Today, the line is used by freight trains, by Cross Country Trains on the Manchester – Bristol – Exeter service, and as an alternative route into Birmingham New Street when the main line via Bournville is congested.
Plans to restore local passenger services are currently being implemented. There are further plans to connect the line to Birmingham Moor Street by means of a new chord at Bordesley (see diagram further down the page).
Camp Hill Line and planned stations | © OpenStreetMap contributors | OpenStreetMap copyright notice | View context mapThe line has been identified by Campaign for a Better Transport as a priority 1 candidate for reopening. West Midlands Mayor Andy Street also supports the reopening of the line as part of his Midlands Metro 2040 vision.
View full size map (opens in a new tab)
As part of the the Midlands Metro plan, trains on the Camp Hill Line and those from Nuneaton and Tamworth will terminate at Birmingham Moor Street rather than Birmingham New Street. This will necessitate the construction of two short connecting lines, the Camp Hill or Bordesley Chords, in the vicinity of Bordesley station. The following image (view source and critique) shows the proposed layout:
In 2020 Midlands Connect, the promoter of the chords project, made a successful bid for development funding from the the Restoring Your Railway Fund. This will enable it to progress the project towards the business case stage.
The following stations are planned for reopening by 2021 with two trains per hour operated by West Midlands Railway:
Plans for an additional station at Balsall Heath, possibly on the site of the former Brighton Road station, have been put on hold due to funding constraints (see here).
Balsall Heath appears on Andy Street’s Midlands Metro – 2040 Vision map (opens in a new tab).
Under plans being worked up, the Camp Hill line would reopen to passenger services for the first time since 1941. The scheme is being jointly being worked on by West Midlands Rail Executive, Transport for West Midlands, West Midlands Railway and Network Rail. Planning for the Moseley railway station was delayed because of engineering issues connected with the historic Moseley Tunnel at the end of the platform. Two other railway stations, which will also be built in Kings Heath and Hazelwell, are ready to go ahead having already gained approval.
Source: Plan in for station on £40m revived Birmingham rail line, on Construction Enquirer website (May 2020).
Please help us understand what’s what
Do you fully grasp the relationship between West Midlands Combined Authority, Midlands Connect, Midlands Rail Hub and Midlands Metro?+ This is our understanding
Midlands Connect is a multi-stakeholder sub-national transport body. West Midlands Combined Authority is one of the constituent organisations.
Midlands Connect was established in October 2015 with one objective: to determine what transport infrastructure was needed to boost the region’s economy. Our partnership is made up of 22 local authorities, nine Local Enterprise Partnerships, East Midlands and Birmingham airports, and chambers of commerce stretching from the Welsh border to the Lincolnshire coast. The partnership also includes the Department for Transport, Network Rail, Highways England and HS2 Ltd, who we work alongside to drive an unprecedented level of collaboration for the good of the Midlands and the UK.
Source: Midlands Connect – Who we are.
Midlands Engine is a marketing theme, like Northern Powerhouse.
Midlands Rail Hub is a programme of railway line and station opening and reopening schemes such as the Camp Hill Line described on this page. Midlands Connect is the programme promoter.
Midlands Metro (see map here – opens in a new tab) is a glimmer in the eye of Andy Street and forms part of his re-election manifesto. Tony Lee is Andy Street’s Strategic Political and Campaign Advisor, based in Selly Oak.
Transport for West Midlands is the public body responsible for co-ordinating transport services in the West Midlands metropolitan county in England. It is an executive body of the West Midlands Combined Authority, with bus franchising and highway management powers similar to Transport for London. Source: Wikipedia.
West Midlands Rail Executive is a British municipally owned corporation which was formed to manage rail transport policy in the West Midlands region of England. It is jointly owned by a partnership of 16 local authorities. Source: Wikipedia.
New stations on the Camp Hill Line (pdf), West Midlands Rail Executive