Railways in Worcestershire

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Lickey Incline


Grid Reference from SO 968964 to 992719

There are dozens of books containing descriptions and photographs of the most famous of inclines on the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway so it is not intended to go into too much detail here. Suffice to say that it is a very steep climb of just over two miles at 1 in 37 from Bromsgrove to Blackwell. In steam days a stub of banking engines were kept at Bromsgrove engine sheds to assist trains up the incline. A class 66 locomotive from Saltley depot now assists heavy freight trains up the incline.


This commercial postcard from the 1950s shows a freight train descending the Lickey Incline behind ex-LMSR Stanier 8F class 2-8-0 No.48075. The train would have stopped at the top of the incline to pin down brakes so as to avoid a possible runaway on the descent to Bromsgrove. Blackwell Recovery Hospital opened in 1866.>

ex-LMSR 4F

Another postcard in the same series as No.48075 above and presumably taken on the same date. The viewpoint is presumably from one of the windows of the hospital and depicts an ex-LMSR 4F 0-6-0 descending the incline.


This is another in the same series (courtesy of Ian Wright) and is perhaps the best seen in the series as it shows the legendary ex-LMSR banker No.58100 "Big Bertha" banking a northbound passenger train.>

Class 47s at Vigo

A pair of class 47 diesel locomotives Nos.47836 and 47972 tackle the Lickey Incline and are seen near to the top of the bank at Vigo.>

43187 & 43194

A class 43 'High Speed Train' ascending the Licking Incline with No.43187 leading and No.43194 at the rear.>

Both photographs taken by Andrew Smith on 25th May 1991.>


The Lickey Incline, H.C. Casserley, The Oakwood Press Locomotion Papers No.91, 1976

Photographs on the Lickey Incline on 26th July 2010

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