PASSENGER trains are set to return to the line between Walsall and Wolverhampton, having been withdrawn 12 years ago. Since then, the line has been used for freight.
West Midlands Rail Executive said it had agreed a timetable with Network Rail, with trains also calling at Willenhall and Darlaston, which have not seen passenger trains since 1965.
There is to be an hourly service between Walsall and Wolverhampton, plus a separate hourly service between Birmingham New Street and Wolverhampton via Tame Bridge, Darlaston and Willenhall. This will be provided by diverting existing trains which run between Crewe and Birmingham.
WMRE said train journeys to New Street will take 15 minutes less than by car, while bus passengers who transfer to rail will save 54 minutes on their journeys to central Birmingham.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street welcomed the news that agreement has been reached with Network Rail. He continued: ‘The Walsall to Wolverhampton rail corridor is an important part of our the plans to regenerate and revitalise this area of the Black Country; acting as a catalyst to unlock swathes of land for industrial, commercial and housing development.’