Construction work on a new railway station in the Black Country has started.
A team is now officially on site to clean up the wasteland before the construction of a platform for the new Willenhall rail station.
The work is part of a £ 54million project that will see the construction of two stations – Willenhall and Darlaston – ready for the return of passenger services on the Walsall line to Wolverhampton.
READ MORE: Galliard Aspley Partnership Takes JV Partner to Implement Balsall Heath Program
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street was joined by Walsall North MP Eddie Hughes to mark the start of construction.
The mayor said: “It has been a while to come, but it is truly fantastic news that the diggers are on site and that our plans to revive Willenhall station are becoming a reality.
“The people of Walsall have waited decades for this station to return, and with Darlaston to follow shortly thereafter as part of the reopened line from Walsall to Wolverhampton, this is a real game-changer for the Black Country.
“Not only will these stations provide a real public transport alternative to the car, but they will also help connect local people to high quality jobs and opportunities created throughout the region. “
Newsletters by email
BusinessLive is your home for business news from all over the West Midlands, including Birmingham, the Black Country, Solihull, Coventry and Staffordshire.
Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter and also see the wide range of other newsletters we offer, including weekly industry specific updates.
We will also send “Breaking News” emails for any stories that need to be seen immediately.
For all the latest stories, opinions and polls, follow our BusinessLive West Midlands LinkedIn page here.
Walsall North MP Eddie Hughes said: “The station will be a lifeline connecting the people of Willenhall to employment, training and leisure opportunities in the area, reducing commute times.
“It will also be fantastic for the city, bringing people into the center of Willenhall and supporting the regeneration of the area.”
The multi-million pound rail project is being led by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) – part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) – and the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) in conjunction with the Department for Transport, Network Rail, West Midlands Railway, Walsall Council and the City of Wolverhampton Council.
Councilor Adrian Andrew, Deputy Head of Walsall Council, added: “It has been talked about for decades so it’s great to see action on the ground – we are now entering the final stages of restoring rail service to Willenhall.
“This is a huge investment in Willenhall and Darlaston and it will have a huge positive impact on these communities, opening up opportunities for them across the region. It could also be the catalyst for further investment and improvement. “