THE RAILWAY REINSTATEMENT ASSOCIATION
High Street road bridge from the northern most end of the former station platform in June 2016, now little more than and Ivy covered mound
The root of the problem. A well established tree can be seen here forcing its roots between the brick courses creating a considerable problem for reinstatement. Forcing a rebuild after clearence of vegitation
View under Leys Road bridge from just beyonf the gates seen in the picture left
At a point roughly halfway between Bromley and Pensnett Halts a legitemate footpath crosses the rail alignment with housing either side. This could be a point to put in a new halt to serve the estates.
This would have the added bonus of making the distances between stops short enough to allow the totally polution free option of flywheel only powered trains or trams with the flywheel energy recharged at station halts.
Official council path crossing the alignment. By its very existance, encouraging people to use the alignment as a footpath
KINGSWINFORD & WOLVERHAMPTON RAILWAY
Only consisting of grass platforms with paved edges, the original southbound platform of which remains today, including the ramp up to the road bridge and gate in the wall. As does one of the two tracks although all is heavily overgrown.
Historic pictures on other web sites show the path of the removed line served as a footpath to locals, but bramble growth had made this impassable by Easter 2016, even before spring growth.
1948 OS map showing the Moor Lane yard and the Wombourne branch, (1) being the site of Brockmoor Halt, although even by now passenger services had ceased over 15 years previously and it had become largely single track and reverted to freight only
Historic picture showing a southbound freight train passing through the halt being hauled by Panier Tank loco No. 6723. The building seen up on the road is still extant today despite the whole area now being an area of housing and small industrial units
Taken from roughly the same point as the picture right but facing south towards the junctionis some evidence of a tiny piece of clearence of saplings.
Modern OS type map showing the site of the station today with the increased housing adjacent to it. The fact that the Wombourne branch is still shown as a dismantled railway indicates that the alignment still exists
This 2016 picture from a similar position shows how quickly nature can take areas back when left to its own devices
Built alongside the canal, which has long been filled in and built upon Bromley Halt was similar to the previous halt in that it had narrow solid platforms with grass banking behind. Here however there were wooden shelters on both platforms.
1948 OS map showing that although it was called Bromley Halt, it actually served the hamlet of Brockmoor
Historic picture of the station. The canal, now filled in and built upon can be seen running alongside the railway. Even then it was easier to build alongside the highways of the day than create completely new corridors
Taken from the same position as the picture above right in June 2016 the station is no longer visible due to the forestation but the path is clearly used heavily and regularly to be maintained with the proliferation of vegitation over the last 12 years
Footpath from Fens Pool rising to Leys Road bridge above. The fact that there is not an easy road or footpath route between here and housing north of the canal is probably the reason the locals use the railway alignment
Just 50 metres north of the road bridge we find the platforms still in situ of Bromley Halt. Facing north we see through the gloom created by the forest canopy the southbound platform with track barely discernable.
At this point the photographer remained dry despite a Thunder Storm raging at the time
Trees growing within the track in the cutting just south of Pensnett Halt
Station site marked on modern OS style map showing the increased conerbation in the area and how a modern halt here would allow carless access to both the Dell Stadium and Buckpool & Fens Pool Nature Reserve
Leys Road bridge. The metalwork between the road and footpath being the original parrapet, the footpath being a modern addition attached to the side of the original bridge
The puff of smoke from a smouldering sleeper seen here under Leys Road bridge is a clear indication of people congregating here. Whether youths on a drinking spree of homeless seeking shelter is anyones guess
Facing north following the track into the gloom is clearly visible a trail, the volume of local people utilising this unofficial pathway can only be guessed at to create such a well wornroute in view of the dgree of forestation that has occured
As we continue north the track swaps from side to side and the path switches which side of the track it runs, whichever course the rails run
OS type map showing the footpath location and possible halt position
Steep and dangerous access point up to the footpath at the end of Gibbons Lane where an alleyway cuts through to Mayflower Drive, part of the newish estate built above the railway cutting
Opened to serve the small town of Pensnett, which at that time was nearly a mile from the station.
The sidings to the north of the station survived until quite recently, thanks to the Perrier distribution centre. The sidings finally being lifted in 2015.
The disused car park just to the north of the station would serve as a good park and ride were this line to be reopenned.
1948 OS map showing that at the time Pensnett was some way from the station
Historic picture of where Pensnett Halt was once situated, one can jusr decern the overgrown platform between the tracks and High Street road bridge in the background
Station site on modern OS style map showing that Pensnett has now spread as far as the rail alignment with the trading estate the other side.
Originally built to serve the now demolished Dreadnought brickworks, it was also later used by Perier to distribute its famous water until closure of the yard and mothballing of the line. The track was finally lifted in 2015, research indicates that there may be plans to extend the industrial estate, and northward there is underway, building of a new housing estate, Himley View.
2016 picture taken through the spars of the locked gate. Within the shadow is the earth mound to prevent illegal traveller encampment, beyond which can be seen the trading estate and between is the overgrown car park
In this moody picture one foggy morning one can just about see the shadow of Pensnett High Street bridge, the other side of which was the halt.
2016 picture again taken through the spars of a locked gate, this time in Tansey Green Lane looking into the former Dreadnought Brickworks site immediately behind on the other side of the road is the new Himley View Housing Estate. Slightly to the left of this shot is the former track alignment
Originally built to serve the community of Gornalwood, it was again quite a way from what was then a very small community. Today it has the dubious honour of being the only station on the alignment that has been built on, the station coordinates being under the houses of Great Western Way on the Himley View estate currently being built in 2016. However the alignment would give the houses a value lift if a station were built to cennect the conurbation to Birmingham and the wider community via Stourbridge Junction.
Station site on modern OS style map showing that it is the middle of a new housing development. Further north, just above the 90 is the start of the South Staffs Railway walk that runs on the old track alignment right the way through to Coxley Junction
Although serving the small community around Himley Hall it was given full station status and had quite a substantial presence. This could possibly be due to its proximity to the home of the Rt Hon Earl of Dudley, owner of Baggerwood, and other collieries in the area.
1948 OS map showing that at the time Himley was some way from the station. Wall Heath to the south has got significantly closer to the station today, increasing possible patronage further
Looking south through the station, southbound platform on the left the northbound seems to have been removed to create picnic area
Station site marked on modern OS style map showing that apart from the new bypass that has allowed the village to spead almost to the railway alignment, nothing much has changed in this location
Lookihg south from end of platform over the bridge towards Gornal Halt. Note: The large gas or water pipe thatthe instalers have used the bridge to make for cheaper instalation
2016 photo showing that the southbound platform is still largely extant. Although extracting tree roots may cause damage were ropening ever required
Between Himley and Wombourne is a quite impressive cutting, which thanks to the paths along the top on which to divert walkers, it would not preclude a possible reopening
Heading north from Himley station you can either walk on a path in the woods or up the track alignment, around a bend then you see the gas pipe with road bridge beyond
Heading north through the cutting there is quite an incline. This would be significant for heavy rail but not for light rail were the line to reopen
BRATCH OR WOMBOURNE
Originally built to serve the small community of Bratch
1948 OS map, the station being between the O and the M of the larger fonted word Wombourne and shows that the station was indeed in Bratch, of the area Wombourne, being to the north of the village itself
Widley reproduced post card of the time showing the station. Note it states Bratch station Wombourne
Station site marked on modern OS style map showing that the station would be poorly placed if the line were reopened, either needing a more central, or a second south station
Approaching the station at track level in 2016, the building is now owned by South Staffs Council and leased as a cafe and the fencing is for health and Safety so that customers do not fall off the platform edge
Looking back through the station. The bank of trees and brambles on the right mask the remnants of the northbound platform
Although serving the small community
1948 OS map
Looking south towards Penn. The station building is leased as a cafe serving walkers, cyclists and locals alike
Well restored station building across the car park where the original station forecourt would have been
Station site marked on modern OS style map
Looking north from the same spot towards Coxley Junction. The soutnbound platform wall still visible despite heavy undergrowth
Former engine shed now used as a transport museum open most Sundays. Sadly for our purposes not on Easter Sunday when we visited