Walsall Line - Stourbridge Line User Group

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Walsall Line
The Stourbridge Line User Group has campaigned for many years for the restoration of a rail passenger service from Stourbridge Junction to Dudley and beyond.

Three options were available

● a Metro service from Brierley Hill to Wednesbury linking with the existing Line 1 to provide through services to Wolverhampton and Birmingham.
● a tram/train service from Stourbridge Junction to Walsall and beyond.
● a heavy rail service from Worcestershire to Lichfield providing an alternative cross-country service.
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.
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 Ciovid-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 revisited some sites in March 2017 to view the progress in clearing the trackbed.  At locations where comparable photographs were taken, these are displayed together.  

Over the next few years, we will revisit the line to photograph progress as work continues to restore a rail link over the line between Wednesbury and Stourbridge Junction.
Latest News

28 July 2021

West Midlands Railway is introducing a reduced timetable on Snow Hill line services from 2 August.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

23 May 2021

The Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail has been published by the Government.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

15 May 2021

Timetable changes take effect on Sunday 16 May 2021.  Full timetable details can be found on the Timetables page, with updated departure boards posted on each individual station's page.

26 April 2021

West Midlands Railway has announced an improved timetable for the Stourbridge line from 16 May.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

6 December 2020

The Office of Road and Rail has published the annual station usage estimates for the year ending March 2020.  Figures for each Stourbridge line station have been published under "Station Information" on the appropriate station page.

16 October 2020

Stourbridge Junction has narrowly missed out on being named the station of the year in a poll organised by the Rail Delivery Group.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

7 August 2020

Improvement works will shortly take place at Hartlebury.  The programme of works will include the extension of both platforms to accommodate the new four-car Class 196 trains, as well as the refurbishment of existing platforms.  The work is scheduled for completion in February 2021.

23 July 2020

The first of the new Class 196 units was out on the Stourbridge line today when it made its first ever test run from Tyseley to Hereford and back.

7 June 2020

The new station building at Kidderminster has been opened.
Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

23 May 2020

The 10 successful projects from the bids submitted in the first round under the Restore Your railways scheme have been announced by the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps.  A scheme submitted by PMOL for a light rail link between Stourbridge Junction and Brierley Hill was not among the 10 successful bids but PMOL has been asked to provide further details to a subsequent round.
The Membership Secretary
Stourbridge Line User Group
46 Sandringham Road
West Midlands

Site Last Updated on 28 July 2021
(News and Comment)
The Membership Secretary
Stourbridge Line User Group
46 Sandringham Road
West Midlands

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