Walsall Line - Stourbridge Line User Group

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Walsall Line
As long ago as the 1990s, proposals were on the table for line 2 of the Metro to be built from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill, following on from the completion of the first phase of line 1 from Birmingham Snow Hill to Wolverhampton St Georges.  Line 2 would link with line 1 to provide through services from Brierley Hill to Wolverhampton and Birmingham.

However, the Stourbridge Line User Group has always believed that the restoration of a rail passenger service from Stourbridge Junction to Dudley and beyond is essential.

It believes that there are a number of ways in which this could be achieved.
  • an extension of the Metro service either from the Brierley Hill terminus or as a branch from Harts Hill (Canal Street) to Stourbridge, which would include the Stourbridge Town branch.  
  • a tram/train service from Stourbridge to Wednesbury extending to Walsall and, potentially, Lichfield or Burton-on-Trent as a later phase.
  • a shuttle service, either light rail or heavy rail, from Stourbridge Junction to Harts Hill (Canal Street)
Developments in 2017 raised hopes that passenger rail services would be restored over the entire line from Stourbridge Junction to Wednesbury, albeit in two sections.  Between Brierley Hill and Wednesbury, work started to clear vegetation to prepare the route for a Metro line to be constructed, subject to a grant from the Government.  On Monday 20 November 2017, the Government announced that the funds to build the line had been granted to the West Midlands Combined Authority, and work started in 2019 with the entire line due to open in 2023.  The line will follow the heavy rail route from Wednesbury to Tipton Road and from Cinder Bank to Harts Hill (Canal Street), with the other sections diverting from this route through Dudley Town Centre and from Harts Hill to The Waterfront, Merry Hill and Brierley Hill.
In 2022, due to the escalating costs of building the line, it was announced that it would be split into two phases.  The first phase, which is fully funded, would run from Wednesbury to Dudley (Flood Street) with opening pushed back to late 2024.

The second phase, from Flood Street to Brierley Hill would follow on at a later date, although funding was not available to build the line from Merry Hill to Brierley Hill.  However, the cancellation of HS2 has released funds to complete the line in its entirety.
Stourbridge Line User Group has always held the opinion that this Metro line was of little use to passengers in the Stourbridge and Worcestershire areas without the section from Canal Street or Brierley Hill to Stourbridge Junction being reinstated.

On 14 August 2017, West Midlands Trains, the operators of the new heavy rail franchise from 10 December 2017, announced that they had aspirations to extend services from the Birmingham area that terminated at Stourbridge Junction to a new station at Harts Hill (Canal Street) with a intermediate park and ride startion at Brierley Hill (Moor Street).  The intended opening date for this extension was December 2019, but this was dependent on the business case being proved.  Unfortunately, a consultants' report gave the plans a very low BCR (benefit to cost ratio) and the plans were quietly ditched.
Since then, West Midlands Combined Authority has hired consultants to report on how to link the Metro at either Canal Street or Brierley Hill with Stourbridge but the report has been delayed by the Covid-19 crisis.  In addition, Pre-Metro Operations, who operate the Stourbridge Town branch, have proposed a light-rail link from Stourbridge Junction to Canal Street.

It remains to be seen how these proposals progress.  Up to date information on progress on the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro line can be found on the Midland Metro Alliance website and a link to that page is available below.  Once there is any positive news on reinstating a link to Stourbridge Junction, SLUG will publish the news on this website.
In Spring 2012, SLUG officer Roger Davis photographed the route of the line to ascertain the state of the trackbed after nearly 20 years out of use.  Photographs at various points along the line can be viewed by clicking on the locations below.

He has since revisited some sites to view the progress in clearing the trackbed and constructing the line.  At locations where comparable photographs were taken, these are displayed together.  

We have split the photographs by phases, and they may be viewed by clicking on the photographs below.
Phase 1
Wednesbury to Dudley (Flood Street)
Phase 2
Dudley (Flood Street) to Brierley Hill
Potential Phase 3
Harts Hill (Canal Street) to Stourbridge Junction
Latest News

31 May 2024

Major changes will be made to Stourbridge Line and Stourbridge Town timetables from 2 June.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section, while the Timetables page has been updated with the new timetables, and each individual Stations page has been updated with the new departure boards.

12 November 2023

Recent photos of activity along the Metro route from Great Bridge to Dudley have been added to the Walsall Line section of the website.

5 October 2023

The Prime Minister has announced additional transport funding for the Midlands using funds previously allocated for HS2 phase 2.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

2 September 2023

The Ticket Office Closures Consultation closed on Friday 1 September 2023.  However, the parliamentary petition remains open until 18 October.  For full details, please click on the link at the top of the home page.

18 July 2023

SLUG has responded to the Ticket Office Closures consultation.  Full details may be read in the Consultations section.

16 July 2023

SLUG strongly opposes the Government's proposals to close all ticket offices in England.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.
The Membership Secretary
Stourbridge Line User Group
46 Sandringham Road
West Midlands

Site Last Updated on
17 June 2024

(Walsall Line)
The Membership Secretary
Stourbridge Line User Group
46 Sandringham Road
West Midlands

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