Bid for funds to investigate reopening Ironbridge to Bridgnorth rail line
A rail group is bidding for government funding to investigate reopening a disused train line to some of the county's most popular tourist sites.
The Ironbridge Railway Trust is asking the government for money to plan the reopening of a 10-mile line between the former Ironbridge Power Station and Bridgnorth.
The application is for £43,000 from the Department for Transport's 'Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund'. If successful the funding will be used to further develop the case for the plan.
The ambition is to create a rail line that would connect the new development planned at the former power station with the popular Severn Valley Railway at Bridgnorth.
The scheme could combine with ambitions from Telford Steam Railway to open up the disused Ironbridge-Coalbrookdale-Madeley line to passengers, creating a whole new link for travel.
Under the outline proposal submitted to the Department for Transport it would include six new stations – Ironbridge Parkway, Ironbridge & Broseley – for the Iron Bridge, Jackfield – for the Tile Museum, Blists Hill, Coalport – for the China Museum, and Linley – for Apley Hall.
A statement from the trust said the plan would "support the important visitor economy of Ironbridge World Heritage Site and the wider Severn Valley".
Peter Lyons, chairman of the trust said: “The Restoring Your Railway fund is a real opportunity for the trust and its stakeholders to assess the potential for rail public transport to grow the Ironbridge and Severn Valley Corridor’s tourism and visitor economy, whilst protecting precious historic and natural environments which highway-based growth could damage.”
The plan would see four trains per hour – one going from 'Ironbridge Parkway' to Ironbridge, then Coalport, Bridgnorth, and potentially on to Kidderminster, and another three from 'Ironbridge Parkway', stopping at Ironbridge and Coalport,
The project would be completed in three stages and would cost around £46.29m according to the bid submitted to government.
Councillor Eric Carter, a member of Telford and Wrekin Council and Chairman of The Marches Strategic Railway Group said: “An Ideas Fund study will provide us with key evidence of the value and feasibility of the trust’s exciting proposal to support the attractions of Ironbridge, the Severn Valley and our market towns and beautiful countryside which make Shropshire and neighbouring Worcestershire the country’s principal inland tourist counties.”