Flood protection planned for Cross City Line

19 April 2023
Network Rail to upgrade drainage between Barnt Green and Longbridge over three weekends in May, following problematic flooding.

Network Rail has said that 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. "Major drainage upgrades" between Barnt Green and Longbridge over three weekends on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7, Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 and, Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 May will see the line closed. Passengers are being advised to plan their journeys ahead of the essential railway improvements by visiting The National Rail website.

Watch trackside drainage overflowing onto railway lines in January this year after wet weather, below:

Network rail added, "When flooding occurs, 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."

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.

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Denise Wetton, Network Rail’s Central route director, said: “These drainage improvements to the Cross City line will mean better, smoother and more reliable journeys for passengers and freight in future. “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. I’d urge anyone wanting to travel at weekends in May – in particular over the weekend of the King’s Coronation - to please check National Rail Enquiries to plan their journeys. I’d also like to thank passengers in advance for their patience.”


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