Railway between Rugeley Trent Valley and Walsall reopens on time: Rugeley Trent Valley - Chase line electrification

Tuesday 29 Aug 2017

Railway between Rugeley Trent Valley and Walsall reopens on time

London North Western

The railway between Rugeley Trent Valley and Walsall reopened on time today (29 August) after 16 days of work to upgrade the Chase line. 

The £100m+ upgrade, which forms part of the Railway Upgrade Plan, meant the line was closed from Sunday 13 August until Tuesday 29 August 2017 as part of the electrification of the line.

Once electrified, London Midland’s passengers will benefit from a cleaner, greener, quieter and more reliable railway between Birmingham and Rugeley, with more frequent services, from December 2018

An increasing number of passengers use the Chase line each year and these improvements are needed to accommodate this and future growth.

During the 16 day closure Network Rail completed the following work:

  • Replacing and realigning the track at various locations between Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley
  • Piling to install remaining foundations for stanchions
  • Installation of stanchions and gantries ahead of overhead lines being installed in 2018
  • Temporary closure of Bloxwich level crossing. A diversionary route for road traffic and pedestrians was in place
  • Temporary closure of Landywood and Stoneyfields footpath crossings

Martin Tiller, Network Rail’s project sponsor, said: “I would like to thank passengers and local residents for their patience during this work. This forms part of our Railway Upgrade Plan and will mean passengers travelling between Rugeley and Birmingham via Walsall will have a better, more reliable railway.

“The completed work already delivers speed improvements on the line and by the end of 2018 quieter, greener electric trains with more seats will be able to run along the whole route.”

Amanda Milling, MP for Cannock Chase, said: "I completely understand that passengers were very concerned about the disruption on the Chase Line but they will enjoy a much better service once the electrification is complete. The electrification of the Chase Line will see faster and more frequent trains which mean there are hundreds more seats, bringing an end to the misery passengers have faced over the last few years."

London Midland's head of route, Rob Hornsey said "I'd like to thank our passengers for all their patience and understanding over the last two weeks.  While there is still more to do, this work means the plans to double the Chase Line services next May and bring in quieter electric trains with capacity to carry more people, in December 2018, have taken a massive step forward."

Overhead wires are currently only installed as far as Walsall which means London Midland currently runs diesel trains from Birmingham to Rugeley Trent Valley. Once the electrification work on the Chase line is complete, electric trains will be able to run along the whole of the line from Birmingham New Street to Rugeley Trent Valley.

For more information on the work visit: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/our-routes/lnw/chase-line-electrification-rugeley-to-walsall/.

For travel information visit www.nationalrail.co.uk.  

Contact information

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About Network Rail

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.

About the Railway Upgrade Plan

The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:

  • longer, faster more frequent trains;
  • better, more reliable infrastructure; and
  • better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

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