Passengers making essential journeys will be welcomed back onto the Stourbridge Town branch line next week (w/c Mon 22 Feb) following the completion of improvement works.
The line, which connects Stourbridge Town and Stourbridge Junction stations, has been suspended for a fortnight while the small Class 139 trains which serve the route have been internally repainted.
The trains have also had passenger grab rails repainted and have been deep-cleaned. Some seating has also been temporarily removed to aid social distancing on board.
During the closure Network Rail has also inspected the track, removed graffiti and cleared vegetation along the line, which at less than a mile long is believed to be the shortest branch line in Europe.
With works now completed by Midlands-based specialists Millennium Site Services, trains will resume on Monday 22 February.
Jonny Wiseman, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, said:
“We are committed to making train travel as comfortable as possible for our customers and these works will mean a more pleasant journey on what is a truly unique route.
“I hope our customers making essential journeys enjoy the refreshed interiors on these much-loved trains and we look forward to welcoming more passengers on board when the time is right.”
Geoff Lusher, chairman of Pre Metro, which runs the service on behalf of West Midlands Railway, said:
“We look forward to welcoming our passengers back on board the service.
“We’re sure customers will appreciate the enhancements, not only on the vehicles but also the improved surroundings to the track between the town and the junction.”
Dave Penney, director of Network Rail’s Central route, said:
“This essential work to the trains and tracks on the branch line will ensure safe and comfortable journeys for passengers on the route for many years to come.”
Passengers using the Stourbridge Town line are being advised that a further short suspension of the route will take place from Tuesday 9 March – Friday 12 March while additional track work is carried out.
West Midlands Railway is reminding passengers to follow the Government’s “Stay At Home” advice and to only make essential journeys. Passengers must also wear a face covering when on board the train, unless exempt for medical reasons.
Photo credit: West Midlands Trains