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Chase Line rail closure begins tomorrow

By Jack Averty | Walsall | Transport | Published:

A 16-day closure of a popular rail line begins tomorrow.

The line will be closed for 16 days

The Chase Line, which runs between Walsall and Rugeley, will be closed until Monday, August 28 while London Midland carry out £100 million electrification works.

From Sunday, August 13 until Monday, August 21 buses will replace trains between Tame Bridge Parkway, Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley to an amended timetable

From Tuesday, August 22 until Monday, August 28 buses will replace trains between Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley to an amended timetable.

Work during that time will include replacing and realigning the track, platform work at Cannock, Landywood and Bloxwich stations, piling to install remaining foundations for stanchions and the installation of stanchions and gantries ahead of overhead lines being installed in 2018.

Martin Tiller, Network Rail’s project sponsor, said: “This work, part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, will mean passengers travelling between Rugeley and Birmingham via Walsall will have a better, more reliable railway.

“Unfortunately these upgrades cannot be done while trains are running so we have to close the line between Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley for 16 days in August.

"The work has been carefully planned with London Midland to get the maximum amount completed whilst causing the least disruption. I would like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out these upgrades to deliver a better railway.”

London Midland’s head of route Rob Hornsey added: “We would much sooner be running trains than buses in August but it will be worth it when we can run more frequent, cleaner, quieter and quicker trains to carry more people when the work is done.

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“I’d like to thank all our passengers and neighbours for their patience and understanding while this exciting project to upgrade the Chase Line progresses.”

London Midland says it is electrifying the line to deal with the growth of the number of passengers using the line, but that once the work is done people will benefit ‘from a cleaner, greener, quieter and more reliable railway between Birmingham and Rugeley with more frequent services’.

Amanda Milling, the MP for Cannock Chase, said: “I completely understand that passengers will be very concerned about the disruption on the Chase Line in the coming weeks but they will enjoy a much better service once the electrification is complete.”

“The electrification of the Chase Line will see faster and more frequent trains which mean there are hundreds more seats, bringing an end to the misery passengers have faced over the last few years.

“I would urge passengers to check before they travel as there will be an amended timetable with a replacement bus service.”

Jack Averty

By Jack Averty
Senior Reporter - @javerty_star

Reporter with the Express & Star, based at head office in Wolverhampton

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