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

LMS Route: Grand Junction Railway
LMS Route: Birmingham New Street to Lichfield
LMS Route: Birmingham - Soho Road - Perry Barr - Birmingham

Vauxhall & Duddeston Station (20) Vauxhall Shed (11)

Vauxhall & Duddeston Station

Vauxhall & Duddeston was originally opened as 'Vauxhall' Station in 1837 and served as the temporary terminus of the Grand Junction Railway from Liverpool via Stafford: the first railway to reach Birmingham! The station was located a little to the south of the current station. When the permanent terminus opened at Curzon Street in 1839, 'Vauxhall' became a goods-only station until it was rebuilt a little further to the north and re-opened in 1869 under the auspices of the LNWR, the new company formed by merging the Grand Junction Railway and London & Birmingham Railway in 1846. The entrance and ticket hall were accommodated in a structure built over the railway lines, on the Duddeston Mill Road bridge. Vauxhall was only a temporary station. The building of the Vauxhall Viaduct continued taking the line to Birmingham Station (now demolished) alongside the terminus of the London line at Curzon Street which still stands. The Vauxhall Viaduct is an engineering feat and carries the railway over twenty-eight arches across the River Rea into Curzon Street station. A second viaduct was built on top of it in 1852 to raise the line to the level of New Street Station.

The Royal Mail was first carried between Liverpool and Manchester 1830; mail was carried on the Grand Junction from 1837 and in 1838 the world's first mobile postal sorting began between Vauxhall and Liverpool. It was renamed Vauxhall and Duddeston Station in 1889 before finally becoming 'Duddeston' on 6 May 1974. In 1941 it was hit by a bomb during a night raid and was completely destroyed. It was rebuilt in a temporary fashion, and in the mid-1950s it caught fire and was subsequently rebuilt although the 'new' station looked barely better than the one it replaced.

BIRMINGHAM'S FIRST TRAINS

Tuesday 4th July 1837 from a contemporary newspaper report

"At an early hour the town was in a state of great commotion and pleasureable excitement, owing to its being the day appointed for the general opening of the Grand Junction Railway from Birmingham to Liverpool and Manchester. Soon after five o'clock the streets leading in the direction of Vauxhall, where the Company's temporary station is situated, were crowded with persons of all ranks anxious to witness the first public travelling on this important line of railway communication. It was remarked, however, as somewhat singular, that there was, even throughout the day, a comparatively small attendance of the leading merchants and manufacturers of Birmingham, which has been attributed to none of the latter having been placed on the direction of the Grand Junction Railway. Indeed the Directors of the latter are entirely limited to the bankers and merchants of Liverpool. By six o'clock yesterday morning the bridge which crosses the railway at its entrance to the station yard, and indeed every eminence that commanded the least view of the line, was covered with persons awaiting the starling of the carriages. But it was not in Birmingham, or its immediate vicinity only, that public curiosity was unusually excited. The embankment of the several excavations, and even the valley through which the railway alternately 'wends its way' between Birmingham and Wolverhampton, were literally covered with dense masses of admiring spectators. Indeed, in the neighbourhood of Bescot Bridge, James' Bridge, and Willenhale (sic), contiguous to the iron and coal district, the crowd was, if possible, more formidable than in the suburbs of Birmingham.

Upon entering the station yard about half past six o'clock, we were, however, much struck with the thinness of the company within the Company's premises. It presented a striking contrast to the station yard on Olive Mount, at the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830. It was evident, indeed, that no exertions had been made to give éclat to the proceedings of the day; there were no bands of music, no profuse display of banners, no attendance of distinguished visitors - in fact, within the precincts of the station there was scarcely anything to distinguish it from an ordinary day of business. The only display we observed was a small flag attached to the first carriage of the train, on which was emblazoned in small characters, with the Royal Arms, the letters 'WR,' 'AR' and the words, 'The True Reformer.' At seven o'clock precisely the bell rang, when the opening train, preceded by the Wildfire engine, commenced moving. The train consisted of eight carriages, all of the first class, and bearing the following names: The Triumph, the Greyhound, the Swallow, the Liverpool and Birmingham Mail, the Celerity, the Umpire, the Statesman, and the Birmingham and Manchester Mail. The train started slowly, but upon emerging from the yard speedily burst off at a rapid pace. To those who for the first time witnessed such a scene it was peculiarly exciting, and the immense multitude, as far as the eye could reach, gave expression to their admiration by loud and long-continued huzzas, and the waving of hats and handkerchiefs. Having in some degree escaped the multitudes, power was laid on, and from Perry Barr to Newton Road the speed could not be less than from 35 to 40 miles in the hour.

The succession of trains which followed throughout the day served to keep up the popular excitement, and the crowd, instead of diminishing in number, hourly increased. At half-past eight o'clock a train of the second class set out amidst similar demonstrations of admiration to those called forth by the first. The chief object of attraction which now engaged the public attention was the arrival of the first train from Liverpool. The Directors, in their published statement of arrivals and departures, announced that this train would leave Liverpool at half past six in the morning, and arrive at Birmingham at five minutes past eleven - that is in four hours and a half. It was to be expected, however, that owing to the crowds which would assemble at the various stopping places, some interruptions would occur, and the arrival of the train at Birmingham be delayed beyond the appointed hour. In this respect the general expectation was in a small degree eventually confirmed. At about twenty-seven minutes past eleven the cheering at a distance announced the approach of an arrival, and at exactly half-past eleven o'clock the first train from Liverpool entered the station yard in Birmingham amidst the most vociferous applause. It was difficult to say which party appeared the most delighted - the astounded travellers, or the multitudinous wonder struck company by whom they were received. Throughout the entire journey the opening train from Liverpool experienced the most uninterrupted enjoyment of 'wind and weather.' It consisted of the Hibernia, the Chanticleer, the Patriot, the Delight, the Delamere, the Columbus, and the Birmingham and Manchester Mail. The train left the stations at Manchester and Liverpool at half-past six. . . . Including stoppages, the train performed the journey at the rate of at least 20 miles per hour; being, as might be expected, about half an hour late on account of interruptions incidental to the day.

The starting of the several trains which followed from Birmingham was remarkably regular, but owing to causes to which we have already alluded, the arrival of those from Liverpool was not equally well-timed. The mixed train which ought to have arrived at two o'clock did not arrive until four. This delay was attributed chiefly to the obstreperous intrusion of the workpeople in the iron and coal districts. From Wolverhampton to James' Bridge, the carriages were literally besieged by the multitude, and the only way to avoid accident was to proceed slowly and surely, without regard to the published time of arrival in Birmingham. The first return train from Liverpool arrived at seven o'clock, and was loudly cheered upon its entrance into the station yard. So far the proceedings of the day passed off joyfully and without any mixture of alloy, but the non-arrival of the mixed train, which ought to have come in at ten o'clock, very soon gave rise to very considerable apprehension. The last first class return train was advertised to arrive in Birmingham at five minutes past eleven, but the hours passed away, and midnight succeeded, and still no tidings of it had been received. At three in the morning, however, both trains arrived, the delay having been occasioned by the breakage of one of the tubes of the engine by which the mixed train was worked."

View of Vauxhall station serving as the Grand Junction Railway's temporary Birmingham terminus in 1837
Ref: lnwrvd1505
Drakle's Road Book
View of Vauxhall station serving as the Grand Junction Railway's temporary Birmingham terminus in 1837
Looking from the New Street end of the up slow platform towards the station building on Duddeston Mill Road
Ref: lnwrvd1485
JD Norton
Looking from the New Street end of the up slow platform towards the station building on Duddeston Mill Road
Close up showing railway sleepers stacked on the island platform which served both slow lines
Ref: lnwrvd1485a
JD Norton
Close up showing railway sleepers stacked on the island platform which served both slow lines
Close up of the passenger waiting room located on the island platform serving the up and down fast lines
Ref: lnwrvd1485b
JD Norton
Close up of the passenger waiting room located on the island platform serving the up and down fast lines
View of part of the burnt out booking office sited on the bridge and the island platform serving both fast lines
Ref: lnwrvd1487
JD Norton
View of part of the burnt out booking office sited on the bridge and the island platform serving both fast lines

Close up showing the unusual bench seat and the water tank located adjacent to Duddeston Mill Road bridge
Ref: lnwrvd1487a
JD Norton
Close up showing the unusual bench seat and the water tank located adjacent to Duddeston Mill Road bridge
Looking towards Aston from the Curzon Street end of the platforms serving both fast lines on 14th September 1956
Ref: lnwrvd98
HC Casserley
Looking towards Aston from the Curzon Street end of the platforms serving both fast lines on 14th September 1956
Close up showing in greater detail the goods facilities at Vauxhall and Duddeston on 14th September 2011
Ref: lnwrvd98a
HC Casserley
Close up showing in greater detail the goods facilities at Vauxhall and Duddeston on 14th September 2011
Close up showing the timber framed workmen's hut on the island platforms serving both of the fast lines
Ref: lnwrvd98b
HC Casserley
Close up showing the timber framed workmen's hut on the island platforms serving both of the fast lines
View of the station after the main station building on the bridge had been rebuilt as seen on 15th April 1961
Ref: lnwrvd1486
JD Norton
View of the station after the main station building on the bridge had been rebuilt as seen on 15th April 1961

Close up showing the brick built passenger waiting room located on the island platform serving the slow lines
Ref: lnwrvd1486a
JD Norton
Close up showing the brick built passenger waiting room located on the island platform serving the slow lines
Close up showing the station's re-built booking office located above the up slow and down fast lines
Ref: lnwrvd1486b
JD Norton
Close up showing the station's re-built booking office located above the up slow and down fast lines
Close up showing the passenger accommodation located on the island platform serving the fast lines
Ref: lnwrvd1486c
JD Norton
Close up showing the passenger accommodation located on the island platform serving the fast lines
A number of Saltley men wait on Vauxhall & Duddeston station for the next train to New Street during the late 1960s
Ref: lnwrvd3702
Anon
Saltley men wait on Vauxhall & Duddeston station for the next train to New Street during the late 1960s
Ex-LNWR 7F 0-8-0 No 48930 is seen waiting to depart Vauxhall & Duddeston with an SLS special on 2nd June 1962
Ref: lnwrvd2313
R Shenton
Ex-LNWR 7F 0-8-0 No 48930 is seen waiting to depart Vauxhall & Duddeston with an SLS special on 2nd June 1962

LMS designed (built 1949, diagram D2172) Royal Mail Stowage Van (POS) M30270 at Vauxhall & Duddeston station
Ref: lnwrvd2770
J Doubleday
LMS designed Royal Mail Stowage Van M30270 seen standing at Vauxhall & Duddeston station

Ordnance Survey Maps and Schematic Diagram

An 1886 25 inch to the mile OS map showing Vauxhall & Duddeston station to the north of Duddeston Mill Road
Ref: lnwrvd2771
National Library of Scotland
An 1886 25 inch to the mile OS map showing Vauxhall & Duddeston station to the north of Duddeston Mill Road
A 1902 25 inch to the mile OS map showing Vauxhall & Duddeston station to the south of Duddeston Mill Road
Ref: lnwrvd3700
National Library of Scotland
A 1902 25 inch to the mile OS map showing Vauxhall & Duddeston station to the south of Duddeston Mill Road
A 1913 25 inch to the mile OS map showing Vauxhall & Duddeston station to the south of Duddeston Mill Road
Ref: lnwrvd3701
National Library of Scotland
A 1913 25 inch to the mile OS map showing Vauxhall & Duddeston station to the south of Duddeston Mill Road
Schematic showing the lines between Aston and Curzon street with the branch to Windsor Street Goods station
Ref: lnwrvd2312
Anon
Schematic showing the lines between Aston and Curzon street and Vauxhall & Duddeston station

Vauxhall & Duddeston Station (20) Vauxhall Shed (11)