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

25 November 2022

Timetables will change ffrom 11 December.  Full details and updated timetables may be read in the News and Comment section.

12 July 2022

Major changes will be made to connecting services at Smethwick Galton Bridge from December 2022, and to the Snow Hill lines timetable from May 2023.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

27 May 2022

Stourbridge line services will only operate to and from Birmingham Snow Hill from 20 to 23 June due to engineering works.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

15 May 2022

New timetables come into force today.  Updated timetables can be found on the Timetables page and on each individual station page.

24 March 2022

A revised timetable comes into effect on 15 May 2022.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

31 October 2021

SLUG issues a statement on the current state of Snow Hill line services and joins three other user groups in sending a strongly worded letter to the West Midlands Rail Executive.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

27 October 2021

The Department for Transport has just announced that the bid by Pre-Metro Operations for funding under the Restore Your Railways Fund to progress the provision of a light rail shuttle service from Stourbridge Junction to Harts Hill to link up with the Midland Metro has been rejected.

7 October 2021

Worcestershire County Council has launched a consultation into proposals to expand the car park at Blakedown station by 87 spaces.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

2 August 2021

A new Stourbridge Line User Group Facebook page has been set up to complement this web site by posting any developments or problems as they happen.  The Facebook page may be viewed by clicking on the Facebook icon on this page.

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.
The Membership Secretary
Stourbridge Line User Group
46 Sandringham Road
Wordsley
Stourbridge
West Midlands
DY8 5HL


Site Last Updated on 25 November 2022
(News and Comment)
The Membership Secretary
Stourbridge Line User Group
46 Sandringham Road
Wordsley
Stourbridge
West Midlands
DY8 5HL

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