With electric trains now at Bromsgrove working Cross-City services we take a look back at some of the diesel trains that have been serving the town over the years, writes Neil Gordon.

The first picture taken in 1985 shows a three carriage, first generation,diesel multiple unit which operated BR services at Bromsgrove from the 1960s through to the 1980s.

Lacking any real power these trains struggled to climb the infamous Lickey Incline and did so at a snail's pace. Assistance from a banking engine was not uncommon.

Only a handful of services stopped at Bromsgrove, Monday to Saturday, for much of the 1970s and 1980s. The 5.36pm from New Street is pictured - the last service of the day to Bromsgrove.

Passengers missing this service needed to catch a bus, or take a Cross-City service to a station between Northfield and Redditch and make alternative arrangements to get home. Commuters walking back from Barnt Green was not unheard of.

The solitary platform, situated on the up line, can be seen. Trains from Birmingham would cross over from the down line via a set of points, situated by St Godwalds road bridge, to access the platform.

The Portacabin served as ticket office, waiting room and staff restroom whilst on the left is the former Railway Carriage and Wagon Works site which was cleared ahead of development.

The shop on Stoke Road, now Co-op, stayed open until 6.30pm for passengers on this service.

During the mid-1980s the class 150 Sprinter train was introduced around the country as a more powerful, second generation DMU (Picture 2). Trials were held at Bromsgrove in 1987 and the Sprinters were rolled out locally soon after.

66056 banking a Margam-Corby through the site of the new station. 27-11-2015.

​66059 ascending the Lickey. 12-11-2015

The view south from Newton Bridge. How far are the wires going? 16-3-2017

​Seen on shed at the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition 28-29 November 2015.

Newton bridge 26-12-2017.

A Hereford-Birmingham train at platform 2 with the new crossover in the foreground which the electric trains will use.

Margam-York approaching Vigo. 28-6-2018.

Just below Pikes Pool Lane bridge.

Concrete bases have been laid at the South ready for the instalation of signalling and telecommunication equipment.

​Tamper 908009 2 in the new Tamper siding at Bromsgrove. 6-4-2016

Looking north from Vigo. 23-3-2017

​56098 at Pikes Pool. 8-3-2016

153365 leading a Hereford-Birmingham service at Bromsgrove. 12-11-3015.

66425 at Pikes Pool with the Daventry-Wentloog. 10-10-2017.

Former Garringtons shunter, Fowler 4100013, at the Chasewater Railway..20-6-2015

The loco was saved from the cutters torch in 1981 by former Worcester railwayman Hugh Larmour who offered to buy it. He was told he could have it for free as long as it left the site. Having nowhere to keep it himself Hugh donated it to a preservation group in Redditch but when they lost their land in 1994 Hugh donated it to the Chasewater Railway.


Plenty of passengers waiting for the second train 170502.

Representatives from West Midlands Railways at Bromsgrove after arriving on the first-ever electric train to the town. (L-R) Mark Lawton (Project Manager), Russell Hallam (Driver Manager) & Andrew Balmforth (Driver).

More metal work arrives.

37425 propelling up the Lickey near bridge 102 (Grosvenor's) 10-10-2017.

New sign at Vigo.

St Godwalds bridge 26-12-2017.

172333 about to pass G18 before coming back into the up platform​.

Electrification and vegetation clearance work has been taking place near Vigo. 23-3-2017

​The yet to be opened platform 4.

59002 with 66509 and 66551 at the bottom of the Incline. Balm Rd to Watley Quarry on 7th June 2020. Photo Neil Gordon.

​159105 at Bromsgrove with Salisbury-Loughborough. 1-9-2016.

​66059 arriving at Bromsgrove with the Margam-Corby. 12-11-2015.

Tamper DR73118 at Bromsgrove station while working from Bristol Barton Hill to Lancaster. Some of the old up platform wall can be seen on the left..​4-3-2016.


​172333 about to return to the up platform.

Gold station signs to celebrate the success of Paralympic hero's Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley who won gold in the mixed double sculls in Rio 2016..Photo Neil Gordon.

Pikes Pool

Bromsgrove welcomed the first-ever Deltic to stop in the town when D9009 visited whilst hauling Pathfinder's "Welsh Central Liner" on Saturday June 17th 2017 writes Neil Gordon.

D9009, named Alycidon, arrived on platform four at 06-48am to the delight of about 30 enthusiasts present to photograph the iconic loco.


​After removal of the footbridge and platform 2. 16-7-2016. Photo by Neil Gordon.

​66091 at Pikes Pool with Margam-Corby banked by 66058. 4-9-2015..


Derailment and collision at Bromsgrove

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch  (RAIB) after a passenger train collided with a derailed locomotive at Bromsgrove writes Neil Gordon.

The collision occured when a Cross Country Trains service struck a derailed banking engine approx 500yds south of Bromsgrove station on Monday 23rd March 2020.

The banking locomotive 66057, had arrived at Bromsgrove from bescot at 22.43, just before the 21.05 Cardiff Central to Birmingham New Street (1M87) service worked by 170639 was scheduled.

The Class 66 had become derailed as it ran through buffers at the end of a spur adjacent to the up (northbound ) main line. the locomotive remained upright but with the upper left hand side of the leading cab exposed to contact with northbound trains.

The Class 170 collided with the locomotive recieving damage to its three carriages, including significant damage to the leading coach. 170639 remained upright and there were no reported injuries to the 2 crew and 4 passengers on board.

The following day, Tuesday 24th March recovery locomotive 66175 attended and rerailed 66057 in conjunction with Network Rail, the emergency services and contractors RSS Infrastructure.

66057 was rerailed and the recovery locomotive departed by late afternoon.

​The RAIB has launched an investigation which will identify the sequence of events which led to the accident. It will also consider any factors relevant to operation of 66057, how the risk of overrun within the siding was controlled and any relevant underlying factors.

New fencing at Pikes Pool. 10-10-2017.

A northbound Voyager passing through the new station. 7-2-2016.

66124 arriving at platform 1 Bromsgrove with Porth-Bescot. 15-9-2016.

​56087 Washwood Heath-Cardiff Canton seen from Newton Bridge. 23-3-2016.

A northbound Voyager approaching the station and some of the new signals.

​The cycle storage area.

The first train to call at the station was the Great Malvern-New St service comprised of 170501+153375 seen here at platform 2 and departing at 6-21.

​37606 with 37688 on the rear. Derby- Bristol approaching Newton Bridge. 23-3-2016.

​The final day of the footbridge. 15-7-2016. Photo by Neil Gordon.

The Bromsgrove Society organised an event at Bromsgrove Station today 11-11-2016.

Two plaques were unveiled, one to commemorate the life and work of Captain William Scarth Moorsom and the other James Edward McConnell. They will be fixed to a suitable wall later.

56098 was followed closely by the Berkeley-Crewe. 

One of the two out of use catch points on the Lickey. This one is near the site of the old chapel. Both are in different locations to the ones in steam days, one of which was at Pikes Pool and the other just short of the summit at Blackwell. 7-2-2016.

66061 passing through platform 4 at Bromsgrove with a Toton-Moreton on Lugg working. 22-11-2016

​172333 crossing to the up line at the bottom of the Bank with ECS from New St then forming 11-14 to New St. 9-1-2016.

​The sun reflects off 70005 as it approaches Bromsgrove station with the late running Rugeley-Stoke Gifford. 29-9-2015.

Passengers travelling from Bromsgrove on Monday (July 30th) were each treated to a goody bag containing a bottle of fruit juice and a snack from West Midlands Railway

​​Switch and crossing stoneblower 80302 at the bottom of the Lickey on it's way from Tyseley to Port Talbot 16-9-2015..

Tornado hits Bromsgrove

​56312 and Tornado pass through on their way from York to the West Somerset Railway. 29-9-2015

Boxing Day electrification work at Bromsgrove.

​The new station nearing completion 29-4-2016.

The new track layout to the north of Bromsgrove Station 11-11-2016.

​70004 at Bromsgrove South on a very wet morning with Rugeley-Stoke Gifford. 6-10-2015.

The tour spent seven minutes in the platform, and just before departing, the 06-53 service to New Street arrived. Some passengers on that train were surprised to see the Deltic and a number scrambled for their smartphones to record the event.

Alycidon arrived back at Bromsgrove at 21-37 with the return leg from Shrewsbury and this time around 100 people were present to see the tour on what was a perfect summers day evening.

Clearly in immaculate running condition, a credit to its owners the Deltic Preservation Society, D9009 departed at 21-56 and navigated the Lickey with ease.

A spokesperson for the Society said "From a stop at Bromsgrove station it passed over the top of the Incline at 51mph with 10 coaches in tow."

"Not bad for a 56 year-old engine!"

A spokesperson for Pathfinder's said "We are delighted that such an iconic locomotive made a first stop at Bromsgrove on its maiden trip along the Heart of Wales line, two firsts in one day is hard to beat".


​66057 with recovery locomotive 66175. Photo Neil Gordon.

The coal stage from Newton Bridge. 16-3-2017

​New St-Paignton passing through platform 3.

A 170 nearing one of the new signals that are being installed in the area.

Part of the Lickey now has the wires up on both lines. 10-10-2017

​56098 approaching Newton Bridge. 

220028 and 220025 were held in the platform at Bromsgrove for 126 minutes on Sunday 10th December 2017whilst working the 1Z55 Newcastle to Temple Meads Cross Country service, writes Neil Gordon. The service arrived shortly after 14.00hrs, some 32 minutes late, and departed at 15.39.  The service was held again at Stoke Works Junction until 17.09, before being diverted via Droitwich and Worcester. The train finally arrived 249 minutes late at Temple Meads.

​The first down train was the 0721 to Hereford with 153375+170501.


​66059 at Bromsgrove station being banked by 66056. 12-11-2015.

A familiar sight at Bromsgrove recently. 37884 taking 319004 and 319422 to Long Marston. 17-8-2017

Work is progressing well at the new station. 7-2-2016.

The Avonmouth-Clitheroe hauled by 66164 heading up the bank past the old station following the first passenger train.

Electrification work continues 22-6-2017

There are now 132 trains each weekday from Bromsgrove, the first Cross City service departs at 6.12am and the last at 11.20pm.

Old meets new at Bromsgrove.

An up Voyager passing the site of the new Bromsgrove station. The car park is coming along if nothing else. 16-9-2015


​The booking office..

Electrification work at Bromsgrove

​66427 at Vigo with the late running Daventry-Wentloog. 17-12-2015.

Plenty going on at Bromsgrove this morning wit four class 70's in the area. 803, 804 809 and another half way down the Incline with a train of ballast. 27-10-2016

London Midlands final day of operating services before losing the franchise to West Midlands Railway was on Sunday 10th December 2017, writes Neil Gordon. Here 170514, with an unidentified 3 car unit, approaches Bromsgrove with the 1V24 14.00hrs service from New St to Hereford. The service was terminated at Worcester due to heavy snowfall.

Now that some trees have been cut down the rear wall of the old down platform can be seen better. 4-3-2016

First Deltic to stop at Bromsgrove

All new photos will be at the bottom of the page so please scroll down..

Railway History Made:

RAILWAY HISTORY was made on Sunday evening (May 20th 2018) when the first-ever electric train operating under the overhead wires pulled into Bromsgrove Station, writes NEIL GORDON.

The momentous occasion took place at 8.24pm. The train consisting of two class 323 units, identified by headcode 5T78, arrived on platform 3. A number of Network Rail and West Midlands Railways representatives were on board to oversee trials being conducted to test the newly installed overhead power lines, ahead of a full electric service being introduced.

The train, numbers 323206 and 323222 made history twice with it being the first-electric train to operate on the towns famous Lickey Incline, and also the first electric train to operate at Bromsgrove.

Rail enthusiasts lined the route and around 40 were present at the station.

The six coach train set off on the first trial at 8.32pm heading to Birmingham's New Street station. The train stopped at Barnt Green on both the outward and return journey, arriving back at Bromsgrove on platform 1 at 9.51pm.

The next journey involved the train travelling non-stop to New Street station with the train calling at Longbridge on the return journey.

Finally, the train departed Bromsgrove around 11.20pm running non-stop to New Street station where it arrived shortly before midnight.

Observers who witnessed the train departing Bromsgrove have commented on how powerful the electric trains are in comparison with the diesel trains currently serving Bromsgrove.

Richard Dugdale, Senior sponsor for Network Rail, said "Passengers will soon be travelling on electric trains between Birmingham and Bromsgrove which will provide a better, greener, more reliable service.

"The Railway Upgrade Plan is delivering significant improvements across Britain. Bromsgrove with it's new station and electric train service is reaping the benefits.

"Electric trains mean overhead power lines along the railway are live. 24 hours a day, I would urge everyone to remember this and never put themselves or others at risk by trespassing on the railway."

The upgrade and electrification of the railway to Bromsgrove by Network Rail is part of the Railway Upgrade Plan. When the work is completed, West Midlands Railway is to operate an extra three trains every hour. Currently the town has two trains per hour in the peak and just one train per hour off-peak.

Richard Brooks, Customer Experience Director for West Midlands Railway, said: "There is still more work to be done but the test train is a major step towards giving Bromsgrove the extra services the town needs. These are exciting times for the region. Rail travel in the West Midlands has never been more popular. We are investing almost £1 billion to create more and better journeys, helping to shape and support the regions economy and identity."

66140 descends the Lickey near bridge 102 with the Corby-Margam. 10-10-2017.

Looking back over the years

​170516 passing Tamper 73804 in the old Tamper siding at Bromsgrove. 6-4-2016.

It is still possible to see trains banked at Bromsgrove. This is 17-7-2014 with 66106 entering the loop with a Margam-Corby train. While the banker 66058 is waiting in the siding.

Plenty of trees have been cut down which has opened up new vantage points.

​The final train from Bromsgrove, the 2320 to Worcester. Photo by Neil Gordon.

​New fencing being installed near the old turntable well. New signals too including what looks like an R.A. signal for the main line.

​Another of the new signals.

66423 with the late running Daventry-Wentloog. 15-9-2016.

​The old station site taken from the new footbridge.

The Bromsgrove Standard reported that "The diesel working the 9.53am from Bromsgrove took five minutes and fifteen seconds to pass the Inclines summit at Blackwell on Wednesday (August 1st). Whilst the electric train working the 9.42am from Bromsgrove took just three minutes and four seconds on Thursday (August 2nd)..

​The banker behind the train and waiting for the road.

          Health and Safety I suppose.

Railings have now been put around the coal stage at Bromsgrove South. 28-9-2015..

Looking towards the station from St Godwalds bridge.16-3-2017

66056 banking 66059 on Margam-Corby 12-11-2015.

Another view of the building taking shape. 9-1-2016.

Double headed Castles heading up th Lickey approaching Pikes Pool. It was quite a while since I had been here and the undergrowth had shot up. Luckily there was a gap in the trees.10-6-2023.

More metal work arrived on Thursday13th july 2017 for the electrification at Bromsgrove writes Neil Gordon.

This delivery was parked on the service road adjacent to the Ladybird when I headed for the 07-23 to New Street.

As I photographed the load the lorry driver poked his head out of the cab window and asked if there was a problem-he thought that I was photographing him because he was parked on double-yellows!

I mentioned this website to him and he was fine, we had a brief chat and I carried-on. The lorry headed for the compound next to the up goods loop as I waited for my train.

66063 dead on the rear of Porth-Bescot

Railway history made.

​The new Bromsgrove station taking shape. 9-1-2016.


Clitheroe-Avonmouth approaching Vigo. 28-6-2018

​66176 at Bromsgrove South with Toton-Moreton on Lugg. 6-10-2015.


Aston Fields resident and railway enthusiast Neil Gordon travelled on the last trains on the evening of Monday 11th July. This is what he says "170511 (front) and 153365 worked the 1M70 2229 Bromsgrove to Birmingham New Street and returned on the 1V30 with 153365 leading. They ran to time except for departing Bromsgrove 3 late at 2323 with a blast on the horn from the guard in the rear cab of 170511"

The new sign at the Stoke Road entrance to the station. Photo Neil Gordon.

Pikes Pool with site of reservoir on right.

​What I am told is a PSP Cabinet has been installed at Bromsgrove South for Siemens Rail. 

​153334 leading a 170 unit on a Cardiff-Nottingham service approaching Vigo. 17-12-2015

New services were gradually introduced in the late 1980s, resulting in more people travelling by train. The Sprinter has an access point behind the driving compartment that acted as an overspill area for passengers boarding busy services at New Street Station. This sometimes prevented guards and drivers from being able to board trains. Some services were cancelled when passengers refused to vacate the area following appeals.

A handful of Sprinters still call at the town today having seen service with British Rail, Central Trains, London Midland and now West Midland Railway.

Finally the class 170 Turbostar DMU (Picture 3) was designed for both regional and long-distance services. It has operated the bulk of services since its launch in 1999 but that changed on July 29th 2018 when electric trains began stopping at Bromsgrove.

Route learning of drivers and conductors who will be operating Cross-City services to Bromsgrove has commenced ahead of the new service going live, writes Neil Gordon.

Around 400 West Midlands Railway staff, consisting of 240 drivers and 160 conductors, are currently undertaking route-learning between Barnt Green and Bromsgrove ahead of the much anticipated new rail service being launched.

A spokesperson for West Midlands Railways said "Staff need to learn the route and type of trains that they will be working on."

Route learning covers route features: stations,sidings,junctions,points and bridges; signal types: systems used,position and sightings; TPS (Train Planning System):commencement and formation points; power supply and authorised routes.

The image shows 5T66 arrived at Bromsgrove from Barnt Green at 9-59am on Saturday 21st April 2018. The unit, 170517, had already travelled New Street to Bromsgrove, Bromsgrove to Barnt Green, before arriving back at Bromsgrove.

It departed at 10-04am with 5T67 Bromsgrove to Bromsgrove via Barnt Green.

The launch date for the new services is yet to be confirmed and the spokesperson for West Midlands Railways emphasised: "Once Network Rail confirms that the newly electrified section of infrastructure is ready to go live, then we'll be ready."

​The new Bromsgrove station taking shape. 17-12-2015.

Work to repair the culvert at Bromsgrove South will continue through the Christmas holiday. 17-12-2015.

​Plenty of room in the carpark.

During trials 323206 and 323222 approach Bromsgrove station with 5T78 the first ever electric train to work on the Lickey under it's own power. Photo taken from St Godwalds Bridge by Neil Gordon.

Railway history was made on the morning of Sunday 29th July 2018 with the launch of Cross City services operating at Bromsgrove, writes Neil Gordon.

The first ever electric service departed at 9.07am (3 minutes late) from platform 11a of Birmingham's New Street Station with electric train, class 323-number 323202 heading to Bromsgrove.

Around 70 people were present at Bromsgrove as the train arrived on platform 3 at 9.35am.

Most of those present took pictures of this historic rail event.

The train then departed at 9.42am with the inaugural Cross-City service from Bromsgrove, with around 40 people on board as it headed for New Street.

From Monday 30th July 2018 passengers travelling from Bromsgrove to Birmingham now have four trains an hour- the three electric services and the existing hourly diesel service.

66425 at Vigo with Daventry-Wentloog. 23-3-2017

Lickey Rail Group​

On November 10th an event was held at St. Johns church, Bromsgrove to publicise the Railway work life and death project. The project is a collaboration between Portsmouth University, The National Railway Museum and the Modern Records Centre. Dr Mike Esbester from the University came up from his home in Oxford to put on a display to publicise the project. The event was iniitiated by Neil Gordon of the newly formed Lickey Rail Group. This day was chosen as it was the anniversary of the explosian that killed Joseph Rutherford and Thomas Scaife whose well known  tombstones are in the churchyard. The projects web site is www.railwayaccidents.port.ac.uk. The lickey Rail Group also have a web site lickeyrailgroup.org. They are researching incidents in the Bromsgrove area.


A Voyager descending the Bank, passing the site of the Chapel. 7-2-2016.

​56098 entering the up loop at Bromsgrove with Cardiff Tidal-Chaddesden Sdgs. 8-3-2016.

66058 waiting to bank the Margam-Corby. 4-3-2016.