The Barnt Green to Bromsgrove electrification project is a local example of the considerable investment going in to the rail network at the moment. Work is progressing on the structure clearance work at Barnt Green, and in parallel the construction of a new railway station at Bromsgrove is taking shape.
These improvements will lead to an improvement to the local rail service, meaning by the end of 2016 Bromsgrove will see four trains per hour in each direction compared to the current one: and at the same time Barnt Green will go from the recently-increased 3 trains per hour also to 4 trains per hour. At least one train each way per hour will connect Barnt Green with Bromsgrove, compared to the solely ‘school hours’ trains we see today.
Engineering work comprises the following:
1) New station at Bromsgrove 200 metres south of the current one
2) Bridge reconstruction to permit sufficient headroom clearance for electrification (January to April)
3) Resignalling of the route (by November)
4) Construction of masts and portal structures for the main electrification works (July 2015 to May 2016).
It is expected that of the above, the bridge reconstruction and main electrification works will be the activities most noticeable in the Barnt Green area.
The bridge reconstruction works have led to the following road closures:
- Hewell Lane (Barnt Green) 10th January 2015 – 20th April 2015
- Linthurst Newtown 10th January – 30th March 2015
- Blackwell Road (closed near the M42 bridge) 30th March – 27th April 2015.
Diversions have been signed, and bus diversions put in place. Most of the time period of these closures is taken in diverting and relocating utilities such as gas, water and electricity. Demolition of the bridge spans each take place over one night, and similarly the basic re-decking of the bridges is typically done in one shift.
The new Barnt Green station footbridge is in the process of construction, and a through walking route will continue during the course of the works: the old footbridge will only be removed after the new one has been opened up.
In October the line between Barnt Green and Bromsgrove will shut completely for 12 days between 20th October and the start of the train service on 2nd November, with train diversions and replacement bus services in place. Redditch-Barnt Green-Birmingham services will continue to run through most of this period. This will enable the old Bromsgrove station to be demolished, and a new track layout to be built, which will be set-up handle the additional rail traffic which will use the station from December 2016. The new signalling system being installed between Ashchurch (Cheltenham) and Five Ways will also be brought into use on 2nd November, as well as the opening of the new Bromsgrove station, albeit at that stage to diesel trains only.
During this 12-day period we will try to concentrate the main electrification works through Barnt Green and Blackwell into daytime hours. However outside this period, there will be some weekend and night-time working, but the contractors will try to minimise the duration and level of noise as far as possible. Details about this work will be communicated to lineside neighbours during the course of construction.
Site clearance and relocation of the tracks in the area of the new station is well underway to create sufficient space for the new station and its 350-space car park. Construction of the 4 brand-new Bromsgrove station platforms has stated, some 200 metres south of the current station, with four platforms, lifts and the new car park The new station at Bromsgrove will be a much improved facility compared to today’s cramped, operationally difficult site.
Electrification work will continue beyond November, involving construction of overhead line stanchions, ‘goalposts’ and final wiring for the electrification.
This work represents the biggest investment in transport in North Wotcestershire since the M42 motorway was built. The result will be Bromsgrove enjoying a modern railway station with a frequent and attractive service to central Birmingham and beyond into the national rail network, and Barnt Green seeing a more frequent passenger service to Birmingham, as well as hourly services to Bromsgrove and better connectivity towards Hereford and Worcester, Wales and the South-West..
If you have any questions or concerns, please visit www.networkrail.co.uk or telephone our 24-Hour National Helpline on 08457 11 41 41.
Text supplied by Network Rail