Redditch to Ashchurch
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LMS class 4P no. 42416 passes the site of Coughton Station, Warwickshire, with the 4.30pm Ashchurch to Redditch Service, 24th March, 1962
From the Vale of Evesham's point of view, the main Gloucester to Birmingham line was not very useful as it bypassed the fruit and vegetable growing areas of the vale. It took three companies to rectify the problem and by 1868 a loop from Barnt Green to Ashchurch, both on the Birmingham - Gloucester line, had been built, taking in a lot of the Vale of Evesham. Evesham was a now a major player in the railways of the area, with two stations and exchange sidings between the GWR and Midland Railways. A through link came late in the day, and was mainly for diversions off the Stratford to Cheltenham line. By 1963, the line south of Redditch had closed, leaving Evesham with only one railway line serving it.
Today, only the Redditch to Barnt Green section survives, as part of Birmingham's Cross City line. The rest is either trackbed, reclaimed for agricultural use, or developed (the author's residence being built on the old trackbed just east of Evesham Midland Station). However, Ashchurch station has been recently re-opened, although like Honeybourne, it has been reduced from a junction station to an unstaffed halt, serving the main Birmingham to Bristol line only. The amount of development on the trackbed south of Redditch renders it extremely unlikely that the line will be ever be restored.
Redditch to Ashchurch Googlemap
Red items - closed
Blue item - open as of 2012
This is an approximate diagram of the route of the railway from Redditch to Ashchurch, and when I say approximate, I mean it somewhat more in this case. At some points the route I've mapped is a "Best Guess", particularly between Redditch and Astwood Bank, which has seen major developments since the line's closure. Other areas have also seen development, and in some areas the trackbed appears to have been reclaimed for agricultural use. All this adds up to a line that is extremely unlikely to be re-opened.
[Please note that no rights of way or public access are inferred by this diagram].