Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

On the road to…West Brom

Posted in Great Britain, On the road..., Other general stuff about railways by Chairman Pip on 17 December 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve headed out of London, and when it comes to going to football I do have a tendency to get slightly itchy feet if I miss a few away games. As it happens, the first half of this season has only seen me make three away trips up to now, and two of those have actually been in London. Which is why it is nice to actually get out of the big smoke and on a nice journey out, this time to the West Midlands and the scene of one of my most memorable previous away trips, West Bromwich Albion.

Date: 16th December 2012
Stadium: The Hawthorns
Capacity: 26,272
Attendance: 24,816
Away Section: Smethwick End
Score: West Bromwich Albion 0-0 West Ham United
Nearest station: The Hawthorns
Local rozzers: West Midlands Police
Total Travel Cost: £31.40 (1 x Super Off-Peak Return; 1 x Anytime Single; 1 x Metro Single)

Rail journeys:
11:40 – New Cross to Canada Water (London Overground Class 378 Capitalstar)
Jubilee Line – Canada Water to Baker Street (1996 Stock)
Bakerloo Line – Baker Street to Marylebone (1972 Stock)
12:33 – London Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street (Chiltern Railways Class 168 Clubman)
14:45 – Birmingham Moor Street to The Hawthorns (London Midland Class 172 Turbostar)
Line 1 – The Hawthorns to Snow Hill (Midland Metro T-69)
18:40 (Dep 18:45) – Birmingham Snow Hill to London Marylebone (Chiltern Railways Class 168 Clubman)
Hammersmith & City Line – Baker Street to Whitechapel (C69/77 Stock)
21:30 – Whitechapel to New Cross (London Overground Class 378 Capitalstar)

Station to Stadium: This is not a route to The Hawthorns that I had taken before, as I usually go from Nottingham via Birmingham New Street, which means that I tend to get off at Smethwick Rolfe Street and walk. However, The Hawthorns station is so much nearer to the ground that I’m sorely tempted to forego my previous decision, walk the short distance from New Street to Birmingham Moor Street and catch a train from there. It literally is a case of leaving the station to find yourself on the Middlemore Road, from where you can see the stadium at the top of the hill – walk along the road and you’ll see a sign for away fans, which takes you up a (slightly meandering) path right into the away end. Job done.

Anything else?: The Hawthorns station was a matchday only halt between 1931 and 1968, when it closed. The current station opened in 1995 as part of the project to bring a light rail system to the West Midlands. The light rail platforms opened along with the rest of the Midland Metro in 1999.

The Hawthorns railway station

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