Tamworth railway station first opened on 12 August 1839. It lay on the line from Derby to Hampton-in-Arden where the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway met up with the London and Birmingham Railway for London.
Eight years later, on 26 June 1847, the Trent Valley line was opened by the London and North Western Railway. It passed below the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway line, and a new joint station building was designed by John William Livock.
That station lasted until 1961 when it was demolished by the London Midland Region of British Railways and replaced, in 1962, with a new station designed by Maurice Wheeler, E.G. Girdlestone and J.B. Sanders. This was at the time of the electrification of the Trent Valley line, which required the overbridge of the high-level line and its platforms to be raised by two feet.
To celebrate the 180th anniversary of the original opening, current operator London Northwestern Railway, organised a celebration event with sale of cakes and other produce made by staff and passengers, a prize raffle and a storyteller to explain to visitors about the history of the station.
There were raffle prizes up for grabs, including theme park tickets, a go-karting experience and train tickets. All proceeds raised at the event were donated to the Alzheimer’s Society, which is London Northwestern Railway’s chosen charity of the year.
Honor Evans, duty station manager, said: “Tamworth station has faithfully served the community since the very start of Queen Victoria’s reign and we are looking forward to celebrating an incredible milestone.
“With frequent, convenient services from Tamworth on our route from Crewe to London Euston, it is no surprise that well over a million journeys are made using station every year.”
In the run-up to the birthday celebrations, a new mural was added to the front of the station. Measuring nearly 6 metres x 2 metres, it was created by South Staffordshire College Art and Design students and was funded by Tamworth Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council.
The project was open to all Level 3 and Foundation Diploma students who attended a series of workshops to research and develop designs for this high-profile piece of work.
The mural is one of several pieces of art that have been put up along platforms, in waiting areas and on bus shelters to help people feel happier when they’re travelling through the station.
The artwork has been designed and created by people who have received treatment at the George Bryan Centre in Tamworth, which offers inpatient support for patients suffering from mental ill-health. They worked with local artist Andy Nash in partnership with the Arts for Health team at Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.