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Is this the most desolate place in Birmingham?

Written by
Robin Valk

There is a station, close to the centre of Brum, that has... nothing. Really, absolutely, nothing.

No posters, no timetable, no ticket machine, no ticket booth. Vending machines? Not a chance. Signs on the platform? Nope. An entrance on the street? If it's open, the gate's unlocked; you wouldn't know otherwise.

On the single platform, there's one unlit breeze-block shelter, thickly coated in marine paint. No glass in the window openings. No bench.

This is Bordesley. A hundred years ago it was a large, bustling, pompous station with livestock yards, a goods yard, staff with big moustaches in a thriving inner-city quarter. But the cows come by truck now, and the place is all dual carriageways and factory units.

Robin Valk

Look it up on the timetable and you'll find exactly one train advertised, in one direction, city-centre bound: a parliamentary train stop. They keep it technically open to avoid the costs of closing it.

So it's a ghost. Once a week, someone opens up the station and switches the lights on... and comes back an hour later to close it down again.

When Birmingham City Football Club have a home game, perhaps 30 times a year, a handful of trains stop there. Fans troop through before the game, and troop back afterwards.

But most weeks, if you miss that single train, you must wait a whole week for the next one. The platforms remain empty and the trains whistle through, disturbing only the ghosts of Victorian railwaymen. And the graffiti artists.



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