RAIL commuters were back on track this morning (Monday) after the line between Barnt Green and Redditch reopened.
Train services between the two stations resumed following an eight-week closure to create a second track to allow a train every 20 minutes to run into Birmingham as of December.
The £100million investment saw nearly 3km of new railway built from Alvechurch Station towards Redditch, Alvechurch Station has also been redeveloped with an additional platform, new footbridge and lifts.
And to thank those affected by the closure, staff from both London Midland and Network Rail were at Redditch, Barnt Green and Alvechurch station to speak to passengers and give them some breakfast.
Liam Sumpter, area director for Network Rail, said: “The completion of this work is the first significant phase of the £100million improvement package being delivered across north Worcestershire.
“The additional train in each direction will mean passengers travelling between Redditch and Barnt Green – and on the Cross City line generally – will benefit from a much improved service while passengers using Alvechurch Station have better access and facilities.”
Mark Goodall, London Midland’s head of Cross City services, said: “We worked extremely hard to implement an effective rail replacement operation for our customers over the last eight weeks, and I thank everyone who has travelled with us for their patience.
“The new station facilities at Alvechurch are extremely impressive, and we look forward to the implementation of the winter timetable when all passengers on the route will benefit from an improved rail service.”
Mike Ponsonby, the chairman of Bromsgrove Rail User Group, welcomed the completion of the works which, he said, would equalise the journey times between Barnt Green and Bromsgrove with those from Barnt Green to Redditch, enabling the trains to run smoothly and the increased services to be offered.
“Bromsgrove Rail User Group are delighted to congratulate Network Rail on a well-planned and well implemented project leading to the first new station in Alvechurch in 175 years.
“This will give a better service for all rail users in the area,” he added.