Sutton Coldfield train passengers can look forward to brand-new state-of-the-art electric trains next year, thanks to a massive £700 million investment.
Rail passengers using Blake Street, Butlers Lane, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, Wylde Green and Chester Road stations will all benefit from major investment in new trains serving the Cross-City line.
The Cross-City line is incredibly important to Sutton Coldfield and Birmingham, and is one of the region’s key commuter routes - but it’s true to say it has become a victim of its own success and is often overcrowded.
These state-of-the-art trains will make a real difference to Sutton commuters, not only with their modern new features but by adding extra capacity onto the services. These electric trains also offer an even greener alternative to the car and are key in the fight against air pollution and climate change.
Public transport has been one of the real success stories of the West Midlands in recent years, with every mode – train, bus, and tram – seeing an increase in use. Clearly, coronavirus has stalled that progress but we must not get knocked off course – and this huge investment shows we are determined to press ahead.
The brand-new electric trains will provide air conditioning, wifi, at-seat power and USB.
These improvements are key to my wider transport plan which includes transforming the region’s rail and metro network. I have been working with Sutton MP Andrew Mitchell on ambitions to re-open the Sutton Park Line, which could stop at new stations in Streetly, the Park, Reddicap Heath and Walmley.
We are already busy reopening our old railway lines across the region, in Camphill in the south of the City, and from Walsall to Wolverhampton in the Black Country.
Among the next series of lines we will be looking at is the Sutton Park Line, which runs from Aldridge through Walmley and round to Castle Bromwich and then into the city. In fact, we are already progressing the case for a station at Aldridge.
The last time the Park line was used for passengers was in 1965, but we aim to have a plan for bringing that back into use, which I think is really exciting news for Sutton Coldfield.