[Source: Paul Wright]

Date opened: 12.11.1849
Location: North side of Wednesfield Road
Company on opening: Shrewsbury & Birmingham Railway
Date closed to passengers: 24.6.1852
Date closed completely: 24.6.1852
Company on closing: Shrewsbury & Birmingham Railway
Present state: Demolished
County: Staffordshire
OS Grid Ref: SO918990
Date of visit: 3.3.2016

Notes: Wolverhampton Temporary station was the eastern terminus of the Shrewsbury & Birmingham Railway (S&B) when it opened on 12 November 1849. The S&B was authorised on 3 August 1846 to build a 29 ½-mile line between Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury (10 miles at the western end being as part of a joint line with the Shropshire Union Railways & Canal Company). The original aspiration had been to create a route to Birmingham but opposition from other railway companies had prevented that from being achieved. Instead Parliament had authorised, also on 3 August 1846, the Birmingham, Wolverhampton & Stour Valley Railway (BW&SV) to build a line between Wolverhampton and Birmingham and given the S&B running rights over it. Because of this when the S&B opened to Wolverhampton it had to make do with a temporary terminus.

The temporary station was located on the north side of Wednesfield Road (the present-day Wednesfield Way) on the east side of a canal basin. The station building was at street level and the line was elevated, passing over Wednesfield on a bridge. The railway at this point was under the joint ownership of the S&B and the BW&SV. The building was designed by Edward Banks and it was built by William Jarrow of Leicester for £380. It was a small, pitched-roof structure.

Steps led up to the line where there was a single platform.

The March 1850 timetable showed six arrivals and six departures on Monday-to-Saturday as shown in the table below. There were two arrivals and two departures on Sunday.

Departures March 1850 Destination Arrivals March 1850 From
7.10am Shrewsbury 9.30am Shrewsbury
10.20am Shrewsbury 11.40am Shrewsbury
12.40pm Shrewsbury 2.10pm Shrewsbury
2.40pm Shrewsbury 5.15pm Shrewsbury
5.10pm Shrewsbury 7.10pm Shrewsbury
7.30pm Shrewsbury 9.00pm Shrewsbury

The BW&SV line had been leased to the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) on 2 July 1847 and they were determined to delay its opening so as to frustrate the S&B. The LNWR feared an alternative route to its own being created from the West Midlands to the River Mersey which was exactly the aspiration of the S&B.

When the S&B laid boards from its temporary station to the canal at Victoria Basin in July 1850 matters came to blows. A clash took place on 7 July 1850 which the press headlines described as the ‘Riot of Temporary Station’. Three hundred navvies in the employ of Hoof, Hill & Moor, the BW&SV contractor, went to disrupt the S&B work at the temporary station. They were met by S&B navvies who identified by red tape tied around their arms. A full-scale riot ensued. Police and soldiers marched to the scene and the mayor read the Riot Act. So serious was the disturbance that soldiers had to fix bayonets in order to disperse the rioters. Further down the line wagons were overturned and there was a great deal of stone-throwing. Police had to draw cutlasses and charge. A Chancery injunction ended the violence and the S&B was able to conduct its business unmolested.

Hostility by the LNWR resulted in the S&B seeking an alliance with the Great Western Railway (GWR) who also wanted to create a route to the Mersey.

On 24 June 1852 a permanent station was ready at Wolverhampton Queen Street and the temporary station was closed. The new station was a short distance south-east of the temporary station. It was a shared facility with the LNWR and would later become Wolverhampton High Level.

In December 1852 the Wolverhampton Temporary station building was let to a Sabbath School. It was later sold to the Shropshire Union Canal who used it as a stable block and storehouse.

The GWR had reached Birmingham on 1 October 1852 and had then obtained an Act to build a line of its own to Wolverhampton. When the S&B moved into the GWR sphere of influence a further line was proposed from what later became Wolverhampton Low Level station to the S&B line at the site of their short-lived Stafford Road station. This would allow S&B trains to reach Birmingham without the need to use the LNWR line.

When work began in the GWR lines the LNWR realised it was pointless resisting the S&B any longer and on 4 February 1854 they allowed its trains to run through to Birmingham New Street. However the S&B ran only a few services in each direction.

On 1 September 1854 the S&B was absorbed into the GWR.

On 13 November 1854 the GWR line from Wolverhampton to what was named Stafford Road Junction opened. From that date all former S&B line trains started to run to Birmingham Snow Hill via the GWR line. Some through coaches were operated from the High Level station to Stafford Road Junction where they were attached to GWR trains until 1858. In 1859 the GWR sold its half-share in the High Level station to the LNWR. The original S&B line into Wolverhampton High Level was disconnected from the LNWR line and became a goods branch that continued to serve Victoria Basin.

In 1967 the original line into High Level became a main line railway once again when services over the former S&B were switched to run via Wolverhampton High Level.

The temporary station building survived until the mid 1970s when it was demolished as part of a ring road development.

Route map by Alan Young


  • A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain - Volume 7 The West Midlands - PRex Christiansen - David & Charles 1973.
  • Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies - Christopher Awdry - Guild Publishing 1990.
  • Paddington to the Mersey - Dr R. Preston Hendry & R. Powell Hendry - Oxford Publishing Company 1992.
  • Railway Passenger Stations in Great Britain - A Chronology - Michael Quick - Railway & Canal Historical Society 2009.
  • Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury - Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith - Middleton Press 2009.

To see the other closed stations of the Shrewsbury & Birmingham Railway
click on the station name
: Upton Magna, Walcot, Admaston and Stafford Road

In this view of a Wolverhampton trolleybus heading west along Wednesfield Road in the 1950s the Wolverhampton Temporary station can be seen to the left.
hoto by John Law from his johnmightycat Flickr photostream

The Wolverhampton Temporary station shown on a 1886 town plan. The station is the building that lies to the right of the Union Inn. Behind the station building at track level there had been a single platform.

The Wolverhampton Temporary station shown on a six-inch map from 1886. The High Level station which replaced it can be seen to the south-east. Within two years Shrewsbury trains were using the Low Level station which can also be seen on the map.

Looking east along Wednesfield Road in the 1960s. A Wolverhampton Corporation trolleybus is seen heading west. Behind it can be seen the roof of the Wolverhapton Temporary station. Above it is a BR mark 1 coach which is standing at the point that would have been the southernmost extent of the S&B railway between 1849 and 1852.
Photo by Simon Dewey

A view looking east along Wednesfield Road in 1973. The Wolverhampton Temporary station can be seen to the right of the Union Inn adjacent to the railway.

The site of the Wolverhampton Temporary station seen looking south in July 1977.
hoto by David Rostance from his Flickr photostream

The site of Wolverhampton Temporary station looking north on 3 March 2016.
Photo by Paul Wright

Looking north at the site of Wolverhampton Temporary station on 3 March 2016. The station was on the far side of the bridge where the trees can be seen.
Photo by Paul Wright

The site of the Wolverhampton Temporary station building looking east on 3 March 2016.
Photo by Paul Wright

Looking north towards the site of the Wolverhampton Temporary station platform from the location of the station building on 3 March 2016.
hoto by Paul Wright




[Source: Paul Wright]

Last updated: Friday, 26-May-2017 10:04:16 CEST
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