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Europe’s shortest branch line reopens

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The Stourbridge Town branch line will reopen on Monday 22 February 2021, following the completion of improvement works.

Connecting Stourbridge Town and Stourbridge Junction stations, the line was suspended for a fortnight while the small Class 139 trains that serve the route were repainted internally. They also had passenger grab rails repainted and were deep cleaned. Some seating was also temporarily removed, to aid social distancing on board.

The small trains were deep cleaned and repainted internally.
Jonny Wiseman, West Midlands Railway.

While the line was closed, Network Rail inspected the track, removed graffiti and cleared vegetation along the line that, at less than a mile long, is believed to be the shortest branch line in Europe.

Jonny Wiseman, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, said: “We are committed to making train travel as comfortable as possible for our customers and these works will mean a more pleasant journey on what is a truly unique route.

“I hope our customers making essential journeys enjoy the refreshed interiors on these much-loved trains, and we look forward to welcoming more passengers on board when the time is right.”

Geoff Lusher, Pre Metro.

Geoff Lusher, chairman of Pre Metro, which runs the service on behalf of West Midlands Railway, added: “We look forward to welcoming our passengers back on board the service.

“We’re sure customers will appreciate the enhancements, not only on the vehicles but also the improved surroundings to the track between the town and the junction.”

Although the branch will reopen as planned, it will close again from Tuesday 9 March – Friday 12 March while additional track work is carried out.

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