Camp Hill rail line: Major delays announced for three new train stations in Moseley, Kings Heath & Stirchley

Transport for West Midlands has announced major delays to the reopening of three rail stations in south Birmingham due to the discovery of badgers and a Victorian well among other issues
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The reopening of three rail stations in south Birmingham has been delayed to 2024 following a series of issues during construction.

It will be the first time since 1941 that trains have run along the historic line, which will serve Moseley Village, Kings Heath and Stirchley at Pineapple Road. They were shut down during World War II.

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But the discovery of a badger set in Moseley and a Victorian well in Kings Heath and a listed historic wall at Pineapple Road have caused delays. Transport for West Midlands has reassured locals that much of the structural work to prepare the site for building has now been completed at Kings Heath and Pineapple Road and the platforms are taking shape.

They also explained that soon contractors will have full access to the Moseley Village site, where structural work will begin ahead of platform construction. A TfWM spokesperson said: “Work on the Camp Hill line in Birmingham is well underway with construction crews busy making progress on all three railway stations.

“Reopening of the Camp Hill line to passenger services for the first time since 1941 remains a key infrastructure project for Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) and partners.”

What are the benefits of these new rail stations for local people?

The new train stations are planned to offer residents a fast and sustainable alternative to the private car for journeys into Birmingham city centre – reducing traffic congestion in the area up to 25% and helping achieve the ambition of a greener and better-connected region.

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The unstable wall in Stirchley borders a locally listed building at Pineapple Road meaning it needs to be rebuilt brick by brick, whilst the previously undocumented Victorian well at the Kings Heath site, linked to the historic Highbury Hall, has meant a redesign of the area. Meanwhile, over in Moseley, the badgers can only be moved at certain times of the year.

As a result the work is not expected to be completed until 2024 - almost a year behind schedule. A TfWM spokesperson explained: “These challenges – on top of the ongoing supply chain and inflationary concerns and the suspension of construction work for critical engineering work - mean that although the majority of construction work will be finished early next year, we are now targeting an opening date by the end of 2024. Work is ongoing to see if that can be improved.”

Pineapple Road Station in Stirchley, Birmingham, where platforms are under constructionPineapple Road Station in Stirchley, Birmingham, where platforms are under construction
Pineapple Road Station in Stirchley, Birmingham, where platforms are under construction

What will the rail stations look like once they are completed?

Once complete each station will have two platforms, pedestrian footbridges, stairs and lifts, ticket machines, information systems and passenger help points on each platform.

TfWM added that during construction the project is delivering benefits to local people, including supporting well-paid skilled construction jobs. The contractor Volker Fitzpatrick has also worked with local schools and communities in designing the site hoardings.

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The project is being carried out in partnership with Birmingham City Council, Network Rail, West Midlands Railway and Department for Transport, who remain fully committed to completing the stations at the earliest opportunity. Birmingham City Council is contributing to the development with £5 million raised through the city centre’s clean air zone

What has Mayor Andy Street said about the major delays to the Camp Hill Line reopening?

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “After more than 70 years without a train service, people in Kings Heath, Moseley, and Stirchley can see the progress that is being made - the ground has been strengthened, platforms and stations are taking shape, and we have already carried out timetable testing runs on the line.

“It is of course disappointing that it will take a little longer than we previously planned to get the line open, but with our contractors and partners we are working tirelessly to look at options to reduce that timescale and bring the benefits of the Camp Hill line as soon as possible.

“Once open people will have the option of swapping their journey along the busy Alcester Road for a convenient and quick train ride, and the city will enjoy the benefits of the Camp Hill line train services for generations to come.”

Work underway at Kings Heath rail station in BirminghamWork underway at Kings Heath rail station in Birmingham
Work underway at Kings Heath rail station in Birmingham

What has Birmingham City Council said about the latest developments in work on the Camp Hill rail line?

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Cllr Liz Clements, Birmingham City Council cabinet member for transport, said: “It’s good to see the construction is underway and this infrastructure is vital if we are to get people to leave their cars at home and use sustainable green alternatives, including public transport, walking and cycling.

“This is a perfect example of investing in clean air with the council’s £5m contribution coming from Clean Air Zone net surplus revenues. I look forward to seeing the line completed and hope that any further delays can be kept to a minimum by TfWM so that Birmingham residents can start to experience the transformational impact of the Camp Hill line.”

What has Network Rail and WMCA said about the reopening of the Camp Hill rail line?

Neil Gaskin, programme director for Network Rail’s Central route, said: “These stations unlock the railway to three vibrant communities in Birmingham, which will bring benefits and opportunities to thousands of people and businesses. They will be worth the wait and we will continue to work with our partners to support them opening as soon as possible.”

TfWM is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). Mike Bird, WMCA portfolio lead for transport and Walsall Council leader said: “This is just one part of our unprecedented investment in our rail, tram, bus and cycling infrastructure across the region.

“Improving our transport connections is crucial to growing our economy, opening up new opportunities for people and creating a fairer and greener West Midlands.”

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