordnance Survey Maps, Track Diagrams and Control Strip Schematics

A trackplan, circa 1885, showing the station and Coundon Road's coal wharf with just two sidings in place
Ref: lnwrcr3386
P Lee
A trackplan, circa 1885, showing the station and Coundon Road's coal wharf with just two sidings in place
A 1903 Ordnance Survey map showing Coundon Road station and the Coal Wharf built on the opposite side of the road
Ref: lnwrcr3380
National Library of Scotland
A 1903 Ordnance Survey map showing Coundon Road station and the Coal Wharf built on the opposite side of the road
A 1912 Ordnance Survey map showing Coundon Road station and the Coal Wharf built on the opposite side of the road
Ref: lnwrcr3381
National Library of Scotland
A 1912 Ordnance Survey map showing Coundon Road station and the Coal Wharf built on the opposite side of the road
A 1937 Ordnance Survey map showing Coundon Road station and the Coal Wharf built on the opposite side of the road
Ref: lnwrcr3382
National Library of Scotland
A 1937 Ordnance Survey map showing Coundon Road station and the Coal Wharf built on the opposite side of the road
A 1930s LMS Control strip map showing the route from Nuneaton to Coventry plus the Loop Line
Ref: lnwrmap108
M Hollick
A 1930s LMS Control strip map showing the route from Nuneaton to Coventry plus the Loop Line

A 1930s LMS Control strip map showing the route between Nuneaton No 1 Signal Box and Coventry No 3 Signal Box
Ref: lnwrmap112
M Hollick
A 1930s LMS Control strip map of the route between Nuneaton No 1 Signal Box and Coventry No 3 signal box