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Worcester is a cathedral city, and is also the county town of Worcestershire. Although the original Severn Valley Railway ran between Hartlebury and Shrewsbury, through services between the two often began and ended at Worcester.

The railways of Worcester

  • 1840: The Birmingham and Gloucester Railway (B&G) opened. This passed 4 miles to the east of Worcester, the nearest station being at Spetchley. Trains were met there by a coach from the Crown Inn, Broad Street. The B&G became part of the Midland Railway (MRMidland Railway) in 1846.
  • 1850: The MRMidland Railway, in agreement with the OW&WOxford Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway, laid track from Abbotswood Junction south of Worcester to Worcester Shrub Hill Station. The station was jointly owned by both companies and would remain jointly owned until after nationalisation in 1947. Services southwards to Gloucester and Birmingham began in October 1850; those to Birmingham would reverse at Abbotswood Junction, before proceeding on the MRMidland Railway line via the Lickey Incline to end at Birmingham Curzon Street.
  • 1852: The OW&W opened from Evesham to Stourbridge, incorporating the section from Abbotswood Junction to Worcester Shrub Hill and proceeding north through Hartlebury and Kidderminster.
  • 1860: The Worcester & Hereford Railway (W&H) opened Worcester Foregate Street station, for services towards Hereford in the south-west. The W&H became part of the West Midland Railway on 1 July 1861 and the GWRGreat Western Railway on 1 August 1863.
  • 1862: The opening of the Severn Valley Line saw the beginning of services from Worcester to Shrewsbury.

Worcester shed

Worcester shed (GWRGreat Western Railway WOS, BRBritish Rail or British Railways 85A) was the home of many of the locomotives working through services from the south end of the Severn Valley Line. Also the diesel railcars used on local services at the south end of the line from the 1930s were based at Worcester, there not being any servicing facilities for these at Kidderminster.[1] The railcar servicing depot was established in the Carriage & Wagon works area. This was north of Shrub Hill on the opposite side of the main line to the steam shed. Vehicle fuelling points were provided both inside and outside the shed and there were underfloor maintenance pits[2].


  1. Turley (2005), P35
  2. Bartlett, Steve, ‘Worcester’s Great Western Diesel Railcars Working on the Severn Valley’, Pen & Sword blog, 30 September 2020 (Retrieved 8 November 2021)

See also

The Severn Valley Railway under GWR/BR ownership