Electric train depot plan revealed for Bescot freight yard after sleeper factory rejected

Plans for a new train depot have been revealed for a freight yard just weeks after a controversial sleeper factory scheme was thrown out on the same site.

An artist's impression of the depot
An artist's impression of the depot

West Midlands Trains (WMT) has chosen the Bescot Sidings yard on the Wednesbury-Walsall border for its electric train depot, which it says will create more than 100 jobs.

Details of the proposed development have been revealed just a month after Network Rail's sleeper factory plans were rejected following a huge backlash from residents.

It remains to be seen whether Network Rail will appeal the decision.

The Bescot freight yard

The electric train depot would be built closer to the Wednesbury end of the freight yard, across the M6 from Walsall's Banks's Stadium.

WMT officials said in order to run more trains and improved services it needed a base to maintain them.

A letter sent out to residents in Friar Park

The company has moved to distance its plans from the Network Rail development, a cause of so much hostility in the area.

It said its scheme would not involve any manufacturing or cause as much noise.

Plans had already been discussed to create a sleeper factory at the site

A public meeting will be held on February 5 at the Banks's Stadium.

With the sleeper factory fallout still fresh in people's minds, WMT has signalled it is ready to work closely with residents.

Project director Jane Fisher said: “Our new trains will bring a step change in local rail services and this state-of-the-art depot will bring over 100 new jobs to the local area.

“We know some local people may have concerns about the proposed developments at the Bescot site in Wednesbury, and we want them to come and share their views with us.

"We have already met with some members of the local community and we are committed to working with residents in Wednesbury to address any concerns they may have as we develop our plans and to have them as part of shaping the future of our local transport services.”

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