Work is underway to demolish three former industrial waste processing buildings to make way for new platforms, as contractors gear up to build a brand new Willenhall railway station in Walsall.
The demolition follows the relocation of the recycling business which formerly occupied the site off Rose Hill and follows the clearance of the opposite side of the Walsall to Wolverhampton railway line last year.
This means that once the historic mine workings under the site have been stabilised, the main construction can focus on new platforms, lifts, stairs and footbridge as part of £55 million project to return passenger rail services to Willenhall and Darlaston for the first time in more than 50 years.
The development is being led by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE).
Two trains per hour will call at the new stations, an hourly service between Walsall and Wolverhampton and an hourly service between Birmingham New Street and Wolverhampton.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMRE chair, said: “It’s fantastic to finally see the full site at Willenhall ready for construction to get underway. I even had the chance to meet a local apprentice on site – a direct example of how our investment is supporting jobs and providing the springboard for a career in construction.
“This station will have a transformational impact here in Willenhall – offering residents a fast passenger service to Wolverhampton, Walsall and Birmingham when it opens next year. It will also help us to reduce car usage and support our #WM2041 net zero commitment.
“I cannot wait to see this station open – serving local people in the months and years ahead.”
Willenhall and Darlaston Stations are being developed in partnership with West Midlands Trains, Network Rail, Walsall Council and the Department for Transport. Contractors on the project are Buckingham Group and SLC-AECOM Joint Venture.
Cllr Adrian Andrew, deputy leader of Walsall Council, said: “The new station will become a valuable asset for the town centre and local business by making Willenhall a more attractive and convenient place to live, work and visit.
“I look forward to seeing develop over the coming months.”
Preparation works on the Darlaston Station site, including securing underground mine voids, is currently underway.
Photo credit: Transport for West Midlands