Photo By D J Norton

Halesowen Railway In Colour 

When I found out about the slides in January 2006, one of the first I took out of the boxes was a picture of the Dowery Dell viaduct (a.k.a. Hunnington viaduct) that was part of the Halesowen Railway.  Going through the slides more thoroughly, I discovered many more of the railway.  I knew how rare and important they were and it's a real pleasure to be able to share them here.

Halesowen Branch Nr Illey Road - 29/5/55

Halesowen Branch near Illey Road
This photograph was taken at the site where the line crossed Illey Road, now known as Illey Lane.  The view is towards Birmingham with the railway curving round to the left on its way to Halesowen.  The bridge is no longer in place but the one of the main bridge supports survives in Illey Lane as this picture shows.

Dowery Dell Viaduct from Field - 29/5/55

Dowery Dell Viaduct
I can't tell you how excited I was to find this slide.  The black and white prints had only provided awkward glimpses of the structure of the viaduct.  Here it was in all it's splendour!

From the curve of the viaduct, I'd say the Hunnington end was to the left and the Rubery end to the right.

Dowery Dell Viaduct from Line - 29/5/55

Dowery Dell viaduct from line
This was taken from the Hunnington end of the viaduct with the line heading off towards Rubery.

Frankley Sdgs - 29/5/55

Frankley Sidings
For more details, see the notes for this similar black and white shot.

Branch Frankley Sdgs - 29/5/55

Branch at Frankley Sidings
A nice view of the line close to Frankley sidings.  The view is looking towards Rubery and shows the Newton Lane overbridge.  See the similar black and white shot for more notes.

Bridge Nr Rubery Distant - 29/5/55

Bridge near Rubery Distant
This was taken to the west of Rubery station and looking towards it.  Through the nearest bridge, another bridge can just about be seen in the distance.  My father's 1962 OS map shows that these were purely for farm use - no roads were carried by them.

I was delighted to find this bridge still in existance when I visited the site on 24 September 2006.  To find it, park up near the junction of Queen Elizabeth Road and Boleyn Road and you'll find a footpath that takes you along the old track bed.  This becomes impassable after a while but a parallel path will take you to the site.  Here's a picture I took - it does look at risk of damage from vegetation, I'm sorry to say.

Rubery Distant - 29/5/55

Rubery Distant
Having moved closer to the Rubery distant signal, the other bridge mentioned above is now clear to see.  This bridge no longer in existance as it was demolished in 2003 after repeated incidents of vandalism.  See the bottom of the MIAC page on Relics of the Halesowen Railway for a picture of it shortly before demolition.

Frogmill Crossing - 25/7/55

Frogmill Crossing
Frogmill Crossing seems to have been of great interest to my father - this is the third shot I've found of roughly the same scene!  It was where the line crossed Rubery Lane.

Halesowen Jct - 15/8/55

Halesowen Junction
A super shot showing the Halesowen branch leaving the Midland Railways Birmingham to Gloucester line near the Rover works at Longbridge.  The signal box is named 'Halesowen Junction'.

Rainbow from Viaduct - 4/9/55

Rainbow from Viaduct
I thought twice about including this shot here since it shows nothing of the infrastructure of the railway.  However, it does show what wonderful countryside the line passed through.

58143 Halesowen Branch - 4/9/55

58143 Halesowen Branch
It seems that on Sunday 4 September 1955, my father was out with his friend Ken Morris as Ken took a very similar shot of 58143 steaming towards Hunnington Viaduct.  This colour picture is a real corker!  I'm pretty sure that the row of trees between the top of the engine and the plume of smoke is Frankley Beeches.