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

GWR Article

Moor Street Passenger Station (65) Moor Street Goods Station (39)
GWR Article - Operating Moor Street Station GWR Article - Electrical Labour-Saving Equipment
GWR Article - New Wagons for Banana Traffic GWR Article - New Coaches for Suburban Services
GWR Article - Traversing Tables GWR Article - District Inspector
GWR Service Time Table - Instructions Engine Whistle Codes

Operating Moor Street Station

Great Western Railway Magazine Vol XXV111 No 6 June 1916.

The Great Western station at Moor Street, Birmingham, which has recently been completed, occupies the site originally planned to be the terminus of the Birmingham and North Warwickshire Railway, prior to that line being taken over by the Great Western Railway Company, and is situated about half a mile south of the Company's principle station in Birmingham. The first intention was to provide only a passenger station, but subsequently the opportunity arose to purchase from the City Corporation the adjacent premises and site of the former Moor Street Police Station. This enabled a scheme to be projected for the construction of a commodious goods depot also.

The passenger station authorised by the Great Western Railway (New Works) Act of 1908, was commenced in September 1908, and opened for traffic on July 1st, 1909. At that time, however, the buildings were of a temporary character. The construction of the permanent buildings was not authorised until 1911 and, due to considerations of substructures connected with the construction of the goods depot, was only brought to completion in 1913 and opened early in the following year. The station consists of an island platform about 700 feet long, with buildings comprising the usual public and staff accommodation. It will be possible to add another platform, 600 feet long, when the traffic demands it, and the usefulness of the present accommodation for the already heavy traffic suggests that its provision may be necessary before very long. Two engine traversers, each 60 feet long, obviated the provision of a cross-over road, and thus economised platform room.

A start was made with the provision of goods accommodation in 1909, the completion of the passenger station being then in abeyance. This scheme embraced the laying out of a high-level yard beside the passenger station, with direct access to Moor Street; and two low-level yards themselves now known as ‘Shed A’ and ‘Shed B’ , access to the first named being from Park Street, and to the second from Allison Street. At the Allison Street level is also provided stabling for 67 horses, with provender and straw stores, loose boxes and shoeing forge. The first contract for goods accommodation included simply the paving and permanent way under the arches constructed to carry the passenger station between Park Street and Alison Street, now constituting, part of ‘Shed B’. In 1909 the new viaduct was widened between Park Street and Allison Street in arches of brickwork.

In 1910 a contract was let for covering in the area between Park Street and Allison Street in lateral extension of the arches already mentioned. This was effected in ferroconcrete, both for the actual covering - over which the high-level yard exists – and for the columns supporting the yard. This ferroconcrete work is of Hennebique construction, to the designs of Mr L G Mouched of Westminster. Included in the contract were an arch over Allison Street and a retaining wall thence to the south abutment of Park Street which bounds the western side of the low-level ‘Shed B’. The construction of the walls of ‘Shed A’ was next carried out, and then followed in sequence the erection in steelwork of the bridge over Park Street, the roofing over the high-level goods platform, and the construction in ferroconcrete of the covering of ‘Shed A’, i.e. between Park Street and Moor Street. The completion of these works, which included the removal of buildings, soil, &c., to level down the sites, left the completed ‘shells’ of the two sheds ready for equipment with the necessary permanent way, platforms, roads, and appliances for the handling of goods traffic, and successive contracts were placed for the carrying out of these works.

The first portion of the goods accommodation was opened in January 1924, the remainder being opened from time to time as completed. The offices were built by Mr. A. Hopkins, of Birmingham, and the whole of the works of the goods depots were carried out, under contract, by Mr T Rowbottom, also of Birmingham, subcontractors for the constructional steelwork being Messrs E C & J Keay Ltd of Corporation Street, Birmingham. The goods depot, as a complete entity , is on three levels, viz.:-

The high-level yard, extending over the whole area between Moor Street and Allison Street, with a platform 400 feet long, with roof covering over it and with a roadway and siding to serve it, together with a mileage siding on the opposite side of the roadway. The yard also includes four other sidings with complementary roadway and two short sidings to which access is given by turntables. In this yard, perishable market traffic is dealt with and when that is disposed of, general traffic as well. In ‘Shed A’ are two sidings, with ample platform accommodation, and a cart road. This shed is intended for metal traffic. ‘Shed B’ is about 8 feet lower in level than ‘Shed A’ owing to the natural fall of the ground in the southerly direction. It contains five lengthy sidings, three shorter ones, and two platform sidings with a roadway 40 feet wide between them; it serves the general traffic of the place and in heavy rush of the season, for surplus fruit traffic from the high-level yard.

Traffic access to and from the high-level yard to the low-level sheds is afforded by means of hoists which lower and raise wagons with their contents. A 30 ton truck hoist serves ‘Shed A’; and two truck hoists, one of 20 ton and the other of 30 ton lifting capacity serve ‘Shed B’. Other machinery includes a travelling jib-crane and traverser between sidings and capstans, &c., in ‘Shed A’, while another traverser serves all the sidings in ‘Shed B’. All the machinery - that in the goods depot and the engine traversers of the passenger station - is worked electrically. The whole of the engineering work was carried out under the supervision of the Great western Railway Company’s New Works Engineer, Mr.W.Y. Armstrong, and the resident engineer acting for him on the ground was Mr.H. Reis, now chief assistant to the Company’s divisional engineer at Bristol.

The opening for traffic of this large depot at Birmingham has completed the chain of Great Western goods stations and yards extending right across the city from north to south. They are:-
Company'sSoho mileage yard
Hockley goods station
Moor Street goods station
Bordesley mileage and cattle depot
Small Heath goods station and special shed for dealing with returned empty packages.

The station at Moor Street serves the very heart of the city and is within yards of the markets. Formerly all fruit, vegetable, fish, and meat consigned to the market salesmen had to be carted from Hockley, a distance of about two miles, so that the advantages of the new station from this point of view are very great. Immediately the first part of the goods station opened, in the early part of 1914, the train service from the Worcestershire fruit and vegetable sending stations was overhauled. As a result, a new train was put on, leaving Worcester at 9 pm travelling via Honeybourne and Stratford-on-Avon, and reaching Moor Street soon after midnight. This has proved highly successful. Unloading is commenced upon arrival and delivery is effected immediately the markets are opened, which during the summer months, is at 5 am Fish from Swansea and South Wales is due at 4 am and from Grimsby at 4 30am.

A second train with fruit and vegetables from Worcester district, but which runs via Stourbridge Junction, arrives at 4 am and others from Southampton and Weymouth with Channel Islands produce etc, during the early hours; and, as may be imagined, the scene at Moor Street on a summer morning any time between one and nine o'clock is a most animated one. That the advantages offered are appreciated by the market traders is shown by the increase in the volume of market traffic dealt with by the Company (the GWR) since Moor Street was brought into use, notwithstanding the dislocation of business consequent upon the conditions brought about by the war (the First World War). Not only market traffic, however, is accommodated at Moor Street. The new station serves a large and important manufacturing area.

Simultaneously with the opening of Moor Street depot in 1914, twenty-four horses were transferred there from the Hockley stud, and this number has since been increased. This necessitated arrangements being made for the loading of outwards general traffic and for an adequate train service to deal with it, because the Carmen whose horses were stabled at Moor Street had to take into that station goods collected from the city for dispatch. The offices, which are commodious and well arranged, are occupied almost entirely by a staff of girl clerks, whose work is performed under excellent conditions. The Moor Street goods depot is an important addition to the railway facilities of Birmingham, and is rapidly becoming one of the principle goods stations in the city. It is under the charge of Mr J Bassage, goods superintendent, to whom the writer is indebted for information embodied in the latter part of this article.