Our railways : our future
As the road system becomes more congested and environmental concerns become more pressing, our railways grow in importance.
Each year, more and more people choose to make the change from road to rail.
In our own West Midlands region, rail patronage has doubled in little more than a decade. The railways are now vital to Lichfield’s economy and future prosperity, because good connectivity attracts business, investment, and tourism from across the UK and beyond.
A modern rail service, with frequent trains at the times people need to travel, along with high quality, accessible station facilities, is essential for Lichfield’s economy and the livelihoods of its citizens.
Lichfield Rail Promotion Group
Lichfield Rail Promotion Group campaigns for improved rail services and facilities in Lichfield District, fit for the current age and ready for the future.
LRPG works together with other campaigning groups to lobby Network Rail, the train operating companies, local authorities and other bodies responsible for rail strategy.
The group formed in the 1980s to respond to the threat to Cross City Line services between Lichfield and Birmingham and had early success with its campaign for the modernisation and electrification of the line.
Recently, the group has been successful is seeking Access For All funding for step-free access at Lichfield Trent Valley station.
Lichfield Rail Services
There are three passenger services through Lichfield:~
- The Cross City Line service from Lichfield Trent Valley and Lichfield City stations to Birmingham New Street (operated by London Midland)
- The West Coast mainline hourly service between London and Crewe, via Stoke and stopping at Lichfield and Rugeley Trent Valley stations (also London Midland)
- Occasional fast trains between London and destinations in the North West, with a stop at Trent Valley station (operated by Virgin Trains)
Our railway stations are a gateway to the city and district.
Both Lichfield City and Trent Valley stations are in desperate need of modern, comfortable customer lounges and toilet facilities which are open whenever there are trains.
At Trent Valley station, better and safer access from the public highway, including step-free access, and better shelter from the weather on all platforms are required.
Although a new station building is under construction at Trent Valley, this is to plans drawn up some years ago and still may not provide adequate facilities for the number of passengers using the station today.
In order to meet passenger demand, the Cross City Line needs earlier trains, and more frequent trains in the evenings and on Sundays, as well as greater use of longer, 4-car trains to reduce the current overcrowding.
On the Trent Valley Line, more fast trains between Lichfield and London are required, especially at weekends.
Lichfield to Burton
A line from Lichfield to Derby is already there. Opening a passenger service on this line would provide an important link to Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds, York and the North East, and would relieve road congestion on the A38.
And with only modest extra capital investment, a new station could be added to this line at Alrewas.
The National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas has almost a quarter of a million visitors each year, yet rail travellers have to rely on taxis from Lichfield despite the line passing so close.
And, with more land available for parking at Alrewas, a new station there would also relieve the pressure of cars coming into the city and on the limited parking at Lichfield stations.
Lichfield to Walsall
Burntwood is the thirteenth largest town in the UK without a rail service, yet road travel from Lichfield and Burntwood to Walsall and the Black Country is slow, particularly at peak times.
The route for a line from Lichfield to Walsall, which could include a “parkway” station for Burntwood, is there, but requires the renewal of track between Lichfield and Brownhills and the reinstatement of track from Brownhills to Walsall.
Opening up this route would also provide a faster service into Birmingham and quicker and easier connections to Wolverhampton, Telford, Shrewsbury and Mid Wales.