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The 142-year-old Stourbridge Branch Line is set for it’s biggest upgrades in recent years over the next week.
With reduced passengers numbers due to COVID-19, Network Rail, working with West Midlands Railway have taken the opportunity to come up with a full plan for the replacement of 0.8 miles of track, with seven days to complete the work (Saturday 6th to Saturday 13th of March).
The whole process of planning to be ready for trains again took only be eights weeks, an impressive timescale.
Passengers will benefit from a smoother ride from Mid March onwards, increasing satisfaction with the service.
For anyone needing to use the service for essential travel, a rail replacement service will be running between Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town stations.
Planning extra time for travel is advised, and checking with either National Rail Enquires or train operator.
Operations Director for Network Rail’s Central Route Martin Colmey said: “This speedy upgrade of the Stourbridge town branch line shows how the rail industry is coming together to get Midlands routes in the best possible shape for passengers when they can return once coronavirus travel restrictions are eased.”
“This is all part of our commitment to build back better as the region emerges from the pandemic. However, as the line will need to close for the major upgrade, I’d urge anyone still making essential journeys to check National Rail Enquiries so they know what to expect when they travel.”
Customer Experience Director for West Midlands Railway Jonny Wiseman said: “This important work will ensure a smoother journey for our customers on this popular route and follows hot on the heels of recent upgrades we have made to the trains on the line.”
“With the railway currently reserved for essential journeys only and fewer people travelling, it is a good time to complete this project. Replacement buses will be running for passengers who do need to travel while the work is in progress.”
This article first appeared on www.railadvent.co.uk
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