The Anonymous Widower

Lichfield Trent Valley Station

I went to Birmingham via Lichfield Trent Valley station using London Midland, paying just £13.20 for the First Class ticket to Lichfield.

It is an unusual station with two platforms on the West Coast Main Line and a third at right-angles on the Cross-City Line. This Google Map shows the station layout.

Lichfield Trent Valley Station

Lichfield Trent Valley Station

These are some pictures of the station.

My only problem with the station was that there were no staff to ask about buying the West Midlands Ranger ticket, I needed to continue my journey.

Lichfield Trent Valley station is on the South Staffordshire Line, and is on one the few sections of the line that still has a passenger service. On investigating further I found this description of the line’s state today on Wikipedia. This is the first two paragraphs.

Very little of the South Staffordshire line is used today, although Lichfield City and the connection to Lichfield Trent Valley high-level remain as part of London Midland’s Cross-City Service to Redditch via Birmingham New Street. Freight usage on the OW&WR portion of the route has once again become more common thanks to the Round Oak Steel Terminal.

In terms of infrastructure, nearly all of the trackbed still remains, and indeed so does much of the track. The closed section South Staffordshire line has gradually fallen into disrepair over the last decade or so, with much of the trackbed heavily overgrown – in some areas almost totally concealed by vegetation.

So we have a railway across the West Midlands from Lichfield to Stourbridge, that has been mothballed and left in a state to be rebuilt, if the need should arise.

As to the future of the South Staffordshire Line, Wikipedia has a long section on its Future.

It would appear that Westfield, who own the Merry Hills Shopping Centre, even offered funds to help with some reopening. As two of their centres in London have excellent rail and Underground connections, they must know the value of such a link.

The line is also part of plans to build an extension of the Midland Metro from Wednesbury to Merry Hill. This could use tram-trains, as Network Rail would like to use the line for freight. As with many rail lines in the country, freight is often there to provide reasons for rebuilding or reopening.

I also found a report on the BBC, which led to this post about a Very Light Rail Innovation Centre at Dudley.

The line also goes through Walsall, where it links to the Chase Line to Rugeley Trent Valley, that is being electrified, and to the Sutton Park Line, that the Local Authorities want to reopen.

So many diverse plans!

Isn’t it a pity, that the Varsity Line from Oxford to Cambridge or the Waverley Route from Carlisle to Edinburgh, weren’t closed in a similar way to the South Staffordshire Line. Removing the track and turning the line into a long-distance walking or cycling path, is surely another alternative and much more beneficial to the community, than digging it up to build housing or a new road.

I think the only certainty about the South Staffordshire Line is that those enterprising Brummies, will find a better use for the line than growing weeds.

 

 

August 5, 2015 - Posted by | Transport | ,

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