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Coventry to Nuneaton Line

 

Coventry to Nuneaton Line

Coventry to Nuneaton Line
Overview
Type Commuter rail, Rail freight
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Warwickshire
Coventry
West Midlands (region)
Termini Nuneaton
Coventry
Stations Three
Operation
Opened 1850
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) London Midland
Rolling stock Class 153
Technical
No. of tracks 2
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge


The Coventry to Nuneaton Line is a railway line linking Coventry and Nuneaton in the West Midlands of England. The line has a passenger service. Currently an hourly shuttle service between Coventry and Nuneaton. It is also used by through freight trains, and freight trains serving facilities on the route.

The route currently serves Nuneaton, Bedworth, Bedworth Murco Oil Terminal, Prologis Park Industrial Estate and Coventry. However, the line used to also serve many smaller stations and now closed goods yards.

The only intermediate station on the route currently is Bedworth. On 14 December 2011, the UK Government announced an £18.8 million project to upgrade the line. New stations will be built at the Ricoh Arena and Bermuda Park while the platforms at Bedworth will be lengthened, the service frequency will also be upgraded from hourly to half hourly.[1][2]

Contents

  • Services 1
  • History 2
    • Coventry Loop Line 2.1
    • 2010s station openings 2.2
  • References 3

Services

All passenger services on the line are operated by London Midland who run an hourly service in each direction, provided by a Class 153 diesel unit.

Freight trains also use the line, travelling from the Chiltern Main Line via Leamington Spa, heading towards the West Coast Main Line.

History

The replacement Spon End viaduct

The line was built for the London and North Western Railway and was opened on the 2 September 1850.[3]

On 26 January 1857, 23 of the 28 arches of the Spon End viaduct collapsed. This meant trains travelling south terminated at Coundon Road while the viaduct was rebuilt. This took 3 and a half years to complete and services to Coventry were restored on 1 October 1860.[3]

The line originally had intermediate stations at Coundon Road, Foleshill, Longford and Exhall, Hawkesbury Lane, Bedworth and Chilvers Coton. In 1917, Daimler Halt was opened between Coundon Road and Foleshill. But this was a private halt for the use of workers at the adjacent Daimler factory, and was not accessible to the general public. There were also various branches and sidings running from the line to serve local coal mines and factories, the longest of which was the 'Coventry Loop Line' (see below)[3]

The line came under the ownership of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) in 1922, and then British Railways in 1948. The little used Longford and Exhall station was closed in 1949. All of the other intermediate stations were closed on 18 January 1965 (along with those on the Coventry to Leamington Line) when passenger services were withdrawn as a consequence of The Reshaping of British Railways report. On 11 May 1987 passenger services were reintroduced under the Speller Act. Initially there were no intermediate stations on the re-opened line until 16 May 1988 when the rebuilt Bedworth station was opened.[3]

Coventry Loop Line

The Coventry Loop Line was a freight only branch which ran from Three Spires Junction on the Coventry-Nuneaton Line to Humber Road Junction on the Coventry-Rugby Line. It had two goods stations at Bell Green and Gosford Green, as well as a number of sidings serving local industries,[4] but never had any scheduled passenger service. The line was built so freight trains could avoid running through Coventry station, and was first opened in 1914.[3]

Humber Road Junction was closed in 1963, after goods traffic dwindled, and so the branch became a long siding from Three Spires junction. The last traffic to the Chrysler factory ended in 1981, and the rest of the branch closed in September that year. The track was lifted in 1982.[3] Much of the former trackbed of the line has since been built over as a by-pass.[4]

2010s station openings

The line runs near to the Ricoh Arena stadium on the northern edge of Coventry. Funding for two new stations, Coventry Arena and Bermuda Park, was approved in December 2011.[1] New plans will also see the number of carriages increased from 1 to 3 and the service upgraded to half hourly, a new platform built at Coventry station and also future extensions of the line to Kenilworth and Leamington Spa.[5]

On 26 June 2014 Buckingham Group were announced as the company awarded the contract to build the two new stations.[6]

Work on building the stations started on 6 October 2014[7] with the stations opening on 21 September 2015,[8] however the upgrade to allow it, and Coventry station, to have additional train services will not be ready until summer 2017.[8]

References

  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e f
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b
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