June 14, 2016

New West Midlands authority plans rail expansion

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THE new West Midlands Combined Authority centred on Birmingham, Britain, is drawing up plans through Transport for West Midlands, which comes into force this month, to expand the rail network under a £4bn 10-year transport investment plan.


The rail projects cover both the Midland Metro light rail and heavy-rail networks. Extensions are planned to Midland Metro in Birmingham city centre to Centenary Square by 2019, and Edgbaston by 2020-21. A new LRT line is proposed from Birmingham via the new Curzon Street HS2 high-speed station and Solihull to Birmingham Airport and the planned HS2 interchange station.

A new light rail is planned from Wednesbury on the existing Birmingham – Wolverhampton line south to Dudley and Brierley Hill following a disused railway.

New rail links to the east of Birmingham Moor Street station are proposed to allow the introduction of new commuter rail services north to Castle Vale and Castle Bromwich and south to Moseley and King's Heath.

It is planned to redevelop Coventry station, and reintroduce a train service between Walsall and Wolverhampton using conventional EMUs or tram-trains.

A timetable will now be drawn up to see which projects can be implemented within the next decade in time for the opening of the HS2 line to London in 2026.

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