The South Staffordshire Line

Past / Present / Future

Freight Trends



Rail Freight plays an important role in the UK economy and can make a
crucial contribution in supporting sustainable economic growth and reducing
carbon emissions.

Nationally, rail freight market share has increased by 60%
since 1994 and now accounts for 12% of the UK’s surface freight market.

Benefits of the South Staffordshire Route

 Rail Freight

Rail Freight is one of the most efficient modes of freight. One freight train can
move up to 5,000 tonnes with freight train lengths permitted to be 600 metres.
Trials are on-going for freight train formations up to 775 metre in length.

Rail Freight can therefore generate economic and carbon benefitsFreight trains in the UK are very fuel efficient compared to the road equivalent, there for the emissions released into the atmosphere is reduced, in fact the average fright train is 70% more efficent than road transport. The heaviest frieight train in the UK is equivalent to 160 lorry loads.

Freight Oblectives

• Economy: on average a gallon of fuel will move a tonne of freight 246
miles on the railway, but only 88 miles by road reducing business costs
and therefore improving productivity

• Carbon: rail freight produces around a 76% less carbon emissions per
tonne carried compared to road freight

• Health, Personal Security & Safety: improved road safety linked to
reduced road freight traffic and mileage levels

• Quality of Life and Local Environment: rail freight produces less
than a tenth of the nitrogen oxide and fine particulates of road haulage per
tonne carried. Reduced road freight movements will positively benefit
local residents and communities;

 UK freight trains are going to get heavier and bigger over the next few years to increase effciency even more companys will be attracted into rail freight. The SSR corridor is a huge importance to this ever growning transport travel, with more and more fright being transorted the current network will be stretched by 2015. The SSR corridor is a strategic player for the future of the rail infurstructure. It links the East Midlands to the West Midlands with out changing route which happerns at the moment.




Rail Freight Trends


Freight Abilites

Currently freight traveling from the East Midlands or North Eastern parts of the U.K travel 32 miles from the point of Wychnor Junction to the EWS Bescot Marshalling yards. Other main freight terminals are located further along the line past walsall E.G. Wolvohampton Steel works etc.


The Immingham Import Terminal to Rugeley B Power Station route, run by Freightliner heavy Haul, transports Coal from the North East to Rugeley Power Station. (see route below).

If the South Staffs Line was in operation, it would cut time and take pressure off other routes, such as the Birmingham - Derby line via Water Orton. If the planned time tabled route diverted at Wichnor Junction, rather than heading down to come back up, it would save 13.61 miles. (see map below)

The current route travels through Tamworth, Water Orton Junction up through Sutton Coldfield, along Sutton Park and up to Ryecroft Junction and ending up at Bescot. A total of 32.02 miles. If the South Staffordshire Line was to be reinstated, it would shorten the route to the main freight terminals in the West Midlands by 15.35 miles, (to the location of multable directional tracks & terminals).

As you can see from the map below, the South Staffordshire line is the most direct route connecting the East to the West Midlands.

How long on average will it take?

For Example: A Class 66 traveling at 55mph

Current Route from Wychnor to Bescot - 32.02 miles = 34.93 Mins

South Staffordshire Line from Wychnor to Bescot - 18.41 miles = 20.06 mins

A saving of 14.87 mins along the SSR route

Formula: (60 / 55mph = 1.09 miles per sec) x 32.02 miles = 34.93 mins

Rail Freight Usage

The first main aim for the South Staffs line to have it re-opened  to concertrate on the fright abilities before passenger services. This aim is far less expensive in the short term, thus enabling further time to establish the sutable funding and white paper to eventurlly bring back passenger services to the line.