|BIRMINGHAM NEW STREET has a page to itself. To see it, click New Street Station for extended information. When you've seen what you need to see, click the Back button that you'll find at top or bottom of the page to return here.|
SMETHWICK ROLFE STREET lies at the point where Rolfe Street branches
off Tollhouse Way. The ticket office is at road level, to one side of the railway passing underneath. There are
steps only (no lifts) down to the platforms, and access to the far platform is from the public pavement, not
from the ticket office foyer. Rolfe Street has no park-and-ride facilities but limited street parking is
available. Wheels: BS.|
SMETHWICK GALTON BRIDGE is on three levels. The ticket office is at
road level; the Kidderminster - Birmingham Snow Hill platforms are one level down; and the Wolverhampton -
Birmingham New Street platforms lie crosswise underneath the Worcester line. All platforms are accessible by
lift, but two different lifts are needed to get to platform 4 (trains from Wolverhampton towards Birmingham).
The lifts are in
brick towers built at the four corners of the bridge straddling the lower line, so there is a few yards walk
between them. There is no station parking, but you may find local street parking.
The photo (from Birmingham New Street end) shows how the platforms for the Kidderminster line pass crosswise over those for the Wolverhampton line at Galton Bridge. The two brick towers house lifts between levels.
Click here to transfer to the Birmingham - Kidderminster line.
SANDWELL & DUDLEY is the principal station between Wolverhampton
and Birmingham in the respect that it gets called on by long-distance as well as regional trains. The station
is above road level beside a bridge over Bromford Road, about 10 minutes walk from Oldbury centre. It has a
road-level underpass (with a street exit on the south side) with separate lifts and stairs to each platform and
to the ticket office. The ticket office is at half-height between road and rail, but it is approachable on the
level by car, and the lift on that side stops at all three levels (and has three sets of doors!). The sizeable
park-and-ride car park can still be a squeeze at times. It can be a pain to get to by bus, though there is a
bus stop by the bridge. Wheels: BS.|
DUDLEY PORT is a single island platform. Wolverhampton-bound trains
normally arrive at the platform side which faces the nearby canal. The platform is reached by a subway from
beside the ticket office, then steps up. No lift is evident, and the long sloping approach may be a trial for
the less athletic, but there are park-and-ride facilities. Note that the main road below the station (also
called Dudley Port and linking Dudley to Great Bridge) is prone to traffic jams. The 74 bus runs on this road
and is a quick link to Dudley town centre (when not stuck in the jams, of course).
TIPTON station is adjacent to the very busy level crossing on St.
Alexandra Road. Station access is from either side of the line by the crossing, and there is an underpass
linking the two sides. Park-and-ride parking is right beside the level crossing on the opposite side from the
station, adjacent to the small town centre shoppers' car park. Be warned: motorists with local knowledge and
any choice in the matter always avoid this level crossing - and many of the bus routes do as well.
COSELEY has its ticket office close to Gough Road, beside a long ramp
down to Birmingham-bound trains. Wolverhampton trains are reached from Havacre Lane with steps and a zigzag
ramp both available. The Gough Road overbridge links the two. Parking areas are provided in Havacre Lane, just
past the Wolverhampton end of the station; and down from the ticket office, on the opposite side of Gough Road. The station is a short distance down the hill
from Roseville on the Birmingham New Road, so it's not too far from the 125 and 126 bus services between
Wolverhampton and Dudley/Birmingham. 525 and 545 actually pass the station, but are less frequent.
Coseley: cycles travel free on local Centro services.
WOLVERHAMPTON is one of the region's principal stations, located just
beyond the town's main bus station, and reached by its own road (Railway Drive) which also gives access to its
multi-storey car park (not free). During late summer 2004, a new platform (platform 4) has been added to the station, and a new
passenger overbridge with lifts already serves three platforms, and will connect all of them when completed. In the meantime,
you can use the old overbridge between 1 and 2 or get staff assistance if necessary to use the goods lift. Regular users will realise that the
station already has a platform 4, but this now becomes platform 6.|
This still leaves a somewhat messy numerical arrangement, since platforms 5 and 6 are on the back face of platform 1 - not the
first place you might look for them, but a sensible answer short of renumbering everything (which probably has operational
consequences far beyond moving a few signs around). As with other long stations, some of the
platforms are lettered 'a' and 'b' to allow two shorter trains to stand at different points along the same
platform face, so check the arrival/departure screens to ensure you're at the right end. Wolverhampton's facilities include a cafe and a small newsagents, and substantial areas are canopied.
Wheels: 1/5/6 2/3/4.
PENKRIDGE Penkridge station lies just south of the village centre,
and is signed off the west side of the A449. Station Road (longer than shown in the sketch) is a tight access
because the station is attracting commuters but only has space for about 24 cars. The spill-over is therefore
clogging the narrow residential streets. The platforms are on an embankment, reached either by new ramps (using
a new underpass for the north side) or 21 steps alongside the closed station building. At first sight, the
half-gates down the ramp are to prevent runaway, but their frequency is a hindrance and makes it more likely
that it's an anti-skateboarding feature. Nevetheless, the station is far more accessible than it was even in
2002, though it's still pretty basic on seats and shelter - especially for northbound passengers.|
STAFFORD station was probably rebuilt as part of the West Coast
electrification scheme in the early 1960s, and its challenging concrete just looks dingy and ugly now. That
apart, the station is well appointed with a bright concourse and ticket area, plus a travel centre, newsagent
and snack bar all to hand. Every platform has waiting rooms at the outer ends of each canopy and - unusually -
there are seats on the overbridge to watch the busy procession of trains in comfort (along with a further
waiting room over tracks 4 and 5). Stafford (the place) seems small to warrant this provision, though the
station obviously has heavy commuter use and may also be a transfer point.|
The overbridge is 32 steps up and has no public lifts, but the goods lifts can be used with staff assistance. There are timetables, overhead monitors, station plans and local street plans dotted around the station, but don't look for platform 2 - there isn't one. Outside there is pay and display parking at daily rates (£5.00 in March 2002), plus a very small short-stay collection point. Nearby is an Arriva bus stop serving several routes. Wheels: BS.
Stafford also serves the Stafford to Rugby line via the Trent Valley.
NORTON BRIDGE station is a single island platform marooned in the
middle of the West Coast Main Line. If there are signs to the station, we didn't see them, but "Station Road"
is a reasonable hint, and failing that you can follow the wide cutting full of steel masts that support the
power supply for the trains. There is parking for about 15-20 cars, a train information board, and a steel and
concrete overbridge across to the platform. The only feature there is a substantially-built waiting
room with seats for about 12, plus standing room for maybe 20. The internal decor is tatty, and not helped at
all by dismal graffiti apparently written by retarded 6-year olds. Train service is at roughly 90 minute
intervals through the day. Access is difficult for prams and non-existent for wheelchair users.
BARLASTON station is at a level crossing on a rising slope by a
petrol station-cum-shop, a little over half a mile east of the A34 trunk road. The main building has been shut
down, so the features today are limited to a bench sheltered by an open-fronted brick shelter on the southbound
side, and an al fresco bench on the north side. Both platforms have ramp access from the level crossing.
Road traffic here is allowed to do 30mph, but this is a main line and through trains can do 90, so take note of
the warning lines on the platforms.Wheels: BS. |
WEDGWOOD is a trestle-built station which exists essentially for the
Wedgwood china works nearby. The road access ("Welcome to Wedgwood") is from the unnumbered Barlaston-Trentham
road, and while there is no obvious obstruction to public use of the station, there is no public parking at
all. Also note that the road is longer than shown on the plan, and has speed bumps and a dead-slow blind bridge
hump. The station itself has ramps to the platforms from the adjacent level crossing, and large bus shelters on
the platform, but apart from timetables it has no other facilities.Wheels: BS.|
|STOKE-ON-TRENT station is a grand example of North Staffordshire Railway architecture along its road frontage (if less inspiring on the platforms), and is a rare Midlands survival of a traditional overall trainshed roof. There are two main line platform faces plus a bay platform, and the passenger link is an underpass. Wheelchair users should contact customer services to use a lift down to the underpass. Stoke-on-Trent has a full set of services - waiting rooms (including a separate first class waiting room), food, newspapers, toilets, etc., though most are on the southbound platform.|
The entrance hall has been modernised within the old North Staffs shell, and is carefully surveyed by a statue
of Josiah Wedgwood directly across the street. Apart from a small set-down area by the entrance, there is no
station parking and very little street parking, though a pay-and- display area was being completed along the
street when we visited. Alternatively, there is a taxi rank to the north of the station entrance.
Stoke also serves the Stoke-on-Trent to Derby and Nottingham line. Click here to transfer to our guide for that line.
Copyright © 2005 Dudley Mall.