The newly-appointed Rail Minister says a plan to create a passenger service between Lichfield and Alrewas is on her radar after a visit to the city.

Malcolm Holmes (West Midlands Rail Executive) Philippa Rawlinson (National Memorial Arboretum), Rail Minister Wendy Morton and Michael Fabricant
Malcolm Holmes (West Midlands Rail Executive) Philippa Rawlinson (National Memorial Arboretum), Rail Minister Wendy Morton and Michael Fabricant

Wendy Morton MP and a team from the Department of Transport and Network Rail met Michael Fabricant MP and representatives from the National Memorial Arboretum.

After visiting Lichfield Trent Valley they saw the proposed site of a station at Alrewas.

“It’s been great to be hear and study this proposal in detail.

“Clearly it has a huge amount of support not only from Michael Fabricant, but other MPs in the area, the National Memorial Arboretum, the county, the parish of Alrewas and the Mayor of the West Midlands as it will link with the cross city line into Birmingham and beyond.

“I can fully understand how this scheme has the potential to reduce the pressure of road traffic on the busy A38 and improve rail connectivity in this part of the Midlands.

“The visit has put this scheme very much on my radar for the future.”

Wendy Morton MP

Michael Fabricant, MP for Lichfield, said the proposed station at Alrewas would have major benefits.

“For relatively little cost the existing line and signalling can be upgraded to provide a regular passenger service which meaning that the 500,000 or so visitors expected each year to the National Memorial Arboretum will be able to access it by public transport from anywhere in the UK and relieve pressure on the road system.”

Michael Fabricant MP

Mr Fabricant said he hoped funding allocations could be made within two to three years in order to bring the scheme to fruition.

“Alleviate pressure on the local road network”

The National Memorial Arboretum
The National Memorial Arboretum

Philippa Rawlinson, managing director of the National Memorial Arboretum, said:

“The provision of new regular passenger service would be hugely beneficial.

“As the nation’s year-round place to remember, we are committed to improving accessibility for visitors who rely on public transport or those who wish to use more sustainable methods to travel.

“Every year we are proud to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors from the Midlands, other UK regions and even further afield, all of them eager to pay tribute to the incredible people who serve our country as members of the Armed Forces, emergency services and voluntary groups.

“A railway station serving the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas would also help alleviate pressure on the local road network when the site is very busy due to events, especially those of significant national importance which can attract thousands of attendees, such as the dedication of the UK Police Memorial last year.”

Philippa Rawlinson, National Memorial Arboretum

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  1. It would be cheaper to re-instate the bus service which used to run from Lichfield to the Arboretum – and would also prevent the destruction of more land under a railway station and its carpark. Please people Think about the environmental impacts!

  2. Isn’t the line from Lichfield to Birmingham electrified? No mention of an upgrade for the line to Burton. Are the present trains to be swopped for diesels?

  3. Not sure how much difference it would make to the National Memorial Arboretum, but there are some big flat fields around the proposed station site that look ideal for a lucrative new Birmingham commuter housing development. But of course that would increase traffic on the A38, not reduce it.

  4. I get public transport (bus) to the garage near to the level crossing and walk to the Arboretum with no problem. The only day I cannot get there is a Sunday.

  5. The station is being built to support the 1500 homes they are going to build.

    An agreement has been reached as part of a plan which could see a new community of 1,500 homes created in Alrewas.

    Philippa Rawlinson, managing director of the arboretum, said the proposals could also see the creation of a new train station to serve the area.

  6. Whilst I believe there is a genuine plea from those at the NMA for better transport links, I fear this is hiding LDCs desire for more housing on green fields “isn’t that the real reason Mr Fabricant is supporting”

  7. The opening of passenger services on the existing line from Lichfield Trent Valley to Burton, Derby and beyond has been an obvious way to improve local transport between these towns and the West Midlands Rail Executive supports this, which is why Malcolm Holmes is in this picture. This line is cleared for passenger service as it is used from time to time as a diversion from railway works elsewhere. For a daily passenger service there probably needs to be an upgrade to signalling, but the main issue is that the line is not electrified, so as using diesel powered trains is not politically acceptable or good for the environment, and electrification has a very high capital cost; the alternative could be to replace the diesel generators in the trains with hydrogen fuels cells which has been done in the Hydroflex train conversion developed 4 years ago by Birmingham University and Porterbrook that leases much of the UK rolling stock; the advantage of retrofitting existing trains is that this can be done one at a time at low cost compared with electrification of a whole line.

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