A former railway line in Birmingham had been turned years ago into the Harborne Walkway. Starting from Harborne close to Park Hill Road, the route passes several bridges via the Hagley Road before heading towards Summerfield Park. I'd say it ends just after the Selwyn Road Bridge in the park. Although the paths continues towards Northbrook Street in Summerfield.

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A walk on the Harborne Walkway back in 2016





A former railway line in Birmingham had been turned years ago into the Harborne Walkway. Starting from Harborne close to Park Hill Road, the route passes several bridges via the Hagley Road before heading towards Summerfield Park. I'd say it ends just after the Selwyn Road Bridge in the park. Although the paths continues towards Northbrook Street in Summerfield.


HARBORNE WALKWAY

The Harborne Walkway forms part of the route of the former Harborne Railway, which had trains going from Birmingham New Street, leaving the branch line at Harborne Junction with the Stour Valley Line (Birmingham to Wolverhampton). The railway opened in 1874, with four railway stations at Harborne, Hagley Road, Rotton Park Road and Icknield Port Road. The line closed to passengers in 1934. The line remained open for coal to be carried until it closed for good in 1963.

Today the line is now of course the Harborne Walkway. It starts in Harborne at Forest Drive. It then crosses over Park Hill Road on a bridge. All other bridges, you can walk, run or cycle under them. Following along the Chad Brook (although you can't see it). The first bridge you walk under is at Woodbourne Road, then Hagley Road.

There is an exit / entrance to Station Avenue and Percival Drive. Which lead to Stanmore Road. Passing through Ladywood, the next bridge to go under is at Portland Road, followed by Rotton Park Road. The final bridge to pass through is at Selwyn Road, before entering Summerfield Park.

The paths split off in many directions in the park, but the route of the former railway line continues towards Icknield Port Road, then Barford Road, before ending at Coplow Street and Northbrook Street.

There used to be a railway bridge over the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline and the Birmingham to Wolverhampton railway line. But all that remains now is the brick buttresses.

 

Forest Drive / Park Hill Road

I did my first half walk on the Harborne Walkway from Harborne towards Hagley Road on the 5th February 2016. As I felt it was too far for me to walk all the way in one go to the end of the line.

First up a look at the Park Hill Road Bridge in Harborne.

Heading around to a cul-de-sac called Forest Drive, I followed the public footpath onto the Harborne Walkway.

The Park Hill Road Bridge is the only bridge you walk over. The other bridges you walk under them.

The views from the bridge looking down at both sides of Park Hill Road in Harborne. The Harborne High Street in this direction.

Beyond Park Hill Road, it leads onto Moor Pool Avenue.

The other side of the Park Hill Road Bridge in Harborne, as seen on the 13th March 2016.

There is an entrance path on the right from Park Hill Road.

Turning around, you can head down to or up from Park Hill Road from the path on the left.

Woodbourne Road

Coming up to the Woodbourne Road Bridge.

The Woodbourne Road Bridge from the other side.

Hagley Road

Coming up was the Hagley Road Bridge.

I exited here at Hagley Road, but would resume the walk 3 weeks later to complete it. Was a man running under the bridge, looks a bit like a tunnel.

20 days later on the 25th February 2016, I headed back to the Hagley Road, to resume my walk on the Harborne Walkway. First up on the left was the exit / entrance to Station Drive and Percival Road. It leads to Stanmore Road.

Portland Road

Passing through the Portland Road Bridge.

It looks like exiting a tunnel under the Portland Road Bridge.

Rotton Park Road

Not too far from the end of the Harborne Walkway now. Passing the Rotton Park Road Bridge. From here it is a short walk towards the Edgbaston Reservoir.

Selwyn Road

The final bridge to pass under is the Selwyn Road Bridge, before entering Summerfield Park. I'm not sure why this section is fenced off, unless there is still railway sleepers here.

The open gate seen from under the Selwyn Road Bridge, the entrance to Summerfield Park.

A look back at the Selwyn Road Bridge from Summerfield Park.

Beyond Summerfield Park there is no more bridges to walk under. But there is a bridge on Icknield Port Road, but the exit gates are at road level so you don't go under that. The only time I went into Summerfield Park, I exited at Dudley Road.

The path towards Barford Road, now runs alongside the Barford Primary School football pitch. There is also a housing estate on the other side of that road, but no bridge.

The footpath ends at Coplow Street which leads onto Northbrook Street. There is the remains of a bridge on one side of Northbrook Street near the canal.

Northbrook Street

That day I did end up on Northbrook Street, so got to see the remains of the railway buttresses over the existing canal and railway line.

While the viaduct that used to cross the railway and canal is long gone, there is a lot of old brick walls that remains, but covered in graffiti near the towpath. Can see the BT Tower and Library of Birmingham from here.

First look at the massive red brick buttress that used to carry the Harborne Railway over the Birmingham Canal.

A Cross Country Voyager (Class 220) heads towards Birmingham New Street, it's last stop was probably Wolverhampton.

Of course the trains that would have gone on the Harborne Railway a century ago would have been steam engines, and not the modern diesel or electric trains we have today.

One last look at the large brick buttress in the middle of the canal from Northbrook Street. A relic of a lost railway line.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.