The South Staffordshire Line

Past / Present / Future

Rail Development News


08th January 2013 - Network Rail sets out five-year investment plan for Britain’s railway for the West Midlands

A £550m plus investment in the West Midlands rail infrastructure, providing new tracks and electrification to meet the growing demand for rail transport in the West Midlands.

 Walsall to Rugeley electrification. This is a key component of the DfT’s High Level Output Statement, which recognises the scheme’s regional and strategic value including that of increased commuter demand into Birmingham.

Network Rail’s plans for Britain’s railway will benefit millions of passengers in England, Wales and Scotland. By 2019, the plan set out today will deliver a railway that:


  • Moves 225m more passengers per year and carries 355,000 more trains – the highest numbers ever seen on Britain’s railways
  • Provides 20% extra morning peak seats into central London and 32% into large regional cities in England and Wales
  • Delivers a step change in connectivity between regional centres e.g. 700 more trains a day linking key northern cities and a ten minute reduction in journey time between Manchester and Leeds
  • Carries 30% more freight than today
  • Maintains record levels of performance, with expected PPM (public performance measure) of 92.5 per cent by the end of CP5
  • Is future-proofing critical infrastructure such as 30,000 bridges, embankments and tunnels against the impact of changing weather patterns, including flooding
  • Has cut CO2 emissions per passenger by 37% – the equivalent of one million lorries off of our congested roads – and has hundreds of miles more electrified railway
  • Is the safest in Europe, reducing risk at level crossings by 8% in CP5
  • Continues to modernise antiquated signalling equipment as part of a plan to move away from over 800 signal boxes to 14 major operations centres, allowing us to run more trains closer together, safely and reliably

Is more efficient, reducing the cost of running Britain’s railways by a further 18% and cutting annual public subsidy to between £2.6bn and £2.9bn in 2019 – down from £4.5bn in 2009 and £7bn in 2004.


More about Network Rail's investment plan



20th July 2012 - Centro welcomes Government rail spending plans

Centro issued a press release about the recent Government rail spending plans. Although it is good that the Chase Line is down for re-development, the South Staffs Line wasn't even mentioned. Centro said "The Electric Spine enables freight to be taken off the roads, which is good news for everybody, but we will continue to work in other areas such as the opening of the Walsall to Stourbridge line to open up other capacity-releasing schemes"

 Full Centro Press Release



15th May 2012 - Lichfield District Council - Local Plan


Local Plan: Transport

Lichfield to Walsall & Lichfield to Burton

Policy T.6: Rail Transport

The District Council will give planning protection to those parts of the routes of the rail lines from Lichfield to Walsall and Lichfield to Burton upon Trent which lie within the District. The District Council will support measures to increase the level of rail services within the District especially where they would directly contribute to a reduction in private motorised journeys. In particular public transport proposals which would limit increases in traffic on the A38 by increasing the potential of the cross city line, will be encouraged.


8.20 The rail routes from Lichfield to Walsall and Burton upon Trent are not open to passenger traffic although consideration has been given on a number of occasions to reopening passenger services. The extension of passenger services would contribute to the environmental objectives of the plan by reducing road traffic. The A38 trunk road already carries a substantial level of traffic and forecasts suggest that this will increase substantially during this plan period and beyond unless effective measures are taken to divert traffic onto other transport modes. In the longer term the potential for a new settlement in the Fradley area could not be fulfilled unless such measures are taken. Consideration may be given to the viability of a rail station in the vicinity of Fradley at the appropriate time.

8.21 The line between Lichfield and Burton-upon- Trent is open to freight traffic and is a continuation of the line forming the main West Midlands cross city electrified route, the service currently terminating at Lichfield Trent Valley Station. The District Council would not wish to see development taking place which could prejudice the introduction of passenger services.

8.22 The route between Lichfield and Walsall is currently only open to freight services as far as Newtown. Beyond that within Walsall Metropolitan Borough track has been removed. If a decision is taken in principle to re-open the line to passengers its implementation is likely to be long term.


08th January 2012 - West Midlands Freight Strategy 2012

Supporting Freight – Strengthening our Economy; Cutting Carbon
Vision & Key Issues Consultation January 2012

How do we optimise the opportunities of rail freight and the
Walsall-Stourbridge Freight Line? How do we address the
accessibility and connectivity barriers identified?

Key Issues: Rail Freight Accessibility and Connectivity

We are promoting the development of the Walsall-Stourbridge Rail Freight
Line to provide capacity to meet future rail freight growth as well as provide
the ability re-route freight services travelling through our Area out of central
Birmingham which will provide us with the opportunity to create new local rail
passenger services such as on the Camp Hill and Tamworth rail lines.

The Walsall-Stourbridge Rail Freight Line must be more than simply a
diversionary route through our Area. In order to meet our proposed freight key objectives it is imperative that we maximise the economic and carbonopportunities of the line.

The Black Country should be a destination/ origin
point in its own right for rail freight movements. This approach is in alignment
with the Black Country Core Strategy.

Within the context of recent and projected national and international cargo
container traffic growth; deep sea port expansion; enhanced access to our
area via the Walsall-Stourbridge Rail Freight line and; our sustainable
economic growth and carbon reduction policies we believe that there will be a
need to assess whether planned new or expanded IRFT and Regional
Logistic Sites will still meet the general rail freight/ cargo container growth for
our area or whether additional rail terminal capacity is required.

This approach is complementary to the RSS approach which envisaged a
Regional Logistic Site within southern Staffordshire to meet the logistics
needs of the Black Country, a proposal which is supported by our Area.

At the same time, we will work with stakeholders to identify and address
connectivity gaps and other barriers which are otherwise impacting on the
business community’s use of rail freight across our Area.



17th November 2011 - Centro to meet Secretary of State to win better funding deal for Midland rail projects

Centro bosses are to meet with Transport Secretary Justine Greening in a bid to win a better funding deal for rail projects in the West Midlands.

Centro, the region’s transport authority, is keen to discuss the level of investment for the West Midlands rail network between 2014 and 2019 proposed under the Initial Industry Plan (IIP).

Chief executive Geoff Inskip told members of the Integrated Transport Authority considering its response to the IIP that he had written to MPs about the “paucity” of the plans.

Dudley North MP Ian Austin raised the issue in parliament and prompted the meeting with Ms Greening.

A formal date for the meeting has yet to be finalised but the controversial proposals would see the Midlands receive investment of just £57 million out of a total proposed budget of around £10 billion.

The IIP has been drawn up by the Office of Rail Regulation, Network Rail, the Association of Train Operating Companies, the Rail Freight Operators Association, and the Rail Industry Association and represents the industry’s view of funding priorities.

Although not binding on the Government, it is influential when ministers decide funding.

Under the proposals the lion’s share goes to London and the South East, which gets between £349.5 million and £389.4 million (40%) depending on total costs.

Eight schemes identified by Centro as priorities for the five year period, known as CP5, would be extremely unlikely to get off the ground in that time.

Mr Inskip said Centro believed the IIP did not adequately address the jobs and regeneration needs of the region.

They also failed to link in with Government thinking on the proposed high-speed rail link between Birmingham and London.

He said: “Centro is extremely disappointed that the IIP proposes little to support the continued growth in both the passenger and rail freight sectors in the West Midlands.

“There should be a much wider package of infrastructure investment around the region in order to improve accessibility to both labour and goods markets, stimulating economic growth, job creation and increasing local and national productivity.

“We are asking the Secretary of State to consider the IIP and tell the rail industry that they should rethink these proposals and give far more emphasis to jobs and regeneration.”

The eight local rail schemes Centro wants to see completed or work begin on in CP5 are:

  • Re-opening of the line between Walsall and Stourbridge
  • The Camp Hill Chords scheme introducing services from Moor Street in Birmingham to Kings Norton and Water Orton
  • Electrification of the Walsall to Rugeley line
  • Reinstatement of a fourth platform at Snow Hill station and the Rowley Regis Turnback
  • Increasing the speed on lines between Walsall and Rugeley, Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury, Coventry and Nuneaton
  • Resignalling and remodelling the track in the Worcester area
  • Improving capacity between Birmingham and Coventry
  • Station enhancements at Walsall, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Solihull and Birmingham International.

The only regional schemes in the Midlands the IIP proposals say should go ahead are capacity enhancements at Water Orton and between Leamington and Coventry.

Centro recently commissioned a study from KPMG which looks set to demonstrate that such a programme of regional rail enhancements would increase economic productivity in the West Midlands by more than £400 million.

No decisions have been taken by the Government on the IIP proposals and Mr Inskip said Centro would continue to press the case for regional investment in the West Midlands.

Sourced from;


19th May 2011 - Rail Value for Money Study (19/05/11 REPORT)

The Value for Money Study was commissioned jointly by the Department for Transport and the Office of Rail Regulation.

The Study’s final report puts forward a wide range of recommendations focused on creating an industry environment which encourages cost reduction, changes which deliver new efficiencies, and mechanisms to drive implementation. The Study estimates that implementing these recommendations could deliver savings between £700 million and £1 billion annually by 2019.

Download the report

08.01.11- West Midlands Local Transport Plan 2011- 2026


Your comments/views are valued and important. They will be considered/used to shape the LTP. A final copy of the LTP and summary will be able to be viewed on the website from 1/4/2011 or alternatively you can give us your details when you attend one of the exhibitions.

The Walsall - Lichfield  corridor is included in the transport plan as well as other rail routes.

The plan points out that the South Staffordshire Line is classed as a "Smart Route". The corridor strategies aim to improve journey reliability for all road users by identifying local traffic issures and developing the corridor in a comprehensive manner.

For all the latest information and plans for the 2011 - 2026 Midland Transport Plan click the link below all at the top of the page. (Scroll down the page to the downloads section to view all the PDF plans)

 West Midlands Local Transport Plan 2011-2026




25.11.10 - UK Train Operators Plan to ReOpen Mothballed Lines (Brownhills)

From Rail from the Valley campaign site - ReOpen Mothballed Lines


 02.08.10 - Expanding Access to the Rail Network (June 2009 report)

Identifying potential expansion of the rail network in England.

South Staffordshire line


Discription of positive business case

  • New Stations: Pelsall and Brownhills

         Population: 46,000 (including Burntwood)

  • Catchment area: a station at Brownhills would also provide a railhead for Burntwood for jorneys to Walsall and Birmingham.

  • Current rail access: via Cross City Line North sttions such as Four Oaks (6.5 miles from Brownhills).

  • Proposed link: single track line, 10 miles long from Ryecroft junction to Lichfield City, or 4.75 miles just to Brownhills. A crossing loop at Brownhills would be required if the whole route to Lichfield was reopend.

  • Formation: the section between Walsall (Ryecroft Junction) and Brownhills is the formation of a former railway, while the remainder to Lichfield would take over a disused freight route. Four level crossings required.

  • Indicate capital cost: Walsall to Brownhills: £52m; Brownhills- Lichfield:70m. Electrification not assumed.

  • Train service: hourly Walsall to Brownhills or Lichfield service.


NOTES: being considered for inclusion in the West midlands RUS. The restoration of the Walsall - Brownhills - Lichfield line for freight is proposed by Centro in its strategic plan, to release capacity to other routes serving Birmingham. Longer term, the Brownhills route could form part of an interurban service from Birmingham to Walsall to Bownhills, Lichfield, Burton and Derby.

For the full network report <CLICK HERE>


West Midlands Region Rail Development Plan, Draft Consulation June 09

The West Midlands Region Development Plan provides the West Midlands reion with a single focus for future passenger and freight rail development. It summarises the regions current rail routes and services, considers future demands on the rail network in terms of usage and stategic requirerments.

The rail plan identifies the South Staffordshire Route for future re-opening and sees it as an important transport corridor for future freight and passanger services.

To see the summary report click the linkRail Development Plan


Centro Rail Development Plan Route, Lichfield-Walsall-Stourbridge

Network Rail Route Utilisation Strategies (RUS)