Design and build
Designed by Philip Hardwick (15 June 1792 to 28 December 1870) the Station opened on 9 April 1838. The building was designed to match the impressive Doric Arch at Euston Square also designed by Hardwick. The station frontage cost £28,000 to build. The station was seen as the jewel in the crown of the London and Birmingham Railway Company and was the first direct railway line linking Birmingham to London.
Building the line was a monumental task and this was achieved almost entirely using manpower. Over the 4½ year period of construction more than 20,000 men worked moving 25,000,000,000 cubic feet of material by shovel and wheel barrow.
The journey from Birmingham to London passed over the newly built Lawley Street Viaduct before travelling onwards through, the then, green fields of Duddeston, Saltley and Stechford. The entire journey took 5½ hours to complete the 112½ mile journey along the line engineered by Robert Stephenson. Steam locomotives resplendent in the railway company’s green and gold livery pulled as many as 30 wagons behind them. Passengers arriving from London would have had their first sight of the new station from at least half a mile away.