Electric trains on the Chase Line will move a step closer this Autumn as Network Rail starts work to electrify the railway between Walsall, Cannock and Rugeley Trent Valley.
The project will see 15 miles of railway electrified to connect to existing electric railway at Walsall and Rugeley and provide a better service for passengers using the route.
Liam Sumpter, Network Rail area director said: “Electrification helps us to boost capacity, reduce carbon emissions and cut the cost of running the railway. Electric trains are also quieter, more reliable and have more seats, which is good news for passengers.
“By enabling a better train service along this important route, we can provide the railway that Chase Line passengers want and the areas economy needs.”
This Autumn, Network Rail is starting work to rebuild 3 bridges in Walsall and Hednesford to accommodate the equipment needed to run electric trains. During the rebuilding of each bridge, local roads across Broad Lane and Station Road bridge will be closed* with diversions in place to allow the project to be completed safely.
Network Rail has been working closely with local authorities to agree the details of the closures and inform local residents. The project team will be holding a series of ‘drop in’ information sessions where people can find out more about the project and how it will affect them:
Friday 27 September 1300-1800, Bloxwich Library
Wednesday 2 October 1100-1900, Cannock Chase Civic Centre
Thursday 3 October 1100-1900, Rugeley Leisure Centre
Friday 4 October 1100-1900, The Council House Walsall
Once all bridge works have been completed, electrification work will get underway in 2015 with the project set for completion in late 2017.
Rail services will not be affected until spring 2014 when the line will be closed for short periods on Sunday mornings to allow construction work to be completed safely. London Midland will provide a rail replacement service during these periods.