Talks have taken place over proposals to reopen the railway line between Lichfield and the National Memorial Arboretum.

The chief executive of the West Midlands Rail Executive, Malcolm Holmes, visited Alrewas today (27th October).

Michael Fabricant, Philippa Rawlinson and Malcolm Holmes next to the railway line near Alrewas

During the visit he met with the National Memorial Arboretum’s chief executive Philippa Rawlinson and Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant.

The trio spoke about how the line could be reopened, with a planned stop in Alrewas to serve the National Memorial Arboretum.

Conservative MP Michael Fabricant said:

“This step brings the possibility of opening up the Lichfield to Burton line one small step closer.

“We visited the signal box which is adjacent to where a new ‘National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas’ railway station might be.

“Malcolm Holmes explained that, if approved, the opening of the line will be done incrementally with a single platform a short distance down from the Alrewas signal box where the line becomes single track. 

“Initially, trains will be non-electric. If the route is a success, the line might eventually be electrified and the Alrewas station moved to be adjacent to where the signal box is sited and with two platforms. 

“An overhead pedestrian crossing will eventually connect the station with the village of Alrewas.”

Michael Fabricant MP

Mr Fabricant said the line would improve accessibility to the nation’s centre of remembrance.

“Philippa Rawlinson told me that many visitors will be able to walk the short distance from the station, but an environmentally-friendly shuttle service will be available to those unable to make it by foot. 

“This will be operated by the National Memorial Arboretum, who regret the fact that the only way this important national place of remembrance can currently be reached is by road.

“I first suggested the re-opening of the line for passenger traffic some four years ago and I am pleased that the Government and the West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, support it in principle.”

Michael Fabricant MP


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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  1. Luckily there was no attempt by the intrusive face in the left foreground to turn this item into a political publicity shot.
    No doubt of support for children’s meals.

  2. The whole of the South Staffs railway from Worcester through to Derby for passengers and would assist congestion through Birmingham by creating anther route Both North and South.

  3. I know “Conservative MP Michael Fabricant” likes to think Andy Street is mayor of Lichfield or even Staffordshire but he ain’t. Mr Street can have a view on a railway line to the Arboretum but it is not in his remit. He can, and does, have a view about HS2 which he supports.

    We know Mr Fabricant has a view about free school meals for children during the holiday because he voted against children getting that help. Mind you he doesn’t seem to want to explain why to his constituents – or have a selfie at a foodbank with volunteers doing the Government’s job.

  4. This is the same council who allow world war 2 machine gun turrets to be demolished at Fradley !!!

    In most areas they are protected ! ,,but in the county that ,brags, about having the arboretum close by, and now wants to open up a train link there, they allow this act to happen !

  5. Loves a good railway does our MP.

    No real interest of anything else important to the vast swathe of constituents he never bothers to meet though…

  6. Poor Michael, he does his best but seems to miss the important matters to highlight inconsequential ones.
    When will he come out and explain his reasons for voting against school meals in the holidays for the children of the poor? I suppose standing next to a disused railway line is more important to him.

  7. Some one said he was at his holiday home in Wales how did he avoid the Welsh restrictions and has he a means of getting back you and I could not use

  8. It’s a great shame the National Memorial Arboretum has shafted the local community by supporting the development of 1500 houses next to it. No doubt money talks and they see this railway as a way to strengthen getting their hands on the money. This area of Staffordshire has been completely trashed by quarrying and now possible housing development

  9. As Steve mentioned, the new homes at Alrewas are the key to this. The new “garden village” has the A38 on the doorstep but is let down by rail connections, so this would help those lovely developers sell new homes and add even more.

    Sure, dressing it up as a connection to the National Memorial Arboretum is one thing, but train operators will want the potential of more customers.

  10. Phil,they are pill boxes. I can render that the ones near the canal still had the old communication trench between them. Did not know they had been demolished. They were built to defend the canal and the aerodrome

  11. Kind of ironic, don’t you think, that in the West Mids railway planning doc it is made clear the re-opening of this line is only possible thanks to HS2. So his lobbying means nothing, either against HS2 or for this re-opening of a local line. HS2 allows West Mids to increase capacity on local lines so this is the one and only reason why Mr Fabricant is having these discussions. Strange that he has neglected to mention this fact at all, especially given his “strong and effective” anti-HS2 stance.

  12. This service as been long overdue having travelled on this route throughout my childhood taking in Burton-on-Trent through to Derby.
    The ability to remove vehicles of the road on to trains makes enormous sense. With Lichfield becoming a very large city due to the expansion of house building lets get moving?

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