Ironbridge Power Station plans 'excellent fit' for steam railway
Plans for the Ironbridge Power Station are an "excellent fit" with Telford Steam Railway's aspirations, bosses at the attraction have said.
The vintage railway, based in Horsehay, has been in discussions with owner and developer Harworth about the future of a railway through the site.
The Harworth Group, which bought the former power station site last year, has outlined plans to create about 1,000 homes, space for businesses and leisure facilities, a school, village centre and park and ride scheme.
People were given the chance to look at the latest proposals during a public consultation at the site last week.
In a statement, bosses at the steam railway said: "The railway is a priority for Harworth and has been retained for both heritage and potential network passenger use.
"Harworth hope to work with Network Rail to remove 1 million tons of pulverised fly ash and up to 2 million tons of sand and aggregate from the site via rail. The poor condition of the Albert Edward bridge is the major stumbling block. Network Rail have completed a condition assessment in the last few days which will be reviewed as to options moving forward.
"Telford Steam Railway has a meeting with network rail next week to discuss ways forward including accessing the redundant ‘Up’ line meaning both Telford Steam Railway and Network Rail trains could operate, an option Harworth are very keen to see happen."
A new station will be built within the new community.
"The railway from the Albert Edward bridge to the coal drops will be retained. The coal drops will be the base for the new station which will sit right in the heart of the new local centre.
"Overall the plans are an excellent fit with Telford Steam Railway’s aspirations. Telford Steam Railway has suggested to Harworth that an opportunity may be being missed by not continuing the railway to the Much Wenlock road and Buildwas Abbey, talks will continue as the developments progresses."
Although reaction to the plans has been positive, residents have called for there to be more communication on the future of the site.
Councillor Carolyn Healy, ward member for the Ironbridge Gorge, said there needed to be more clarification on how thousands of new cars will fit into the Gorge, as well as long term plans for start-up business units on the site, for the medical centre and how it will be staffed and for how the site will visually impact on those using Dale End Park.