Photo By D J Norton

Cadbury Works Railway 

The Cadbury works railway operated from 1884 until 1976.  At its peak, it incorporated six miles of track.  Tight bends within the factory complex meant that an 0-4-0 configuration was generally used for loco's and the maximum wheelbase was 7ft 6in.

A bridge carried the railway over the main line and Worcester and Birmingham Canal to the Waterside warehouses.  This bridge survives to this day and provides a tangible link with the past.  It also features in six of the eight pictures below thus providing an excellent reference point.

The pictures are all based around sidings that were parallel to the main line between Bournville and Selly Oak.  My father referred to them as, "Cadbury's Sdgs".

Some of the facts quoted are taken from 'Bournville Steam & Chocolate' by Mikes Hitches (Irwell Press, ISBN 1-871608-31-7).  This brief book is recommended although it should be noted that it is not exclusively dedicated to the works railway but also covers the development of the main line and station, information about the Bournville Village created by the Cadbury family and also some details about Bournville Shed.

For more information, see the MIAC Cadbury page and Rail Around Birmingham Cadbury Railway & Wharf page.

45273 Passing Cadbury's Sdgs Frame - 29/2/51

45273 Passing Cadbury's Sidings Frame
This photograph is very interesting.  'Black Five' 45273 is heading towards Selly Oak from Bournville on the old Birmingham West Suburban line.  The two tracks that formed the Cadbury's sidings can be seen starting to the right of centre.  As the two lines merge, a connection to the main line is clear at the far left-hand corner of the picture.  I assume this is how wagons were transferred between the works railway and the British Rail network.  There also appears to be a buffer, the top of which is just visible.

Cadbury No 1 Cadbury's Sdgs - 28/12/54

Cadbury No 1 Cadbury's Sidings
This is a nice picture of Cadbury No. 1 heading from the factory towards the sidings.  This 0-4-0T loco was made by Avonside in 1925 and now resides at the Birmingham Railway Museum in Tyseley.

44878 Nr Bournville - 12/9/54

44878 near Bournville
Another 'Black Five, 44878, steams from Bournville towards Selly Oak.  On the left are the warehouses of the Waterside complex.  The single track disappearing into the distance heads towards the Cadbury factory.

73001 Nr Bournville - 12/9/54

73001 near Bournville
My father has turned around after taking the picture directly above and is now looking towards Selly Oak.  The small hut associated with the weighbridge shown below is visible towards the bottom left corner.

The loco is a 4-6-0 BR Standard 'Class 5' and had been built in 1951.  Thanks to Tom for pointing out that I had got this loco confused with 72001!

Weighbridge Cadbury's Sdgs - 12/10/56

Weighbridge Cadbury's Sidings
This colour slide shows the weighbridge hut and the sidings more clearly.  To the right, the white bridge that linked the factory to Waterside is obvious.  I think the loco is probably No. 10, seen below.

Cadbury No 10 Cadbury's Sdgs - 12/10/56

Cadbury No 10 Cadbury's Sidings
Here is No. 10 in action.  The 0-4-0 saddle tank was built by Pecketts in 1955 and was designed to be fired by coke thus running cleaner than coal powered engines.  As it was working in a food factory this was obviously quite important and the whole Cadbury fleet were converted for coke operation.

I noted that later pictures of this loco shown in Mike Hitches's book show that the rear windows were elongated so I suspect visibility must have been an issue with the original design.

Pool & Incline Cadbury's Sdgs - 12/10/56

Pool and Incline Cadbury's Sidings
This incline provided a fairly gentle method to allow the Cadbury engines to tackle the bridge to Waterside seen on the far right.

(Cadbury No 6 Cadbury's Sdgs) - 5/6/62

Cadbury No 6 Cadbury's Sidings
For some reason this picture did not have a caption on the back so the caption is mine rather than my father's.

No. 6 was another Avonside 0-4-0 side tank and had been built in 1923.  The view is looking towards Selly Oak with the bridge to Waterside once again prominent.