Construction work on two new railway stations in the Black Country will begin this spring following the final approval of government funding, announce in the March 2021 budget.
With the £55 million funding now in place, the construction of Darlaston and Willenhall stations can begin, with contractors due on site shortly to prepare the ground for full construction to begin during the autumn.
The stations will offer the people of Darlaston and Willenhall vastly improved connections to Wolverhampton, Walsall and Birmingham New Street stations when they open in 2023, encouraging more people to use public transport.
Willenhall station will be sited next to the Bilston Street railway bridge close to the town centre, while Darlaston station, which will include a 300-space car park, will be built on derelict land next to the bridge over Kendricks Road.
There will be two trains an hour calling at the new stations when the Walsall to Wolverhampton line reopens to passenger services. These will be:
- An hourly service between Walsall and Wolverhampton;
- An hourly service between Birmingham New Street and Wolverhampton, via Tame Bridge, Darlaston and Willenhall, created by diverting an existing Crewe to Birmingham service.
It will be the first time in more than 50 years that these Black Country communities will have been directly connected to the region’s rail network. The line is currently used only by freight rail services.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “The people of Darlaston and Willenhall have waited a long time for these stations, and soon they will see diggers on site as we get to work.
“Not only will the stations hugely improve transport links for the area, but they will also help to create local jobs at this difficult economic time. We will create construction jobs through the building of the stations, whilst we also expect the stations to encourage investment that could create a significant number of jobs by unlocking land for housing, commercial, and industrial development.
“From re-opening railway lines and stations and expanding the midland metro, to improving cycling infrastructure and cleaning up our buses, we’re investing billions in public transport across the Black Country and wider West Midlands to make up for decades of decline.”
The project is being led by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), and the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) working in close collaboration with the Department for Transport, Network Rail, West Midlands Railway, Walsall Council and the City of Wolverhampton Council.