The Golden Age of Steam
Nuneaton to Leamington line
Find out more about the Nuneaton to Leamington railway line and its stations.
The Nuneaton to Leamington line was one of those effected by the Beeching cuts during the 1960's. It was originally built by the London and North Western Railway.
To make it clearer, we have split the line into two parts - the Nuneaton to Coventry route and the Coventry to Leamington route.
The line opened in 1850, was closed by Beeching in 1965 - but then re-opened in 1988. During that time, there were no intermediate stations until the new Bedworth station opened.
The route would serve many smaller stations with both passenger and freight trains.
A rough map of the Nuneaton - Coventry line
Part of the line still runs near the Ricoh Arena in Coventry and there is call for it to be re-used and for a station to be built at the football stadium.
There were stations and stops at:
Nuneaton railway station opened in 1847. During the 1960's, Nuneaton had several smaller stations which closed because of the Beeching Axe. These were Nuneaton Abbey Street, Stockingford - and Bedworth.
The original railway station at Bedworth closed in 1964 - but it was re-built and re-opened in 1988.
Daimler Halt was used solely by workers at the Daimler company near Sandy Lane in Coventry. It opened in 1917 and served the factory for 48-years.
The station didn't even have a proper platform waiting area or buildings - just shelters in case it rained.
Coundon Road station was another casualty of Beeching's axe. It opened in 1850 and closed in January 1965. When it was originally built, it was actually known as Counden Road railway station.
It also has a great history - It had to be re-built in 1896 after a fire and was also used as the stopping point for Coventry after many of the Spon End arches collapsed in 1857 - and it took almost four years to re-construct them and for the line to run to Coventry again.
As well as it being 45-years since the Beeching report, Coventry railway station is also celebrating its 170th birthday. It opened on the Birmingham to London line as part of the Birmingham to Rugby section.
Coventry station opened it's doors to passengers in April 1838 - but there have been several station variations. Apparently, a few years after it opened, the station was moved a few feet towards Rugby.
The station was also re-built in 1959 and the original station building on Warwick Road was demolished in 1960.
The current building was constructed in the 1960's and is a Grade 2 listed building.
Coventry to Leamington
After Coventry, the next station was Kenilworth. It opened to passengers in 1844 when the Coventry to Leamington (Milverton) single branch line opened and closed in January 1965.
There is currently a campaign for a new station to be opened at Kenilworth. For more information, please visit the Kenilworth Station website:
Leamington Spa (Milverton for Warwick)
The station at Leamington has had many names and locations. Mike Musson from the Warwickshire Railways website explains:
"Leamington Spa station is not the station that survives today. It was in Milverton on the Rugby Road and was the original terminus of the branch line opened in 1844 and was given the name Leamington.
A rough map of the Nuneaton - Coventry line
The name change reflected the compromise of the original developers in an attempt to build the line on the cheap. In 1844, Leamington was expanding fast and becoming the Spa of choice for early Victorians. However Warwick was the seat of the county and politically more important.
The London North Western Railway’s (LNWR) solution was instead of building a line that ran to both towns they positioned there terminus midway between the two and was frankly of limited value to either.
It needs to be remembered that in the early days of railway development the major economic driver was the transport of goods and not passengers, so initially this compromise was not seen as being to significant. However when the Great Western Railway (GWR) extended their line from Oxford to Birmingham just nine years later in 1853 it changed everything from the LNWR’s point of view.
Edwardian postcard of Leamington Avenue
The new line provided a station in the centre of both towns with excellent goods facilities too. This caused the LNWR to extend their line to a new station adjacent to the GWR station which was linked to a new line that ran to Rugby with a junction at Marton for a line to Weeden.
The new LNWR station at Leamington was called Leamington (later renamed Leamington Avenue) and the original station (which was rebuilt some 100 yards towards Leamington). It was subject to nine name changes during its life starting with Leamington it then underwent eight more changes - Warwick (Milverton) Warwick, Warwick (Milverton), Leamington (Milverton), Leamington Milverton (Warwick) and Milverton for (Warwick).
Its last name of Warwick (Milverton) was introduced in 1884 which presumably was more acceptable as it retained the name until 1952 when British Rail decided to change it to Leamington Spa (Milverton) for Warwick."
For more information on the Nuneaton to Leamington line and its stations, visit the Warwickshire Railways website:
last updated: 01/10/2008 at 09:56