Friday, 3 August 2012

Walking For Heritage; Curzon Street Station

This post follows on from the first Walking for Heritage post.

The First Stop – Curzon Street Station
From Millenium Point (at the Science Park), walk away from it towards Digbeth. Curzon Street Station is on the left.

Curzon Street Station is a fine piece of stonework, it really is beautiful. A few years ago, before it was boarded up, you could see the old hand pulled signal change levers on the top floor! Curzon Street stands quite proud against a backdrop of investment and change for the City – to one side there is Millenium Point and Thinktank, to the other the start of Digbeth as well as the Bullring. To the front and sides is a lot of building work as the new Eastside Park is being developed. To the back is wasteland – presumably the remains of the old platforms and goods yard, but it is now being used as a storage facility, car park and skate park!

Curzon Street was the original London-Birmingham terminus and opened in 1838. It went through a period of change as it went from being a passenger terminal to a goods terminal, and then it was wholly replaced by New Street Station in 1854. There is a plaque on the front wall near the door that commemorates the anniversary of the first arrival of a train from London.

With the proposed HS2 line due to head this way, Curzon Street could well be once again open for business, as the HS2 London-Birmingham link. I believe the plans are to incorporate the current building into the new one and to also extend the line to Moor Street Station (demolishing Park Street Graveyard on its’ way). I was also told the other day that an industrial estate in Nechalls (down near Dollman Street) would also be demolished, as that is where the tracks are due to be laid.

As a first stop for the Heritage Walk, it is quite a grand start and sets you up wondering what else there is to see in the surrounding area.

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