The route to electrification on Britain’s railways has continued with the journey of the first ever train between Birmingham and Bromsgrove.
Engineers from both Network Rail and West Midlands Railway were on the test train, which made three return trips between the two destinations to ensure the testing ran smoothly.
Part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, the electrification of the line to Bromsgrove will improve passenger services by providing more trains each hour.
As it stands, there are two trains per hour in the peak time, and just one at off-peak hours.
The electrification will allow trains to travel closer together and as such, an extra three trains every hour will run.
The first electric train made between Birmingham and Bromsgrove was from West Midlands Railway and was undertaken to test the newly installed overhead power lines.
It is the same process undertaken in Blackpool as part of a wider roll out of electrified rail lines across the UK.
Following the testing of the Birmingham to Bromsgrove line, a full electric service will be introduced in the summer.
It also marked another significant milestone as overhead power lines will now be permanently used, carrying 25,000 volts of electricity for 24 hours a day.
Richard Brooks, who is Customer Experience Director for West Midlands Railway, described the testing as a “major step” forward.
“There is still more work to be done but the test train is a major step towards giving Bromsgrove the extra services the town needs. These are exciting times for the region.
“Rail travel in the West Midlands has never been more popular. We are investing almost £1 billion to create more and better journeys, helping to shape and support the region’s economy and identity.”
This project is another example of how digital rail progression is pushing forward at pace, and will continue to do so in the coming months and years.