Electrification of the Shrewsbury-Wolverhampton railway could generate up to £500 million of benefits for businesses and residents according to a Midlands Connect feasibility study.
If the proposals were adopted, line speeds would be upgraded from the present 70-75mph to 90mph, with Shrewsbury-Birmingham journey times cut from 56 minutes to 45 minutes. Time savings to passengers are valued at up to £377 million and the reduced road traffic and other environmental benefits at up to £145 million. The electrification and speed upgrades would also benefit passengers using the Cambrian Coast line to Aberystwyth and Pwllheli.
The plans also suggest an hourly service between Shrewsbury and London calling at Wellington and Telford, which would effectively double service frequency to Birmingham International when capacity is released by completion of High Speed 2 Phase 1.
MC will now commission a more detailed engineering study and engage with the Department for Transport and Network Rail to agree how proposals can be developed. It is also speaking to promoters of new stations at Shrewsbury Parkway and Tettenhall. This stage will deliver a Strategic Outline Business Case and make the case for funding to go further to the Outline Business Case.