Bar­las­ton de­lay

Rail (UK) - - Letters -

I re­alised how in­ef­fi­cient our rail­way is to­day after read­ing

Re­gional News ( RAIL 865). One item states that Bar­las­ton sta­tion in Stafford­shire is due to re­open with Lon­don North­west­ern Rail­way ser­vices due to start call­ing in De­cem­ber 2020 or May 2021. Why that long?

To any read­ers who do not know the history of Bar­las­ton, it was closed in 2004 dur­ing the West Coast up­grade, with then op­er­a­tor Cen­tral Trains not re­in­stat­ing the Stoke-Stafford ser­vice when it was com­pleted. The sta­tions at Wedg­wood, Bar­las­ton, Stone and Nor­ton Bridge lost their ser­vices from that date. Stone even­tu­ally re­opened in 2008, but the oth­ers re­main shut.

Nor­ton Bridge will never re­open, as the bridge across the tracks to the plat­forms has been re­moved. The other two just wait.

But Bar­las­ton could open this De­cem­ber. All the in­fra­struc­ture is com­plete - wait­ing rooms, plat­forms even the old Re­gional Rail­ways sta­tion signs. Why does it have to take two years?

Pathing is­sues are not a prob­lem, as trains wait ten min­utes at Stafford in each di­rec­tion, and the fol­low­ing train is ten min­utes be­hind.

If Bri­tish Rail could de­sign, build and open Al­fre­ton and Mans­field Park­way in six months in 1972, why does it take us two years to­day to open a sta­tion that is phys­i­cally there, ready for the trains to start stop­ping? Cliff Beeton. Stoke-on-Trent

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