The South Staffordshire Line

Past / Present / Future
southstaffsrail@hotmail.co.uk

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Back in the 1800's when the South Staffordshire Line was completed, it was the peak of the industry revolution, with coal mines and mills etc dotted around the mildands. The line was designed with freight and local passengers in mind to aid the growing towns and villages along the line.

In 1950 Walsall to Lichfield took 24 mins with 3 stops, these being Pelsall, Brownhills and Hammerwich. South staffs Rail have calculated the route for the 21st centrey, appliing the latest track, signalling and locomotive satstics aswell as using the local Cross City Line to gain an understanding of the functionality. (see figure 1 below)

We have based the time facts on using a Class 323 electrical multible 3 car unit. The class 232 has 283 seats and has a maxium speed of 90mph. 

 

Lichfield - Walsall Track Length

Lichfield City Station > Hammerwich Station - 5.4km

Hammerwich Station > Anglesey Sidings - 1.9km

Anglesey Sidings > Brownhills Central Station - 1.45km

Brownhill Central > Pelsall Station - 3.55km

Pelsall Station > Rushall Station - 1.95km

Rushall Station > Walsall Station - 2.8km

TOTAL: Lichfield - Walsall = 17.05km (10.6miles)

 

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Section Appendix to Working Timetable, April 1980

British Railways London Midland Region / The South Staffordshire Line

(Click on the sections to inlarge)

 

Round Oak to Walsall Pleak

Ryecroft Junction to Brookhay CrossingFine Lane Crossing to Wichnor Junction / Lichfield T.V / Bescot & Wednesbury

Future Running Calculations of the Line

 

Outcome

Using the Class 170 diesel mutiple unit stats

Lichfield City to Walsall Station = 10.6 miles, with the varies stops along the line (if every station and extras are included) the estimated time would be 19.62 mins (5 stops)

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Using the Cross City Line timetable gives a estimated arival time at each station. By measuring the distance between each station and using the times stated, we can use a simple formular to estimate the current speeds of a train on the South Staffs Line if opened today.

Interesting Facts

In 1950, Walsall to Brownhills (5.25 miles) was achieved in 14 minutes, with a stop at Pelsall.

In 1950, Walsall to Lichfield (10.5 miles) took 24 minutes with 3 stops.(Pelsall, Brownhills & Hammerwich)

In 1981, freight trains regularly covered the 10.5 miles from Walsall to Lichfield in just 17 minutes (non-stop).

Future Metro Services

There has been many talks and discussions on how to get the best and most from the railway in modern times. The idea of using the former Charrightons oil terminal (now Quattro depot) at Anglesey Sidings at Newtown would benefit the communioties of Chasetown, Chase terrace and Burntwood. The idea is to design a platform and use the avilable space for free parking (similar to the Four Oaks Station on the cross city line). This would encourage rail travel and if successful the local bus service could make it as part of the bus route.

 

The diagram below shows a rail plan if the line was to reopen using all the stations. (Rushall & Hammerwich exempted)

 

Who owns & manages the South Staffordshire Line today?

 Back when the line was built the South Staffordshire Railway Company owned and ran the line, after that it was LNWR then British Rail took over until part of the line was dissmantled and privatisation took hold. The Track which continued to be active was from Wychnor Jct to Anglesey Sidings. This was later ran by Railtrack then Network Rail.

2011 -

Wychnor Jct > Lichfield City (Active, Network Rail) - Freight Only/ Diversions

Lichfield City > Anglesey Sidings (None Active line, Network Rail (Mothballed))

Anglesey Sidings > Ryecroft Jct (Line lifted, Mothballed Track bed, British Rail Properties, Local Parishes, Network Rail lease land & Railway Paths Ltd)

Ryecroft Jct > Walsall (Active, Network Rail

Walsall > Pleck Junction (ACTIVE, Network Rail)

Pleck Junction > Round Oak Steel Works (None Active line, Network Rail (Mothballed)

Round Oak Steel Works > Stourbridge Junction (Active, Network Rail) - Freight Only

Anglesea Branch Line Lichfield City to Anglesey Sidings

This part of the South Staffordshire Line remained in use until 2001. The Oil Terminal which keept the line open closed, and the line was decommissioned by Railtack. Although the line is now closed and the signalling switched off, the land, bridges, track ect is still covered by Network Rail.

 Even though people walk the line and think it is right to do so, are very miss under stood. Network Rail run a Risk Assessment which covers all aspects of property and saftey. Even though no trains run on the line, people can still be prosecuted for trasspass.

The South Staffordshire Line

Wychnor Junction to Anglesey Sidings = NETWORK RAIL

Angelsea Sidings to Ryecroft Junction = BRITISH RAIL PROPERTIES & Railway Paths Ltd

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