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Published on : Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Electric train services on the Chase Line moved a step closer today as local MPs and Councillors celebrated the start of work on the project at a ceremony in Bloxwich.Network Rail is delivering a project to electrify 15 miles of railway between Walsall, Cannock and Rugeley Trent Valley and provide a cleaner, greener, modern service for passengers using the route.
Liam Sumpter, Network Rail area director said: “Electrification helps us to boost capacity, reduce carbon emissions and cut the cost of running the railway. Electric trains are also quieter, more reliable and have more seats, which is good news for passengers. “By enabling a better train service along this important route, this investment in the rail infrastructure will help grow the local economy and provide a better service for pasengers.”
David Winnick MP along with local councilors, Centro and London Midland officially started the demolition of Broad Lane bridge at Bloxwich North station today; this is the first of three bridges which need to be rebuilt this year to accommodate the equipment required to run electric trains.
David Winnick MP said: “I certainly welcome the electrification of the line, which has been much needed, and which goes through a good part of my constituency. I did say to the Network Rail officials that I hoped everything possible will be done to minimise disruption to local residents while the work is being undertaken. Many of the residential properties are very near indeed to the station and bridge.”
Mark Goodall, London Midland’s head of Cross City Service added: “The electrification of the neighbouring line between Lichfield and Birmingham has been a huge success and we look forward to introducing similar benefits to passengers on the Rugeley to Birmingham route.”Network Rail has been working closely with local authorities to agree the details of the closures and inform local residents. Once all bridge works have been completed, electrification work will get underway in 2015 with the project set for completion in late 2017.
Aidan Burley MP added: “I have lobbied very hard since my election to get this scheme on the Government’s radar and so I am absolutely delighted that all this hard work has finally paid off and construction work is now underway. Electrification will not only transform journeys for my constituents who will experience faster, smoother and more frequent journeys, but it will also go a huge way to help support my efforts to bring business to the area, and reinforce the message that Cannock Chase is the place to come to in Staffordshire to live, work and for leisure.”
Rail services will not be affected until spring 2014 when the line will be closed for short periods on Sunday mornings to allow construction work to be completed safely. London Midland will provide a rail replacement service during these periods.
Tags: Railway News