Services on the Chase Line, the line connection between Rugeley and Birmingham New Street, is about to get an improved service following the introduction of half hourly trains.
A new timetable commences from the 20th May that will provide passengers with two trains per hour during the day between Rugeley, Hednesford, Cannock and Birmingham New Street. The improvements are part of a wider £200 million project to improve rail services in the area.
The new timetable is part of signalling and track enhancements of the Chase Line, which will ultimately enable faster electric trains to operate. The works have included changes to the track that enable existing diesel services to run faster on the line, resulting in a half hourly service from 20th May.
Amanda Milling MP said: “Improvements to the Chase Line have been one of my key priorities since being elected to Parliament in 2015 so I am delighted that the first stage of project will see a more regular service later this month, which is great news for passengers. I am proud to be part of a government that has made necessary investment to improve the service on the Chase Line which has for too long been plagued by overcrowded and cancelled trains. The half-hourly service which will come into force from the 20th May is just the start of the improvements that we will see this year, and over the coming years, with electric trains due to be running on the line later this year.”
Further improvements to the line will include new four-carriage trains and extensions to the platforms at Cannock, Hednesford and Rugeley stations. Over time, weekend passengers will also benefit from the increase of services on weekends too.
The Cannock Chase MP added: “Over the last few years I have been calling for longer trains to be operated on the Chase Line, and as part of this I have been lobbying for the platforms at our stations to be extended. This is an issue that I have raised multiple times in Parliament and directly with Rail Ministers and the Transport Secretary. So it is great news that these works will be undertaken so that we will not only benefit from an electric service, but one where 4 carriage trains can be operated. I hope that all of these initiatives together will help to alleviate some of the issues that passengers have had to suffer over the years. The service will now be able to accommodate the rising passenger numbers and put an end to the days of overcrowded trains on the Chase Line.”
The new timetable is available at https://www.westmidlandsrailway.co.uk/travel-information/timetables.