MALVERN WELLS NEW MIDLAND SIDINGS
Grid Reference: SO 782446
The New Midland Sidings (or simply Midland Sidings) were on the east side of the Worcester & Hereford Railway line between the stations at Great Malvern and Malvern Wells. There were not just sidings here but the Midland Railway also had a single track engine shed (for the branch line engine), a water tower and a turntable. The Great Western Railway signal box opposite the sidings was known as "Malvern & Tewkesbury Junction". At the road entrance to the site, off St Andrews Road there was a weighbridge which survived the closure of the sidings. The engine shed closed in 1931 but was still standing when photographed by Camwell in 1937 (see photograph in Mitchell & Smith, Bromsgrove to Worcester including Ashchurch to Great Malvern, Middleton Press, 2006). The sidings closed in 1966 but the northern part was retained as railway property with the southern section became a builders merchant.
In the steam era it was possible to obtain an unobstructed view across the railway to New Midland Sidings. By 2016 trees and vegetation had made it impossible to take a picture from here. Tim Farebrother took this detailed study of ex-LMSR class 4 steam locomotive No.43013 of Saltley Shed on a train from Birmingham New Street to Malvern. In the background five coal trucks and two covered vans are in the sidings and the remains of the water tower are clearly visible.
The line climbs steadily between Great Malvern and Malvern Wells making for hard work for the crew of heavy freight trains such as this one powered by ex-GWR 2-6-0 steam locomotive No.6348 of Worcester shed. The small building on the right hand side is the weighbridge which was still extant in 2017. Photograph taken by Tim Farebrother.
This interesting photograph shows ex-GWR "Castle" class 4-6-0 steam locomotive No.5084 "Reading Abbey" of Worcester shed with the Hereford to Worcester Shrub Hill portion of a London bound express. The photograph shows the short remaining part of the ex-Midland Railway branch line to Tewkesbury and Ashchurch. The section of this line from Malvern & Tewkesbury Junction to Upton-on-Severn had closed in December 1952 but a long siding towards Peachfield Road remained in place until the late 1960s. Part of New Midland Sidings can be seen on the left hand side. Tim Farebrother took this photograph about 1960.
In the summer of 2016 the long-disused area came into use again as a compound for a major track renewal programme at Malvern Wells. An access point was cut into the trackside fencing to allow on track plant access to the main line from the compound. Numerous engineering trains were run in conjunction with these works and two can be seen in the above photographs.
Top left shows class 66 diesel locomotive No.66128 on the 'up' line whilst the 'down' line is being renewed. The sister class 66 in the background is standing opposite to the site of New Midland Sidings.
Top right shows the rather restricted view across the line from Peachfield Common towards New Midland Sidings. The "readypower" on-track plant item is standing on the site of the sidings.
(Both photographs taken by Andrew Smith on 18th June 2016).
Bottom left is taken from the same location and shows RAIL 039 (910008) in the compound on 19th June 2016 (Andrew Smith).
Bottom right shows No.910010 in the compound at New Midland Sidings on 15th July 2016 (Andrew Smith).