John Speller's Web Pages Birmingham - Wolverhampton GW Line
John Speller's Web Pages - Projected RailroadsBirmingham - Wolverhampton GW Line
The Great Western Railway main line between Birmingham Snow Hill and Wolverhampton Low Level, part of the company's lines from London Paddington to Manchester, Birkenhead and Warrington, was largely duplicated by the West Coast Main Line and was closed under the so-called "Beeching Axe." This, of course, completely ignored the importance of the line as serving such important towns as West Bromwich and Wednesbury, and the line has subsequently been relaid as a Light Rail route with connections to both Snow Hill and New Street Stations in Birmingham.
Meanwhile, the relatively large towns of Wellington, Shrewsbury and Wrexham have lost their direct services to London, and Network Rail is reluctant to restore them owing to congestion on the West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Birmingham New Street. Indeed, congestion is already causing serious delays on the West Coast Main Line, and this is unlikely to be helped by the opening of the proposed HS2 Line, which will probably only increase traffic further.
My suggestion therefore is that the old Great Western line be transferred to Network Rail and reconverted to main line status, so that it could be used for trains from London via Wellington, Shrewsbury and Wrexham to Chester. Trains would proceed from Birmingham Snow Hill to Banbury, and then either via High Wycombe to London Marylebone or via Oxford and Reading to London Paddington. This would relieve traffic on the West Coast Main Line, as well as enhancing service between London and Birmingham and serving Wellington, Shrewsbury and Wellington. The local stations between Birmingham Snow Hill and Wolverhampton currently served by Light Rail would be served by a more comfortable Heavy Rail service.
Map of proposed routes to Wellington, Shrewsbury and Wrexham
Facade of the Grade II Listed disused Great Western station at Wolverhampton Low Level shortly before conversion to a casino in 2006. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Midland Metro light rail service at West Bromwich. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Midland Metro light rail service at Birmingham Snow Hill. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons