Wolverhampton railway station


Wolverhampton railway station

:"For the former Great Western Railway station in Wolverhampton, see Wolverhampton Low Level railway station."Infobox UK station
name = Wolverhampton


manager = Virgin Trains
locale = Wolverhampton
borough = Wolverhampton
code = WVH
pte = West Midlands
zone = 5
years = 1852
1855
1965
1972
2004
events = Opened (High Level)
Opened (Low Level)
Rebuilt (High Level)
Closed (Low Level)
Extended (new platform added)
platforms = 6
usage0405 = 2.058
usage0506 = 2.255
usage0607 = 2.399

Wolverhampton railway station in Wolverhampton, West Midlands is on the West Coast Main Line. It is served by London Midland, CrossCountry, Virgin Trains, Wrexham & Shropshire and Arriva Trains Wales.

History

The first station on this site was opened in 1852 by the London and North Western Railway (LNWR). The only visible remnant of the original station is the Queen's Building, the gateway to Railway Drive which was the approach road to the station, which nowadays is a cafeteria serving Wolverhampton bus station. Three years later the Great Western Railway (GWR) opened a second station, located behind the older station on lower ground, which became known as the Wolverhampton Low Level station, the other becoming known as Wolverhampton High Level.

Prior to nationalisation in 1948, Wolverhampton High Level was run by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS).

The present Wolverhampton station dates from 1965, when the High Level station was completely rebuilt as part of the modernisation programme which saw the West Coast Main Line electrified. It consisted of three through platforms (the present platforms 1, 2 and 3). In the 1980s, a parcels siding was converted into a south-facing bay platform (the present platform 5), and a new north-facing bay was constructed (the present platform 6).

In 1987 twelve different horse sculptures by Kevin Atherton, titled "Iron Horse", were erected between New Street station and Wolverhampton, including one at the southern end of platforms 2 and 3 ["Public Sculpture of Birmingham including Sutton Coldfield", George T. Noszlopy, edited Jeremy Beach, 1998, ISBN 0-85323-692-5] .

More recently (in 2004), a new through platform (platform 4) was constructed on the site of infrequently-used sidings. This has greatly enhanced the capacity of the station. A new footbridge was also constructed, to allow access to the new platform but also to improve access to the existing ones. A more comprehensive redevelopment of the station and surrounding area was announced on October 18th 2006. [http://www.expressandstar.co.uk/2006/10/18/all-change-at-station/]

Current operations

Virgin Trains manages the station. It operates services via Birmingham New Street to London Euston as part of its West Coast franchise. It also operates trains between Birmingham and Glasgow Central.

CrossCountry operates services to a wide variety of destinations: to Stockport, Manchester Piccadilly, Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford and Macclesfield to the north, Bristol Temple Meads, Exeter St Davids and Plymouth to the south-west and Oxford, Reading, Southampton Central and Bournemouth to the south to name but a few.

London Midland is the final major operator. It operates local services to Birmingham New Street and to Walsall (on behalf of Centro), and between Birmingham New Street and Shrewsbury. It also operates longer-distance services between Birmingham and Liverpool Lime Street, some of which run through to Northampton in peak periods, and one of which, an evening rush hour service, runs north to Preston (via Warrington Bank Quay) instead of Liverpool.

Arriva Trains Wales operates an hourly service between Birmingham New Street and Shrewsbury, with alternate trains continuing to either Aberystwyth (via the Cambrian Line) or Chester. There are also direct services to the Cambrian Coast Line to Pwllheli.

Wrexham & Shropshire serves Wolverhampton as one of the stations on their Wrexham General-London Marylebone service, which started on 28th April 2008. Because of Virgin Trains' franchise agreement, guaranteeing a monopoly on direct Wolverhampton-London services, Wrexham & Shropshire's services are only permitted to pick up passengers going northbound and set down passengers southbound. Until this "Moderation of Competition" agreement ends in 2012 the company's main stop in the West Midlands will be at Tame Bridge Parkway. A consequence of this is that passengers are unable to use this service to travel between Wolverhampton and Tame Bridge Parkway. The London Midland service to Walsall will end in December 2008.

Platforms

Wolverhampton station has six platforms: platforms 1 to 4 are through platforms, while platforms 5 and 6 are bay platforms at the south and north ends respectively. Technically, all four platforms are wholly reversible, but in real practice, platform 1 is used for northbound services, platform 2 is used as reversible and platforms 3 and 4 are for southbound service, although Platform 3 is used for northbound services in times of high congestion in the station. Platform 5 is used by the local services to Birmingham New Street. Platform 6 was designed for local services on the Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury Line, however it is rarely used, as the majority of services on that route travel through to Birmingham (or occasionally to Walsall). It is generally used for the first service of the day to Shrewsbury and for holding trains when they are not in use.

During off-peak times, Virgin Trains services from London Euston typically arrive at platform 1, then travel empty to Oxley maintenance depot, from where they return to Wolverhampton and depart from platform 4. During the morning and evening peaks, however, Virgin Trains often arrive into platform 2 and turn around on platform to make the return journey to London Euston.

All platforms at the station are electrified to 25kV AC overhead power.

References

External links

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* [http://www.railaroundbirmingham.co.uk/Stations/wolverhampton.php Rail Around Birmingham and the West Midlands: Wolverhampton station]
* [http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/walsallrail/ Petition to save Walsall-Wolverhampton service]

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