Branch Line Britain - celebrating Britain's minor railways

Midland - Nuneaton review 1

Wrexham & Shropshire train passing through Coventry station 14/3/09
14/3/09 Nuneaton to Coventry

Traction used: Class 153 2-car DMU

TOC: London Midland

Weather: sunny and cloudy

Dept Nuneaton: 11.15 Arrive Coventry: 11.33

Nuneaton station on the West Coast Mainline has maintained its character with all the original redbrick station buildings being well maintained. It now has 6 platforms after an extra sixth one was built for ease of trains to and from Leicester. We leave from platform 1 and go south, while I was expecting to go north for some reason, so I have to change round as I prefer to face the way I am going. We leave the West Coast Mainline straight away and go south eastwards and travel along an embankment with views of Nuneaton on both sides. It's mainly red brick terraced houses, with a large spoil heap mountain in the distance on the right and on the left is a park. We are on a single track for a short while, but it soon changes back to double track. We then go into a cutting and emerge where there are warehouses on an industrial estate on right and scrubland on left. Then we go into another low cutting, reaching about 40 mph. We are now out into countryside, with a large open quarry on left. We pass through another cutting and then go onto an embankment, with houses on both sides as we come into Bedworth. It looks new, but was actually reopened twenty years ago. It has perspex shelters on both platforms, as well as electronic signs.

We continue in a cutting slowly at first, then go past a lake on the left and industrial units on right. It contains large gas cylinders and is part of an industrial estate. open filed son left. After some houses we go the over level crossing at Hawkesbury Lane, where there is a signal box. We then go under the M6 motorway and now come into the outskirts of Coventry. There are more industrial units on both sides, but we are only doing about 30 mph. We then pass terraced houses on the left and new houses on right. We go past Coventry City FC's Ricoh stadium on the right. There are plans to build a new station here as it is so far out of the centre of the town. A single line from right joins us coming from Keresley Coking Plant. We then go into a cutting again and then pass more industrial units on both sides, followed by terraced houses on both sides. There are more factories, then modern houses to be seen. After another cutting you see some high-rise blocks on the left and terraced houses on the right. We then come to a stop, waiting for the light to clear at Coundon Road level crossing where there is another signal-box. We then go back onto an embankment with views of terraced houses on both sides as we start to curve to the left. We move onto a viaduct, going 20 mph as overhead electric gantries appear. There is a rugby ground below us on the left then sidings and beyond them out of town shopping outlets. We then stop at another red light before joining the mainline from Birmingham on the right. We then come into Coventry station on platform 4 arriving at 11.33. It is a modern looking station, with not much character, though is quite busy with services to and from Birmingham, plus the Wrexham & Shropshire service, which passes through, soon after we arrive.

Summary: Although there is only one station on this line at present, it could get busier being linking two important mainline stations.  MC