Whilst having a mooch round the net the other day, I visited the excellent site curated by Dave Cresswell and Rob Taylor, dedicated to the past, present and future of the South Staffordshire railway line that used to run from Walsall, through Ryecroft, Pelsall and Brownhills, onwards to Lichfield. The South Staffordshire Rail Group are a very passionate, enthusiastic band of campaigners and enthusiasts, dedicated to reviving the much-missed line, torn up in the early eighties. This is a cause I fully support, and I have covered their fascinating work here before.
South Staffordshire Rail Group have on their site a wealth of media, from videos to recollections of the line in use, to some fantastic photos; it is those I sample today, in particular, the wonderful images of Norton Junction. Stood near the dangerous accident blackspot High Bridges, on the Pelsall Road, I remember the sidings being all but abandoned, filled with decaying wagons and a vandalised signalbox. To a geeky, technically minded kid, it was heaven, with the added bonus that occasionally you’d get to see a goods train rumble by on the main line. I think most Brownhills kids spent time here at some point. It’s now just a field; the hated road bridge, now rebuilt, just spans the adjacent canal. Some adjacent newbuild housing has been constructed at the south end of the former yard.
Please do take time to explore the site, and join the group on Facebook. It would be wonderful to see the return of trains to Brownhills. I thank Dave and Rob for their fascinating and important work.