Advertising

Plan unveiled to restore Telford to Stafford rail line

Telford | News | Published:

Rail chiefs in Shropshire today unveiled ambitious £230 million plans to re-open the Telford to Stafford train line - creating a direct link from Shrewsbury to London in under two-and-a-half hours. Rail chiefs in Shropshire today unveiled ambitious £230 million plans to re-open the Telford to Stafford train line - creating a direct link from Shrewsbury to London in under two-and-a-half hours. Shropshire, Telford and the Marches Strategic Rail Group has voted to lobby Government to back its bid to fill the gap left when the Shropshire-Marylebone line folded in January. The group - which includes members of Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire councils - believes there is no room for expansion at Birmingham New Street and that a route via Stafford is the quickest, cheapest and most realistic option for re-establishing a direct link to the capital. Vice-chairman Councillor Eric Carter said: "People may say it's pie in the sky, but we have got to have vision in this world and we have got to look to the future. "There certainly is sufficient capacity for more trains through Stafford, while the fact is Birmingham is full." Read more in today's Shropshire Star

Rail chiefs in Shropshire today unveiled ambitious £230 million plans to re-open the Telford to Stafford train line - creating a direct link from Shrewsbury to London in under two-and-a-half hours.

Shropshire, Telford and the Marches Strategic Rail Group has voted to lobby Government to back its bid to fill the gap left when the Shropshire-Marylebone line folded in January.

The group - which includes members of Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire councils - believes there is no room for expansion at Birmingham New Street and that a route via Stafford is the quickest, cheapest and most realistic option for re-establishing a direct link to the capital.

Vice-chairman Councillor Eric Carter said: "People may say it's pie in the sky, but we have got to have vision in this world and we have got to look to the future.

"There certainly is sufficient capacity for more trains through Stafford, while the fact is Birmingham is full."

"Going via Stafford would be 30 or 40 minutes quicker and get you there in under two-and-a-half hours, maybe even quicker."

The rail group wants stations at Donnington, Newport and Gnosall to be re-established along a dual line that would roughly follow that which existed until the 1960s.

Members have travelled in a bus along the potential route and were pleasantly surprised by the lack of work that would be needed, with only a small detour required at new houses in Donnington.

Advertising

They today revealed they have already held meetings with Network Rail and Association of Train Operating Companies about the proposals.

Mr Carter said: "There is now the opportunity to put forward a very strong case that could benefit so many people.

"We will lobby to put this at the forefront of the Government's minds and keep stating our belief that this is the right option.

"£230 million sounds an awful lot of money, but when you think that the High Speed Two project could cost as much as £34 billion(CORR) it puts it in perspective.

Advertising

"It's not cheap, but it's a fraction of other projects and would have a great impact on the West Midlands."

He added: "There is a £400 million rail investment at Birmingham New Street, but that is mainly for a shopping centre and is not going to increase capacity in any way.

"We want to talk about High Speed Two, but at the same time make the Government aware of this potential and the early signs are that message is being picked up."

Mr Carter said it was too early to say how long it would take to make the plan a reality.

It currently takes about 76 minutes from London to Stafford by train, compared with 84 minutes from the capital to Birmingham New Street.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Advertising

Top stories

Advertising

More from Shropshire Star

UK & International News