Express & Star

Work for new railway station begins

Work to pave the way for the construction of a brand new railway station in Aldridge is getting underway.

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An indicative CGI of the planned new Aldridge railway station. PIC: Transport for West Midlands

Contractors will be on site to carry out surveys, secure it and clear the land is to be carried out ahead of building the facility, which is planned to be open in 2027.

The £30 million project between Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), West Midlands Rail Execute and Network Rail will see a single platform station built with a 40 space car park and access from Westfield Drive created.

Once it is open, it will mean rail services restored to the town for the first time in 60 years.

It will initially offer a half-hourly service to Walsall town centre but there are also longer term plans both the line electrified to offer direct services to Birmingham and the station upgraded as part of the wider reopening of the Sutton Park Line to passenger services.

The new Wrexham, Shropshire and Midlands Railway Company (WSMR) has also recently announced plans to run services from north Wales and Shropshire to London Euston via the Sutton Park Line and opportunities for the service to stop at Aldridge are being explored.

The £30 million has been allocated from the City Regional Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) funding awarded to TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) by the Department for Transport.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: “It’s astonishing to think that despite being on an active railway line no passenger trains have stopped at Aldridge since 1965.

“That’s why we are making this investment and working with Network Rail to get this station open for the people of Aldridge – starting with a shuttle service to Walsall from Spring 2027.

“This will finally start to give Aldridge the railway services it so badly needs – offering residents a convenient alternative to the car.

“But we are not resting there, we are actively seeking further opportunities to improve and increase services at Aldridge.

“This includes working with the Wrexham, Shropshire and Midland Railway Company on plans to give Aldridge a direct train service to London.

“We will continue to work with partners in the months and years ahead to realise this and our longer term ambition to reopen the Sutton Park Line in full, something which is now a step nearer thanks to the funding we have secured for the Midlands Rail Hub.”

Rob McIntosh, managing director for Network Rail’s North West and Central region said: “We are delighted to work in partnership with the WMCA to build a better connected, more prosperous, fairer and greener region.

“Aldridge station is one of a number of new stations being funded by TfWM and WMRE across the West Midlands.

“These exciting transport hubs will not only support economic growth by improving connectivity for passengers, but also provide multiple benefits for local communities.”

Councillor Mike Bird, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Walsall Council said: “This is an exciting time for rail in the region with work now underway on delivering six new stations, including at Willenhall and Darlaston, and plans for more in the pipeline.

“New stations offering convenient rail links not only open up new work and leisure opportunities for residents and the communities they serve, but by making it easier for visitors and works can act as a catalyst for future investment in our towns.”