Plan your trip
The line from Barnt Green to Redditch runs east from the boundary with the West Midlands before turning south to reach the only ‘new town’ in the County of Worcestershire. Along the way, it meets the Worcester and Birmingham Canal at Alvechurch.
Our starting point is Barnt Green which is the junction station on the ‘main line’ from Birmingham to Bristol and the South West. Barnt Green is the rail head for the Lickey Hills which have long been popular with the city dwellers of the West Midlands. In days past, circular tickets were sold to allow walkers to arrive at the station and then walk over the hills to return to (from) stations on the Snow Hill to Stourbridge line.
The Redditch platforms are tightly curved as the line swings away eastwards. Leaving the station, the two tracks become one as the route is largely single line. It is not long before the route turns south and the station of Alvechurch is approached. Here, a passing loop has been installed to allow 3 trains an hour to serve the branch.
Alvechurch Parish is well known to various rambling clubs for its well-maintained country footpaths which are promoted as a “Gateway to the Countryside”.
Close by to the station is the canal with marinas and a typical canalside pub. A good walk is to be had along the canal to Tardebigge Locks – the longest flight of narrow boat locks in the UK (there is a bus link to Bromsgrove and Redditch from the top lock).
Redditch is the terminus of the line with a modern single platform station. Nothing remains of the former Midland Railway station which served the through line to Ashchurch in Gloucestershire. Redditch was designated a ‘New Town’ in 1964 and is a fascinating mixture of the old and the new. In the 19th Century Redditch was the needle making capital of the world, an achievement celebrated at the Forge Mill Needle Museum. The Town was also the home of the world famous Royal Enfield Motorcycle Company.
Redditch also boasts a Vue multiplex cinema in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre and the Grade II listed Palace Theatre that is well worth a visit.