Shropshire Star

How to get from Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton after landslip closes railway line

Train passengers who regularly travel along the line between Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton are set to face at least two weeks of disruption.

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The landslip affected tracks near Oakengates station. Photo: Network Rail

A landslide at Oakengates, Telford, on Friday, where around 5,000 tonnes of material slipped beneath a 50-metre section of railway, has led to the closure of the route which links Shropshire with the Black Country until the final days of March.

Network Rail has said persistent heavy rainfall over the winter months has weakened the earthwork beneath the rails.

Planned engineering work which would close the railway was already booked on four successive weekends up to March 16/17, but the landslip means there are no trains at all.

Train operators have announced alternative plans to help people get from Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton so they can continue their journeys.

How long will the Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton railway be closed?

At present the closure looks set to last for at least two weeks.

Network Rail has said the line will be shut until at least Monday, March 25, while National Rail has warned the line could remain closed until the end of the day on Sunday, March 31.

Rail replacement buses

Transport for Wales has said its first bus - stopping at Wellington, Telford Central and Wolverhampton only, departs Shrewsbury at 5.18am. From 6.40am these quicker buses will depart at hourly intervals up until the last departure of the day at 10.40pm.

In the opposite direction, buses leave every hour from 6.45am up to 9.45pm.

There is also an additional bus leaving Birmingham International at 11.16pm. It will call at Birmingham New Street, Sandwell & Dudley, Wolverhampton then all stations to Shrewsbury for onward connections.

Other buses will be replacing the West Midlands Railway service and stopping at the smaller stations along the route: Oakengates; Shifnal; Cosford; Albrighton; Codsall; Bilbrook, as well as Wellington and Telford Central.

They depart Shrewsbury from 5am up to the last bust at 10.49pm. From Wolverhampton the first bus is at 5.18am before turning hourly from 6.04am to 11.04pm.

West Midlands Railway has said passengers with tickets to travel on its trains can use them on the following Arriva Midlands bus routes:

  • Route 4 [Telford] (Arriva Midlands): Telford - Wellington - Oakengates

  • Route 9 [Wolverhampton] (Arriva Midlands): Bridgnorth to Wolverhampton

  • Route X10 - Telford Central to Shrewsbury

  • Route 55A - Telford Central to Stafford (this service runs Monday to Saturday)

  • Route 5E - Telford Central to Stafford NOT calling at Muxton (this service runs from 9pm from Monday to Saturday)

Other train routes

Those who travel by bus can use Transport for Wales (TfW) tickets on any West Midlands Railway or CrossCountry between Wolverhampton and Birmingham at no extra charge.

West Midlands Railway has said its passengers can use their ticket on any alternative services it runs between the two cities, as well as any London Northwestern Railway train between Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

You can use your ticket on the following services between Wolverhampton and Birmingham, at no extra cost:

TfW has also said passengers can use its services between Shrewsbury and Crewe and connect with Avanti West Coast or London Northwestern Railway trains linking the Cheshire town and Birmingham.

Other 'reasonable routes' people can use are Hereford to Birmingham on West Midlands Trains (which would also involve travelling from Shrewsbury to Hereford by train) or Cheltenham to Birmingam on CrossCountry.

Other Shropshire train services

All other train services in Shropshire are running as normal.

TfW services that would normally run between Holyhead, or Pwllheli and Aberystwyth, and Birmingham International, will begin and end their journeys in Shrewsbury instead.