Electrifying progress on Chase Line

In 2012 I reported on the approval of plans to electrify the Chase line linking Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley stations, http://birminghamcentral.blogspot.com/2012/07/chase-for-electric-brings-success-chase.html.  The Chase is still on with the project due to be completed in December 2017.

The £78.2m electrification scheme survived the recent pause in projects announced by Network Rail , due to cost overruns, and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin confirmed that the project is on target to finish in December 2017.

Electrification will have a transformational effect on the District in making it an attractive location for inward investment as well as providing faster, more frequent, quieter, more energy efficient rail services. It will lead to the biggest improvement to services since the line reopened to passengers in 1989. The rail service was used by 574,300 passengers from Cannock , Hednesford and Rugeley in 2013/14, increasing year by year.http://www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk/news/article/1922/chase_line_electrification

The line, which links Rugeley through Walsall to Birmingham New Street, will also benefit from improvements in capacity at Walsall with plans announced in July to improve the station, http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2015/07/30/expansion-plans-for-walsalls-train-stations-would-bring-faster-rail-links-to-city/   

The project covers 51 single track kilometres of electrification and two bridge reconstructions but with improvements in speed from 45 to 75mph it will reduce journey times by up to 15 minutes with four trains per hour reducing the current overcrowding.  With the improvements new connections could be introduced connecting to Birmingham International, Coventry and Liverpool Lime Street, http://www.railengineer.uk/2015/07/24/walsall-to-rugeley-electrification-the-chase-line/.


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