Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Northfield Railway Station

Northfield railway station gets a blog post all of its own because I think it’s rather spectacular. It has 4 platforms, but only two are used. It has bricked up subways (that most people don’t know exist) and has completely changed in the ~140years it’s been here.

When the station first opened in the late 1800s, the passenger trains originally used the central platform, with the outer tracks being used for freight. Platforms one and four didn’t exist then! Access to the central platform was gained via the subway under the bridge on West Heath Road (near the petrol station) – you can still see the bricked and boarded up holes today (the other is in the subway at the ticket office end). At the time, Northfield wasn’t part of Birmingham, so the railways brought people, jobs and goods to the rural areas, and subsequently modern Northfield built up around this.

The passenger subway at the ticket office end is now the only subway here, and it has recently (late 2012) had a refurb – lifts have been installed, more lighting, steps and hand rails. There are also two strips of neon green ‘stuff’ on the floor. One of these patches covers the numbers ‘1892’.  My brother (who is a train geek) and I have decided that this date marks the opening of the subway, as the station as a whole was already open for a while before this.

I love looking at old pictures of this area and seeing how little it has changed – the road layouts are pretty much the same, and you can really imagine what the area was like one hundred years ago. Some old photos of the station can be seen here and here.

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