THE old Kidderminster Railway Station building has been demolished 50 years after it was built.

Bulldozers moved in on Monday night to start demolition work and remain on site this week to clear what is left of the building.

A temporary ticket office has been installed and, after the rubble is cleared, work will then start on a new glass-fronted building twice the size of the old one.

The former station building was built in 1968, replacing a mock Tudor building that had survived for nearly 100 years before falling victim to dry rot.

Kidderminster Station first opened in 1852 as part of the extension of the Evesham to Stourbridge section of the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway.

The line was engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and was later absorbed into the Great Western Railway in 1863.

The station now welcomes nearly two million passengers each year.

Councillor Fran Oborski, deputy leader of Wyre Forest District Council, said: "The demolition of the existing station brings us another step closer to creating an attractive station which will meet the needs of residents, visitors and workers.”

Kidderminster Shuttle:

Once the construction works and handover period are complete, the station will be managed by West Midlands Trains - as with the old building and the temporary ticket office.

Richard Brooks, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, said: “The demolition of the existing station building marks an exciting stage in this project, which will improve the travelling experience for passengers, create a more welcoming gateway to the Severn Valley Railway as well as boosting the local economy.

“West Midlands Railway recently introduced new early morning and evening services to and from Kidderminster and with new trains on the way as part of our major £1 billion network investment programme, these are exciting times for our passengers.”