Coventry–Leamington line

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Coventry to Leamington Line
Site of former Kenilworth railway station in 2005.jpg
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale West Midlands (region)
Termini Coventry
Leamington Spa
Opened 1851
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) CrossCountry
Rolling stock Class 220
Class 221
Number of tracks 1-2
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Route map
Coventry Avoiding line
Gibbet Hill Junction
Kenilworth Junction
Warwick (Milverton)
Milverton Junction
Leamington Spa General
Leamington Spa (Avenue)

The Coventry to Leamington Line is a railway line linking the city of Coventry with the town of Leamington Spa. The line was opened in 1844 by the London and Birmingham Railway, initially only as far as Milverton. The line was extended to Leamington Spa Avenue in 1851. A connecting line to Berkswell opened in 1884.

Late in the 19th century most of the route was doubled to increase capacity. Only a small section just outside Kenilworth, at Gibbet Hill, remained single track.


The line currently serves two stations: Leamington Spa and Coventry with CrossCountry services. Formerly there were two more railway stations along the route, both of which were closed in 1965 as a result of Reshaping of British Railways report.

  • Leamington Spa (Milverton) for Warwick
    The station building was demolished some time after closure. The site remains unoccupied, but it is unlikely to be re-opened owing to its proximity to the main town station.
  • Kenilworth
    The station building was demolished some time after closure. A new station is being rebuilt in Kenilworth and is planned to be re-opened in December 2017.

Electrification proposal

In 2013, the line was scheduled to be re-doubled and electrified as part of the Electric Spine project.[1]

Previously, in 1977 the Parliamentary Select Committee on Nationalised Industries recommended considering electrification of more of Britain's rail network, and by 1979 BR presented a range of options to electrifying numerous routes by 2000.[2] Some of these options included the Coventry to Leamington line as part of a scheme to electrify the Cherwell Valley Line and the Banbury — Birmingham section of what is now the Chiltern Main Line.[3] Under the 1979–90 Conservative governments that succeeded the 1976–79 Labour government the proposal was not implemented.

The line today

Today most of the line is single track which limits the number of services using it. What remains of double track includes a passing loop at Kenilworth, and the lines out from Coventry and Leamington Spa to Gibbet Hill Junction and Milverton respectively, the former being extended back from Park Junction (now removed) on 29 August 2007 by 1.75 miles (2.8 km).

The stonework of the original Kenilworth station survives at the town end of Station Road having been re-erected there in 1884 for use as a cafe.

See also


  1. ^ Draft CP5 Enhancements Delivery Plan (PDF) (Report). Network Rail. 18 December 2013. p. 44. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Anonymous 1979, pp. 0–2.
  3. ^ Anonymous 1979, p. 8.
  • "Books about the Kenilworth branchline". Victorian Kenilworth. [dead link]
  • Anonymous (Winter 1979). Railway Electrification. British Railways Board (Central Publicity Unit). pp. 0–2, 8. 
  • "Home". Warwickshire's Railways. 
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