Chase line electrification – laying the foundations.(Network Rail Image)
Three level crossings between Walsall and Rugeley will close for up to six months while Network Rail carries out electrification and upgrade work on the Chase line.
Bloxwich level crossing will be closed between 12 August and 4 September while work takes place to renew the track either side of it.
Network Rail is making a number of enhancements between Walsall and Rugeley Town as part of the national Railway Upgrade Plan. Improvements include installing overhead lines to power electric trains and renewing and realigning sections of track to help provide a more frequent passenger service.
Because the upgrade of the line will mean an increase in faster and quieter trains, which will increase the level of risk at both footpath crossings, Network Rail will seek a permanent closure of them when the work is complete.
James Cooper, scheme project manager for Network Rail, said:
“The upgrade of the line between Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley will provide passengers with a better, more reliable railway. Faster and quieter trains – and more of them – means that the risk to people using these crossings will be increased. We are committed to making the railway safer so will seek to permanently close both crossings. This decision will be made with the local authority and local people will be kept fully informed.”
Landywood and Stoneyfields footpath crossings will be fenced off to prevent trespass and vandalism. Short diversionary routes will be in place during the closures. Passenger and freight trains will no longer sound their horns as they approach the crossings which will reduce disturbance to local residents.
Information will be available at the crossings and the diversionary routes will be clearly signed. Anyone with further questions should call the Network Rail national helpline on 03457 114 141.
The two footpath crossings affected are:
– Landywood Footpath Crossing (just off Westbourne Avenue, Cheslyn Hay, Walsall, WS6 7DH)
– Stoneyfields Estate Footpath Crossing (just off Pebble Mill Drive, Cannock, WS11 6UR crossing)
While these closures are in place, a number of diversionary routes will be available.
– For Landywood, a diversionary route exists to the south, through the underpass off Lingfield Drive (WS6 6LS), and to the north, under the bridge along Station Road (WS6 6LJ).
– For Stoneyfields Estate, a diversionary route exists to the north under the bridge along Hawks Green Lane (WS11 6LL)