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Train link central to latest Ironbridge Power Station plans

By Mark Andrews | Ironbridge | News | Published:

A new passenger railway service for Ironbridge will be at the heart of proposals to redevelop the town’s power station.

An aerial view of Ironbridge Power Station, which will be redeveloped

Harworth Group, which bought the former power station site last year, will reveal its latest ideas during a consultation event on May 22.

Company spokesman Iain Thomson said reintroducing passenger rail services would be a major part of the plans.

The event, at the site’s pumphouse, will be the second time the company has asked the public for its views on the site.

Plans are viewed at the last consultation in October

Chief executive David Cockcroft said 550 people attended an earlier consultation event in October last year, and he hoped a similar number would take part this time.

Passenger rail

The company said its latest proposals reflected the opinions expressed at the last event.

Mr Thomson said the railway line would be a major part of the plans and could potentially be used for ‘heritage’ services, freight transport and a commuter rail service.

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“The important thing for us would be to bring back passenger rail services,” he said.

The railway line to Ironbridge briefly reopened to passengers in 1979

“It’s a big ask and discussions need to take place with Network Rail and the other rail authorities, but the rail connection is certainly feasible. We have done it at our other sites.”

Residents and businesses are invited to view the new plans at the event between 2pm and 7pm, and they will also be posted online at ironbridgeregeneration.co.uk.

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Mr Thomson said the company would use the feedback to further revise and refine its plans prior to submitting a planning application to Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Councils in the autumn.

The railway line next to the power station

The Ironbridge railway line closed to passenger services in 1963 – before the infamous Beeching cuts – but continued to serve the power station until its closure in November 2015.

Passenger services to Coalbrookdale were briefly resumed between May and September 1979 to mark the Iron Bridge bicentenary, and a one-off steam service will run on the line on June 9.

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Last month Harworth appointed contractor Demolition Services Ltd to demolish the landmark cooling towers at the site.

The Leeds-based company is due to carry out the work by late spring.

Stuart Ashton, head of planning at Harworth, added: “Many months of hard work following the first consultation has gone into making sure our plans strike the appropriate balance between new residential and commercial development, community facilities including the proposed retention of the rail connection and a significant amount of public open space that bounds the site.

"Events like this are a valuable check and balance however and we look forward to explaining our plans in detail on May 22.”

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews
@MAndrews_Star

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.

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