The Department for Transport (DfT) has approved a £10m grant towards the construction of new stations at Darlaston and Willenhall. Further costs are being met from the region’s HS2 Connectivity Fund.
Original stations in Darlaston and Willenhall closed in 1965 and only through services have used the line since then. The new stations will not only mean resumption in services for passengers but also land being unlocked for housing, industrial and commercial development.
The project is being led by the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), working with the DfT, Network Rail, West Midlands Railway, Walsall Council and the City of Wolverhampton Council.
West Midlands mayor Andy Street said: “I am delighted that our ambition to reopen the Walsall to Wolverhampton railway line to passengers has moved a significant step closer with this latest funding from government. Not only will the money help us to build high-class stations at both Darlaston and Willenhall, but these new stations will help drive significant regeneration of the Walsall to Wolverhampton corridor.”
Cllr Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council said: “The reopening of stations in Darlaston and Willenhall will encourage growth in industry and jobs in the Black Country as well as better linking communities to opportunities elsewhere. But this is just a part of our plans to transform rail service and public transport across the West Midlands.
“We are making progress with reopening Camp Hill line in Birmingham, creating better connections to the planned HS2 stations and seeing investment in more services, more capacity and better facilities across the region’s rail network.”
Planning applications are due to be submitted later this year, with the aim of starting construction in 2020 and reopening the line to passengers by the end of 2021.