Good morning, Mark. A very good read, once again - thanks! But Dudley, capital of the Black Country, gets a shuttle tram service to ferry people to the national railway network on a mainline railway that is already more important than the mainline railway passengers are shuttled to!! And Station Hotel will have to renamed Tram Stop Hotel.
A possible 7 new railway stations (3 for Brum) but a definite 17 tram stops for Wednesbury to Brierley Hill tram extension. From the Express and Star I have copied and pasted the Magnificent Seven Stations. My suggestions in blue:
Willenhall and Darlaston St James on a restored Walsall-Wolverhampton service. BUT, this service was underused in the last decade and soon stopped. The difference, this time, seems to be two stations being built, first. Yet, there is a good, frequent Platinum bus service between Walsall and Wolverhampton. Should not all available money be going to complete the 120 Kms Black Country Railway "of national strategic significance" (Network Rail and DfT) FIRST? Only then do Wolverhampton to Walsall to Sutton Coldfield to Brum for passenger trains.
Merry Hill Shopping Centre, which would sit on the Walsall – Stourbridge line. Please could journalists call it the Black Country Mainline Railway. Merry Hill gets the tram which will wreck the high and landscaped canal embankment that has to be rebuilt to take the heavy trams. It does get a tram stop, only but, on the high embankment. Some kind of link will still have to be provided into the shopping centre. SIMPLER TO: Reinstate the Black Country Railway and the driverless Shop-Rail Link but, this time, remember to connect it to the railway line!! Merry Hill and the DY5 Enterprise Zone then gets a railway station on the railway "of national strategic significance".
With my suggestion, everything is upgraded from tram to proper railway with stations linked to buses. AND, there are no changes between train to tram and back to train again to make progress across the Black Country between Worcester and Derby. ALL OF THIS AT A FRACTION OF THE PRICE OF THE GROSSLY EXTRAVAGANT TRAM, especially if you start with diesel locos and, then, Alstom's hydrogen electric train!
West Midland Safari Park located on the Severn Valley Railway. W Mids Railway working together with SVR is brilliant. And, learning from SVR how to reopen railways.
Moseley, Kings Heath and Hazelwell on the Camp Hill line. This was going to be another tram line until quite recently - 2015!!
But completing the 120 Kms Black Country Railway gets spoilt for ever by 6.7 Kms of tram lines and tram stops, a test track, an innovation centre, a trail of trees, Himalayan Balsam and a jungle of undergrowth!
"I am absolutely committed to restoring some of the routes that were lost under Dr Beeching. You've got routes that are still there with freight trains running on them in what are busy city areas. It makes no sense at all to me not to restore passenger services. It's blindingly obvious this Moseley line and the Walsall to Wolverhampton line I visited earlier are places linking important centres and important commuter routes and there should be trains running on them. We are trying to deliver a revolution in commuter railways in Birmingham." Chris Grayling quoted by James RodgerAdvanced Content Writer BIRMINGHAM LIVE 13 APR 2018
What about delivering a revolution in commuter railways in the Black Country, too, Mr Grayling? We get pedestrian trams at 22 mph average speed and stops at every 650 metres on a half used railway "of national strategic significance". (Network Rail and DfT on 8 March 2018 in a letter to me)