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The railway network within Birmingham has long been important for the movement of passengers and freight to serve the centre and its suburbs, and as the road network around Birmingham has become more congested, the railways in the city have, once more, taken on an important role. As the network declined in the twentieth century, trains were regarded as shabby and also suffered from poor punctuality and stations became unkempt and many had no staff, although the majority of the network remained intact. However, things began to change during the 1980s. Today, 'Cross-City' services operate from a number of Birmingham stations, and similar services function between Wolverhampton and Walsall, and other cities. The stations serving the city centre have very different and fascinating histories. New Street was the first to appear, built by the London & North Western Railway in 1854. The station at Snow Hill was built by the Great Western Railway and opened in 1852. Moor Street terminus was opened in 1909 close to the tunnel mouth on the Snow Hill line. The station was abandoned for a while but has since been beautifully restored to something near its former glory and now allows termination of Chiltern Railways' trains from London (Marylebone). Indeed, such renovations have ensured that Birmingham is still well served by a modern railway network.

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