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Written by David Weake - 04 Sep 2007
last update by Cosmo Graham - 09 Jun 2017
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Location notes
This location is at the northern throat of the, largely disused, DB Cargo Freight Yard in the inner city of Birmingham on the Cross-Country Route (B'ham-Derby/Nuneaton). The location is on a private road that leads to the Alstom complex. From the bridge you can see the main running lines and the west side of the yard where most locos will be stabled. There is also a view of the R.M.C. Terminal when facing west.
Railway type and traffic
On the main running lines you will see Freightliner services (Lawley Street to Felixstowe/Southmpton, Leeds-Soouthampton; mainly 66s and 70s), Steel to and from Margam (DBC), Scrap from Kingsbury (DBC), Steel between Washwood Heath and Boston Docks (Colas, either a 56 or 47), amongst others. At weekends you might get 57/3's pulling Pendolinos towards Nuneaton, although these are a rarity nowadays. There is also a possible charter to photograph on the weekend.
Environment
The location is a secluded bridge with the odd lorry going to Alstom.
The road leading to the bridge is a main dual carriageway so you will not see many people around. You might want to use steps at the bridge to get a better view looking over as the parapet is about 6 foot high. There is no problem with space for steps here as the paths are very wide on both sides of the bridge.
Road directions
When coming out of Birmingham follow signs for Star City and take the A47 and join the dual carriageway, Heartlands Parkway where the bridge is off on the right but you will need to go past, down to the island to turn around then take a left to the bridge as you go up past the yard to the left.

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Washwood Heath map co-ordinates
Parking
You can park your car on the bridge towards Alstom to make crossing the bridge to the other side. Your car will be in sight all the time but just keep it clear of lorries.
Public transport
It is not the best of locations to get to by public transport but the nearest train station would be Duddeston where you would mainly go the same way as by car. Alternatively, you could walk from Aston, following Holborn Hill down towards the A47, thence following the A47 (Heartlands Parkway) until you reach the bridge.

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Amenities
There are no amenities at the location, if you come by car you can quickly shelter from the weather as it does get windy on the bridge. There are a number of retail parks in the area with the usual range of fast food and coffee outlets.
Accommodation
The nearest accommodation would be in Birmingham City Centre.
Sun Compass
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin:
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
Washwood Heath

Googly map
Streetmap links
Washwood Heath general view map
Washwood Heath close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
Washwood Heath



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Photographic notes
The best shot is facing West in the afternoon but the sun will start to come round late afternoon. You can photograph trains in both directions but you will have to keep crossing over the road.
Videoing using a tripod can be done at the Alstom end where you go off the bridge as the fence is low but you wont have the best of angles and would have to keep moving for shots from both directions.


General views - All photographs © David Weake unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking west


Fig 1 - Looking west


Fig 2 - Looking east


Fig 2 - Looking east


Fig 3 - Looking east


Fig 3 - Looking east

A wider view with the gas towers in the background.

Location Video


Diversions through Washwood Heath

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