Awards, contracts & appointments

04.03.19

Plans unveiled for two new ‘vital’ stations in the West Midlands

Plans for two new railway stations on the Walsall to Wolverhampton line have been unveiled by West Midlands transport bosses today.

Designs for Darlaston and Willenhall stations have been released by the West Midlands Railway Executive (WMRE) and Transport for the West Midlands (TfWM) to mark the launch of a public consultation.

The original stations were closed in 1965 and whilst they passenger services returned in 1998 a decade later, they had stopped once again.

Now rail bosses in the region say the two new Black Country stations would give Darlaston and Willenhall “vastly-improved access to jobs and opportunities” in the centres of Wolverhampton, Walsall and Birmingham.

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West Midlands mayor Andy Street said: “The publication of these plans is the next major step towards bringing passenger rail services back to the Wolverhampton to Walsall line.

“The opening of these stations is just one part of our plans to regenerate and revitalise this part of the Black Country.

“They will help unlock swathes of land for industrial, commercial and housing development between Wolverhampton and Walsall.”

Darlaston station will be built on derelict land next to the Kendricks Road bridge, whilst Willenhall station will be sited next to the Bilston Street railway bridge close to its town centre.

Both stations will have two platforms able to accommodate six-carriage trains, as well a pedestrian footbridge, stairs, lifts, ticket machines, drop-off areas and station designs based around passenger safety.

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TfWM and WMRE are working closely with the train operator West Midlands Railway, the City of Wolverhampton Council, Walsall Council and Network Rail.

The majority of costs will be covered by the region’s HS2 connectivity fund, with an hourly service between Wolverhampton and Walsall and between Birmingham New Street and Wolverhampton expected initially.

Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet member for city economy, John Reynolds, said: “The reopening of this rail line will be good for Wolverhampton business and offer people easier and faster services to Walsall and beyond.

“It will also encourage regeneration and the opportunity to develop new housing and industry along the rail corridor.”

Richard Brooks, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, added: “The reopening of these two stations will benefit many people in surrounding communities.

“We welcome to work of West Midlands Rail Executive and other partners to bring these stations to life, and encourage local residents to engage with the consultation on the new station plans.”

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