KENILWORTH will get its first train service in over half a century on Monday (30 April) when its new station opens for business.
Passengers using the new station, built on the site of the town’s former station, will benefit from an hourly service between Coventry and Leamington, operated by West Midlands Railway. The first train is scheduled to pull out of the station bound for Leamington at 6.16am.
The £13.6million station – the opening of which is four months later than expected – has been funded by the Government’s Local Growth Fund through Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Warwickshire County Council, and the Department for Transport’s New Stations Fund.
The new Station Road station – on the site of the town’s former station which closed in 1965 as part of the so-called Beeching Cuts – also includes a ticket office, 72-space car park and cycle parking.
The station was designed in a partnership between the county council and the local train operator following consultation with local residents.
The design has embraced the history of the site, with two stained glass windows and a vintage sign salvaged from the original station building, demolished in the 1980s.
Monica Fogarty, county council joint managing director, said: “Now that the station is opening it is time to celebrate the completion of a very complex project and for the town of Kenilworth to celebrate that once again it has got a rail station.
“This will provide a real boon for the local economy, bringing visitors to the town and also giving Kenilworth residents the opportunity to travel across Warwickshire without having to get in the car.
“My heartfelt thanks go to all the people of Kenilworth who have shown such patience while the work was being carried out. I am sure the new station will make it all worthwhile.”
Richard Brooks, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, said: “This additional service between Coventry and Leamington Spa, calling at Kenilworth, is a great example of how West Midlands Railway is helping to boost the local economy, opening up new journey opportunities, linking people and places across the region.”
Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “Kenilworth station is a fantastic addition to the rail network. It will provide local people with regular services to Coventry and Leamington Spa and connections with services across Britain.
“The station supports our Railway Upgrade Plan and is an example of how third party investment can support economic growth while providing a better railway for passengers.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “We are currently investing in the most significant upgrade to our railways since Victorian times with faster, more comfortable trains and a greater number of services.
“Our New Stations Fund has provided £4.9 million to reopen Kenilworth station which has been closed for more than fifty years, to offer a vital service for passengers. Stations like Kenilworth have the potential to create jobs, connect communities and grow the vital economy here in the West Midlands”