RAILWAY AND INDUSTRIAL HISTORY OF THE SOUTH WEST BLACK COUNTRY

 
 

 

 

 

County Express
incorporating
BRIERLEY HILL, STOURBRIDGE, KIDDERMINSTER & DUDLEY NEWS
SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE & EAST WORCESTERSHIRE CHRONICLE


No. 123.] SATURDAY, 8th., MAY, 1869 [ PRICE ONE PENNY

District Intelligence
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STOURBRIDGE
BOARD OF GUARDIANS
THE ABANDONMENT OF THE BRANCH RAILWAY.

Mr. J. B. Sheppard, solicitor, was present for the purpose of explaining the reasons of the Railway Company for desiring to abandon the branch railway to Foster Street. He said that a short time since he was in consultation with the officials of the Great Western Railway Company has to the abandonment of the branch line, which it was proposed to bring into Foster Street; and he sought to convey to the minds of the directors that the inhabitants of Stourbridge were strongly impressed with a desire that the line should be carried out. The original proposal of Mr. Lane was to make a starting point from the present station, near to Mr. Rufford’s works, to proceed in a semi circle to the bottom of the town, so as to avoid the present stationary engine. One idea was also to bring the line back in a curve to Coventry Street, where there would be a central passenger station. But the expense attending the construction would have been so great that the scheme was abandoned, and then it was that the scheme was promulgated for having a station in Foster Street. On Mr. Lane’s decease, Mr. Owen, his successor, influenced by economical considerations proposed that as it was necessary to fill up the viaduct over the Stour, by a little extra expense he might widen the embankment so as to admit of a new line being carried over the river at that point, but at on lower level. Such was the line proposed to be carried to the bottom of the town, and in that case there would be both a goods and passenger station. It was contented that that would be the most convenient place for a goods station, and that the inhabitants of Wordsley, Wollaston and Brettell Lane would be additionally accommodated. The Great Western Railway Company pointed out, however, that the plan would save them £16,000, besides a large sum annually in management, together with the cost of the stationary engine at the incline that ran the trucks into the bottom of the town at present. Such he believed were the considerations that had influenced the directors in their application to the Board of Trade.
Captain Walker said it was important for them to know that before submitting to the Company they were under an obligation to construct a new line. Mr. Sheppard said they must show the Board of Trade that they were under Parliamentary obligations to construct a new line before they could abandon Foster Street.
Mr. Allsopp said for his part, he thought no station would be so advantageous to the town as the present one in Foster Street. The Commissioners must take the matter into their serious consideration before determining to give up Foster Street station.
Mr. Collis was of opinion that so far as he could see the Commissioners had no interest in the matter.
Captain Walker said a station situate in the centre of the township was more advantageous to the rate payers generally, and they ought not to let the Company tumble out of their engagements without a protest. The Company had obtained powers to construct a line to Foster Street, in twelve months from July next, and now they want to cancel the Act obtained. No doubt the Company had made up their minds as to what they were going to do without consulting the town, and it was for them to seriously consider whether they should enter a protest or not. He should therefore propose the following resolution, which was declared carried by a large majority:—“That the Stourbridge Commissioners, having considered the notice issued by the Stourbridge Railway Company, to the effect that they intend to apply to the Board of Trade for permission to abandon a certain line of railway terminating in Foster Street, hereby object to such abandonment, for the following reasons: That the present Stourbridge Station has long been felt to be at too great a distance from the town, and to be in consequence a great inconvenience to the inhabitants generally, which inconvenience has been increased since the opening of the new line to Birmingham, while the station accommodation is of the most meagre character, and quite below the requirements of the neighbourhood; that the proposed station in Foster Street would be a great public benefit, having a good approach from High Street, and also from other parts of the town, and would supply a want never more felt than at the present time. Having regard therefore to the public interests, the Commissioners humbly request that the Board of Trade may not comply with the application.”
The meeting shortly afterwards adjourned.