Walsall-Rugeley Chase Line Electrification
The Council have been pushing for this important transport scheme for many years, which will transform CannockChaseDistrict. As well as making the District more attractive for inward investment and job creation it will lead to more frequent, faster, quieter rail services from Cannock, Hednesford and Rugeley to Walsall and Birmingham. It will also help make the case to restore direct services to Stafford and potentially beyond to the North West and south to London.
Construction works are due to commence in November, with major bridge rebuilding at Station Road, Hednesford and on the access to the Chase Enterprise Centre.
Network Rail will produce information material for the project which will include fact sheets covering the following:
- General Electrification
- Walsall to RugeleyTrentValley
- Individual sheets about the initial bridge reconstruction works (Station Road, Hednesford and Chase Enterprise Centre, Hednesford)
Network Rail will also produce posters for display at Stations along the route; they also intend to distribute invitation letters to residents etc. in the vicinity of the initial bridge re-constructions.
Councillor Gordon Alcott, Economic Development and Planning Portfolio Leader said, “Electrification of the Chase Line will see the biggest improvement to passenger services since the line was reopened in 1989. The rail service attracted an additional 100,000 passengers within the District in 2011/2 alone, with a total number of 700,000 per annum. This is the first electrification scheme in the West Midlands since the Cross City line to Lichfield was electrified 20 years ago and as well as benefiting passengers with faster, quieter, more frequent services, is set to make the District more attractive for investment. Whenever a railway line is electrified, the ‘sparks effect’ that follows always leads to a substantial increase in passenger numbers as well as economic benefits to an area.
Note: The Chase Line electrification project was announced by the Government in July 2012. Work will start in November 2013 and completion is planned for December 2017. The £30m project will involve electrifying the 15 mile, strategic missing link in the West Midlands electrified network between Walsall and Rugeley.