Reviewed on Wednesday 3rd March 2010
The six-mile single track route from Bearley to Alcester was a classic GW branch line. It originated in the 1860s but had the misfortune to fall between the areas of two rivals-the Midland and the Great Western. This effectively prevented the route from being brought into existence until the following decade when the GWR and the Midland came to a somewhat uneasy arrangement whereby the branch would be built with GW help and worked as part of the GWR, while terminating in Alcester at a sort of ' joint ' station shared by both companiesand with two station masters! Thereafter the line functioned as a typical GWR rural line until 1917, when it was closed as an emergency measure durin World War One. The line was re-opened, with an additional stopping place at Aston Canklow in 1922-23, but with disappointing traffic receipts it was closed for a second time during World War Two. However, it was re-opened for a second time in 1941 to serve a factory at Great Alne, opened to replace Maudslay's engineering works,damaged during the Coventry blitz. Following a further withdrawal of passenger services in 1944, the branch remained in use for wagon storage and occasional freight traffic until the 1950s, with final closure being effected in 1960.This book is a coprehensive history of this fascinating branch line.
Softcover, 104 pages, 116 b/w illustrations, 11 maps and drawings.