Cross City line flood protection work to bring more reliable journeys

Network Rail are undertaking drainage improvement work on the Cross City line south throughout May to offer more reliable journeys.

Barnt Green drainage

Credit: Network Rail

Railway improvements on the Cross City line south will bring faster and more reliable journeys for passengers thanks to upcoming work to prevent heavy rainfall flooding tracks and causing delays.

Network Rail is carrying out major drainage upgrades between Barnt Green and Longbridge over three weekends on:

  • 6 and 7 May
  • 13 and 14 May
  • 21 and 22 May.

When trackside drainage overflows onto railway lines (see video below), trains have to slow down and if rails are completely submerged underwater the railway has to close. The weekend improvement work will reduce the risk of flooding and prevent speed restrictions on the busy route between Birmingham and Cheltenham Spa.

For the essential work to take place, some sections of the Cross City line between Birmingham and Redditch/Bromsgrove will need to close – including over the weekend of the King’s Coronation. To keep passengers on the move rail replacement buses will be in operation throughout the railway improvements.

“These drainage improvements to the Cross City line will mean better, smoother and more reliable journeys for passengers and freight in future,” Denise Wetton, Network Rail’s Central Route Director, said. “However, upgrading drainage systems like this means we have no choice but to close sections of railway to get to the drains beneath the tracks.”

 “It’s important that Network Rail can carry out these vital drainage improvements so that we can continue to deliver comfortable and reliable journeys for our passengers travelling between Birmingham and Cheltenham and beyond,” Nick Chadwick, CrossCountry’s Regional Managing Director for West Midlands & North West, said. “I’d advise anybody planning to travel with us over these weekends in May to plan their journey and leave extra time to get to their destination, and I want to thank customers in advance for their patience while this work takes place.”

“The track upgrades by Network Rail will reduce flooding risks and ensure more reliable journeys for our passengers travelling on the Cross City line,” Jonny Wiseman, Customer Experience Director at West Midlands Railway, said. “I advise passengers to check their journeys and plan ahead as services travelling south on the Cross City line will be affected for three weekends in May.”

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