Tyseley Railway Station
Station used by commuters and workers at various industrial and commercial units.
Tyseley station was opened by the Great Western Railway in 1906. The station is on what was the GWR’s mainline between London Paddington and Birkenhead (Liverpool). Passengers of a certain age may well remember the tall chimney near Tyseley Station with the word B A K E L I T E placed vertically along its length.
Bakelite was patented in New York by Belgian born Leo Hendrik Baekeland in 1907 and was the first genuinely synthetic and thermosetting plastic. Thermosetting meant that it could not be melted or changed by heating once formed. In England, Bakelite Limited was a merger of three British phenol-formaldehyde resin suppliers formed in 1926. A new Bakelite factory opened in Tyseley, Birmingham, around 1928. The landmark chimney was demolished in 1998.
Promoted as 'the material of a thousand uses', the first form was moulded, containing phenol-formaldehyde, used for telephones, light switches, electrical insulators, car parts and many other industrial items. But these were a drab black or brown.
In the 1920s, a whole new range of colour was introduced, and thermosetting plastics took off to invade every area of modern life. By the end of the war, new technologies in the world of plastics had made Bakelite obsolete. Bakelite jewellery's height was in the late 1930s, up until the end of the Art Deco period.
In its early days the station served the GWR’s new Divisional Locomotive and Carriage Works. The works were being constructed at Tyseley because of the planned junction with the Birmingham and North Warwickshire Line to Stratford upon Avon (and the South West). This line opened for passengers on 1st July 1908, but for a year (until Moor Street Station was built), all passenger trains from this line to Birmingham terminated at Tyseley on Platform Four.
Today, train maintenance of the West Midlands Rail fleet continues onsite with Vintage Trains occupying much of the old GWR site and buildings. Vintage Trains that operate mainline steam hauled tours and the Shakespeare Express between Birmingham and Stratford upon Avon.
The Rover Company, which were making bicycles in Coventry, took over a former munitions factory in October 1919 started production of the popular two-seater Rover 8 light car. Next door Girling established a factory in 1925 to manufacture automotive braking systems. Both buildings can still be seen from the station.
Open Days at Tyseley Locomotive Works, the base for Vintage Trains. The Shakespeare Express.
Tyseley Railway Station, Wharfedale Road, Tyseley, Birmingham B11 2HH