Richard Lutz on the continuing story of the Moseley/Kings Heath rail link.
Two years ago, we reported on secret plans to re-open the Moseley/Kings Heath railway line to passenger traffic .
Now, a Birmingham councillor has told a public meeting she believes it will be ready for passenger services in three years time. Cllr Lisa Trickett addressed the Re-Open Kings Heath Station meeting last week and said that rail platforms are being planned at Moseley, Kings Heath (opposite the aptly named Station pub) and Cartland Road. She pointed to 2021 as the time the trains begin using the revitalised line.
A report of the meeting said there could be four trains per hour. There is also a debate over whether the Hereford route will use the new line, but this would mean only one train per hour.
Questions were raised about car parking, particularly in Kings Heath, and also how the Highbury Park allotments will be affected. With pollution and the environment a major issue, Cllr Trickett accepted that she didn’t know yet if the new line would be electrified. Car parking could be located at the old cinema, in Kings Heath High Street, she ventured.
Separate from the meeting, experts realise that there are still major problems with updating the so-called Camp Hill Chords which link up the Moseley/Kings Heath Line with Moor Street station at Camp Hill roundabout. It’s understood that this difficult engineering issue could mean a delay of the re-opening until 2026, when HS2 is completed in the Birmingham area.
There was no mention of re-opening a station in Balsall Heath, which could lead to serious political ramifications.
Major issues still unknown include the speed of the trains; what happens to freight usage; price of tickets; and, whether the route will ultimately link up with other major lines at Kings Norton. Total costs are also publicly unknown. Sources said two years ago the final bill could be £200 million (at 2010 prices). The bulk of the cost will be for re building the troublesome Camp Hill Chords connection and the re-installation of modern stations.
More information at: #reopenkingsheathstation