Quick, reliable and comfortable rail services allow businesses to attract and access a wider pool of skilled workers, giving people more choice over where they live and work. However, services on the Shrewsbury-Black Country-Birmingham corridor are slow and often unreliable and overcrowded.
In August 2022, Midlands Connect submitted a business case to the Department for Transport outlining plans to enhance the Shrewsbury - Black Country - Birmingham rail route, with proposals to boost line speed to 90 miles per hour. This would be achieved by two minor alignments within the railway corridor, as well as improvements around signalling on the line.
Boost the economy: The project will deliver around £23 million of economic benefits – these relate to journey time improvements, improved air quality, environmental benefits and reduced congestion on local roads.
Support local business: In a recent survey, 62% of local businesses agreed that rail improvements would help their business grow.
Safeguard jobs: The scheme would also help safeguard and create over 400 jobs in engineering and construction sectors.
Boost rail ticket sales: As a result of the improvements, Midlands Connect believe more people will choose to travel by rail, generating £1 million of extra ticket sales revenue per annum.
Our findings also show that project delivery could begin as early as 2025 if the scheme is given the go-ahead by Government.
Increasing line speed could lead to longer term projects on the line, including electrification and adding a direct service to London.