The Snow Hill

pictures, photos, facts and information on The Snow Hill (Birmingham)


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Snow Hill station is located in Colmore Row in the centre of Birmingham. It is a railway station as well as the tram stop. It is the second most important railway station in the city

Snow Hill is managed by London Midland. There are five platforms in use, three of them belong to the National Rail and two to the Midland Metro, light rail – line from Wolverhampton. Originally, after the station was reopened in 1987 there were four National Rails platforms, but one was later transformed for the use by Midland Metro trams.

On the site of present Snow Hill station was originally Oppenheims Glassworks. It was demolished by some parts of it are probably still buried underneath the station. The station was first opened in 1852 on the line of Great Western Railway from London to Wolverhampton Low Level. Its name in those times was Livery Street Station and it was just a simple large wooden shed. Six years later the name changed to Snow Hill and in 1863 the Great Western Hotel was added and also the look of the station changed – there was a huge arched roof of iron and glass, with a simple wooden overhead bridge linking the two platforms.
From 1906 to 1912 the station was reconstructed and it became quite a grand building with a large booking hall under an arched glass roof and lavish waiting rooms with oak bars. The bottom end of the station had fish platforms and goods storage. The station was twice as long as the current one, with 8 through platforms and 4 bay platforms.

Snow Hill station was considered unnecessary and it was closed in 1972 with all the services switched to Birmingham New Street and Moor Street. The station building was demolished in 1977 due to its dangerous state. Snow Hill was reopened again in 1987 as a plan for cross-city transport plan for Birmingham. The new Snow Hill station, with a multi-storey car park above, has been widely criticised as draughty, unwelcoming and architecturally unimaginative. In 1999 the Midland Metro was opened here. It was the re-opening of the original line to Wolverhampton.

The station building is nowadays a 12-storey office building above a three-storey basement car park. The steel-framed structure is predominantly clad in glass. The ground floor and atrium areas are finished in high quality materials including granite flooring and limestone wall cladding.
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