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.
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.7 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.