The GWR lines serving this rural part of Warwickshire took a long time to arrive. Opening in 1852, was a line from Birmingham to Oxford and the capital, and hard on its heels was a line to serve the small market town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Opening to passengers in 1908 was a third line creating the triangle dealt with in this book – the Birmingham & North Warwickshire Railway, linking Stratford-upon-Avon with Birmingham through the Forest of Arden.
Railways through this area have been given different names according to the audience, and in the 1920s, the GWR was unashamedly brazen in its marketing to foreign visitors (especially Americans) calling itself, “The National Holiday Line” and “The Line of the American Pilgrim”. The company issued numerous booklets and handbills to encourage tourists to visit the area, and the concept of “Shakespeare Land” was even promulgated in the USA through a series of radio broadcasts.
This book takes the reader on a journey along each of the lines. Firstly, along the original main line from Snow Hill to Leamington, and then over the branches to Stratford-upon-Avon. Completing the triangle is a return journey up the North Warwickshire line to Birmingham Moor Street.