A PLAN to give millions of people in central England direct access to HS2 and Birmingham Airport by reconstructing a railway that last carried passengers 97 years ago is being unveiled today.
The proposal is being made by Railnews editorial director Alan Marshall and specialist quantity surveyor Michael Byng, who both live in Warwickshire near the route of the former 11.7km Stonebridge Railway, which used to run from a junction near the present-day Coleshill Parkway station roughly south to another junction between Birmingham International and Hampton-in-Arden.
It was the original link between the East Midlands and London in the early days of railways, but was closed to passengers in 1916 and then to all traffic in 1933.
However, much of the alignment remains intact and – crucially – will be crossed by HS2 close to the planned Birmingham Interchange station, near Birmingham Airport, the National Exhibition Centre and the existing Birmingham International station.
The proposal to restore the line is particularly relevant to Birmingham Airport’s plans to be an alternative to airport expansion in South East England, and will be included in the airport’s evidence to be submitted this month to the Commission led by Sir Howard Davies investigating future airport capacity requirements.
The authors say rebuilding the old railway would be key to creating a major transportation hub alongside the M6 and M42 motorways, HS2, the nearby NEC and the present Birmingham International station, as well as Birmingham Airport itself.
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