Work to construct Kenilworth Station officially began today (Friday July 29) after years of planning.
Kenilworth and Southam MP Jeremy Wright ceremoniously ‘broke ground’ with a shovel at the site in Priory Road to mark the start of the construction.
He said: “I think it’s worth recognising how far we’ve come. We had a number of false starts, but this day is confirmation that it’s really happening.
Referring to Network Rail’s reluctance to commit to electrifying the line and supplying double track, he said: “I think it’s a bump in the road, but we’ve had this many, many times. We’ve been told we weren’t going to get this for all sorts of things.
“Of course the service will be limited to begin with, but this is just the start of a multi-stage process. Getting the work started is a significant achievement in itself.”
He also expressed his desire for the station to eventually have a direct connection to London.
Deputy Leader of Warwickshire County Council Cllr Peter Butlin was delighted that work was finally beginning. He said: “It’s hard to imagine that a year from now a new station will service Kenilworth from this spot.
“The construction is the easy part. Getting all the different agencies in the same place ready to deliver is another matter.
“The station is futureproof - if and when Network Rail double the track they will deliver the extra platform.”
The station is expected to open in August 2017 with an hourly shuttle service between Leamington and Coventry run by London Midland.
And head of communications for London Midland Francis Thomas spoke of new trains which might be used on the line.
He said: “We’re trialling a D Train, used on the District Line of the London Underground, between Coventry and Nuneaton later this year.
“If it goes well, it will give us another option for Kenilworth.”