IT’S full steam ahead for Kenilworth’s new rail station.
Ground works have now begun on the £12million Priory Road station which will see trains travelling through the town for the first time since 1965.
The new station design, which includes a main station building and footbridge, has been designed in a ‘heritage’ style, incorporating design elements from the original station, including two original stained glass windows and a Kenilworth rail station sign salvaged from the town’s former station.
London Midland and Warwickshire County Council have been working together to develop the specification for the new station building, which will also include a ticket office and a community cafe.
While heritage in design, it will feature 21st mod cons including cycle facilities and public wi-fi access, plus an external ticket vending machine.
The station’s new bridge will mean train services will be accessible from both sides of the track.
A new track will be laid through Kenilworth along with the construction of a new line at Leamington Station. There will also be a number of signalling upgrades.
It is hoped Kenilworth will be a town centre ‘destination’ station, encouraging tourists and shoppers to visit by rail, while also providing a new community facility.
The Department for Transport’s New Station Fund is contributing £5million to the total cost, with the remainder provided by local transport bodies and Warwickshire County Council.
The work is set to be finished early next year with the new London Midland service from Coventry to Leamington scheduled to start running from the summer.
Warwickshire County Council spokesman Coun Philip Johnson said: “The new rail station will greatly benefit the people and businesses of the town. Improving transport infrastructure in the county is a main priority for the council.
“The station will bring various benefits to Kenilworth, attracting visitors and improving the local economy, while enabling people living in the town to reach a wide variety of destinations by train within just one change.”
London Midland Commercial director, Richard Brooks, said: “We are really looking forward to running the new service. Rail travel has never been more popular and demand is growing all the time. The new Kenilworth station will make journeys easier and simpler for people travelling between Coventry and Leamington.”
The new station site was a railway station for over a century from 1844 to 1965.
But the station closed to both goods and passenger traffic as part of the infamous ‘Beeching cuts’. The original station was demolished a number of years later.