Walsall Wood Colliery Railway Line to Norton Junction
This was a single track railway line from Walsall Wood Colliery and related brickworks, to the marshalling yards at Norton Junction.
Walsall Wood Colliery as it was.
The site of the old Colliery is now used for a number of industrial units using some of the old colliery buildings
Entrance to the industrial units, which are on the old Walsall Wood Colliery site in Lindon Road
Some of the original Colliery buildings, which are facing the highway, along Lindon Road
The railway line from Walsall Wood Colliery to Norton Junction was only a single track line with no intermediate points or signals. As such, only one train was allowed on the section at any one time. The procedure to allow this operation to be used safely, and it is still practiced today on preserved railways, such as the Chasewater Railway, was for the engine driver to be in possession of a unique staff or token suitably marked for the section of line it covered.
This is the actual staff that had to be carried on the locomotive when travelling along the section of line between Walsall Wood Colliery and Norton Junction marshalling yards. There was only one staff ever in existence. This staff is currently in the museum of the Chasewater Railway.
Having left the Colliery and Brickworks area, the Railway headed due West towards the marshalling yards at Pelsall, known as Norton Junction. After a few yards, it crossed over the Daw End Branch of the Wyrley & Essington Canal.
This is where the Railway line crossed over the Canal. Note the concrete section on the far side of the canal, this is where the canal basin formed a warf, to enable coal, and bricks from the adjoining Brickworks, to be transported by canal barge.
This is the start of the trackbed from the canal towpath towards Norton Junction. There are no signs of any part of the bridge remaining. It is thought that the ground subsided quite a lot and the canal was raised to compensate the difference in levels.
About 100 yards down the trackbed from the canal, is the place where the Walsall Wood Colliery line passed under the bridge carrying the Walsall Wood Branch of the Midland Railway, on its way to Brownhills West Station. The large clump of trees to the right of the picture, actually hide the original Midland line embankment, which is still there. The bridge itself no longer exists
After passing behind the housing estate the Walsall Wood Colliery line then crossed the fields which were farmed by the Howdle family. The farm no longer exists but Edmund Howdle (the farmers son ) now runs Howdles Butchers in Clayhanger High Street.
This photo was taken from the trackbed of the Walsall to Lichfield line and shows the Walsall Wood Colliery trackbed, lined with trees approaching Norton Junction.