Plans revealed for three new stops in congested part of city
THE reopening of a historic Birmingham rail line to passengers for the first time in 70 is a little further down the years track.
Artist’s impressions of plans for new stations at Moseley, Kings Heath and Hazelwell on the old Camp Hill line to New Street were revealed this week with a promise passengers could be using them by 2021.
It means a congested corner of the city where residents have not been served by trains since the Second World War will have a rail option.
The first Hazelwell station was built in 1903, between the existing Kings Heath and Lifford stations.
It closed in 1941 when passenger services were withdrawn due to wartime economy measures, and was never reopened.
However, the line remained open for freight and is also used for some longer distance passenger services.
The original Moseley station operated from 1867 to 1941.
A previously named Moseley station on the same line changed its name to Kings Heath upon the opening of the stop.
It is hoped construction of the new stations will start in 2020.
The Camp Hill Line will then offer an alternative to commuting via the congested A435 Alcester Road.
The stations will see two trains an hour heading into the city centre, a journey of about 15 minutes.
There are also longer-term plans for new stations in the Black Country, including in Brierley Hill and Willenhall.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street was joined by Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling for a tour of the Moseley station site this week.
Mr Street said: “I know exactly how important reopening this railway line is to people in the communities in Kings Heath, Moseley and Hazelwell and everybody who has a part to play in making this happen is working towards getting it reopen as quickly as possible.
“Congestion from this part of the city into the city centre is one of the huge drawbacks for what are other- wise thriving areas – undoing the closures seven decades ago will be a huge step tackling both congestion and the clean air challenge we all face.”
The plans are being jointly developed by the West Midlands Rail Executive, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), West Midlands Railway and Network Rail. They are working together on the track, signalling and service changes required.
In the longer term, more frequent services may be possible as part of the Midlands Rail Hub project which will build the Camp Hill Chords to link the line to Moor Street Station and allow more trains into Birmingham city centre.
Martin Frobisher, managing director for Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: “The proposed railway upgrades in the West Midlands are really exciting.
“We are eager to work with all partner organisations that share our ambition to bring lasting improvements for rail customers.
“On the Camp Hill line proposals, we are undertaking detailed work to assess the practicality of the timetable and to determine if additional railway infrastructure is needed.”
A fourth station could also be opened at Balsall Heath in the future.
> A sketch of the Moseley proposals >Left: The old Hazelwell Station on the Camp Hill line in about 1910
> An artist’s impression of the proposed Hazelwell station near Kings Heath