Worcester Shrub Hill railway station

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Worcester Shrub Hill railway station is one of two railway stations serving the city of Worcester in Worcestershire, England. It is managed by London Midland, and it is also served by First Great Western. The city's other station, Worcester Foregate Street, is situated in the city centre; Shrub Hill is situated to the east.

The first station at Shrub Hill was opened in 1850 being jointly owned by the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton and Midland Railways; until 1852 it was used only as a terminus for the latter's services from Birmingham. The present station building was designed by Edward Wilson and built in 1865. It is a Georgian-style building mainly of engineering brick with stone facings. Originally there was also a train shed which was removed in the 1930s.A survival at the station are the Western Region semaphore signals.

Railway Operations
The entire station is controlled by Worcester Shrub Hill Signal Box located at the 'London' end of platform 1. The Worcester area is controlled by another two signal boxes at Henwick (south of Foregate Street) and Tunnel Junction. Both platform 1 and 2 can be used in either direction, generally trains for Foregate Street use platform one and trains towards Oxford and Cheltenham Spa use platform 2 but this is not in all cases. Platform 3 is a small bay that was used mainly for the former Wessex Trains/ Wales & West service towards Cheltenham Spa, as its a small south facing bay platform it's use is limited. Trains leaving Shrub Hill for Foregate Street need join a single line that ends near Henwick signal box south of Foregate Street station, this is one of the two single lines through Foregate Street Station. In the ground ahead of the station is Worcester TMD, currently operated by London Midland who also stable trains at various locations across Shrub Hill station and First Great Western also stable some of there DMU's at Worcester TMD. Shrub Hill station is home to Worcester London Midland and First Great Western train crew depots. Also two the north of the station behind platform 2 & 3 is a freight railway yard.

Possible Closure Plans
If either of the proposed Worcester Parkway railway stations is built, Shrub Hill station will close . However, it is expected that planned housing growth as a result of the South Worcestershire Joint Core Strategy and Regional Spatial Strategy may result in this decision being changed, as a result of changes in land use around the Shrub Hill area.

Worcester Shrub Hill is served by London Midland's services from Worcester to Birmingham, either directly to Birmingham New Street via Bromsgrove, or via Kidderminster to Birmingham Snow Hill. First Great Western operate about a dozen services a day to and from London Paddington, the majority of which are via the Cotswold Line and Oxford. Other services to and from London are via the Birmingham/Bristol ( Cross Country Route), Gloucester/Swindon ( Golden Valley Line) and London/Bristol ( Great Western Main Line) lines. First Great Western also run services every 2 hours to Bristol Temple Meads via Cheltenham and Gloucester. First Great Western run services via Worcester Foregate Street to Great Malvern and Hereford. London Midland's service between Worcester and Gloucester via Ashchurch and Cheltenham to complement the 2-hourly First Great Western service was discontinued at the start of the December 2009 railway timetable due to low passenger usage.

Being the bigger of the two stations in Worcester, due to its sidings, Worcester Shrub Hill is often used as stabling point for freight trains and locomotives, as well as an overnight stop for some First Great Western rolling stock.

Waiting room
On Platform 2b is the old ladies’ waiting room which extends onto the platform. It is a cast-iron structure cast at the Vulcan Iron Works at Worcester. This was a subsidiary of the MacKenzie and Holland signal manufacturing company about 200 yards from Worcester Shrub Hill station . The exterior is decorated with classical pilasters and covered with “ majolica” ceramic tiles made by Maw and Company of Broseley. Maw was originally a Worcester company founded in 1850 when they bought the old Chamberlain tile factory. However in 1852 they moved to Broseley to be nearer their source of clay. In the main they made encaustic tiles rather than the “majolica” ceramic tiles used to decorate the Shrub Hill waiting room. Wojtczak writes that in 1873 there was Ladies’ Waiting Room Attendant called Mrs Dale who earned 10s and that this was the same rate of pay as a Mrs Spencer who was the office cleaner. It is Grade II* listed and English Heritage placed it on the “ Buildings At Risk Register” in 2003. The official records record that the waiting room was added c1880. In 2005 the register records “The cast iron frame is in need of structural repair. The front wall is leaning out and currently shored up. Preliminary investigative work has been carried out, but repair works have been delayed due partly to problem of locating specialist contractors." In April 2005, Network Rail applied for listed building planning consent to restore the waiting room to bring it back into use before the end of 2006. The application gave detail of the work to be carried out including restoration of the cast iron work and the sourcing and replacement of the missing ceramic tiles but as at May 2006 no work had commenced and English Heritage reported that the building should be included on the 2006 “Buildings At Risk Register”.

Preceding station National Rail Following station Worcester Foregate Street London Midland Hereford-Birmingham Droitwich Spa Worcester Foregate Street London Midland Worcester-Birmingham via Kidderminster Droitwich Spa Pershore First Great Western Cotswold Line Worcester Foregate Street Worcester Foregate Street First Great Western Worcester-Bristol Ashchurch for Tewkesbury

Building Activity

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