Castle Bromwich as viewed from the top of the parish church and (inset) the plans referenced in Andy Street's blueprint for West Midlands transport in 2040.
(Image: Andy Street/Birmingham Live)
Could trains return to Castle Bromwich for the first time in more than 50 years? West Midlands Mayor Andy Street is talking up hopes of once again having a railway station to serve the area. He has outlined plans for "a third cross-city line" and reopening a route which was shut down decades ago.
"We are already making great progress in the Black Country, in South Birmingham," he said, in reference to restoring former links. "But the idea now - we're just putting in our bid - is that we'll also be able to reopen the old line that goes from the city centre, up through The Fort, to Castle Bromwich here and on into Sutton Coldfield and round to Walsall. The other idea is we're going to make it a cross-city line, linking up with the line out through Moseley and Kings Heath."
Castle Bromwich Station originally opened in the 19th century - the golden age of railways - and operated for more than a century. Shortly after the Second World War, there were even two services running on a Sunday. However, the dramatic increase in car ownership paved the way for a huge reduction of the rail network during the 1960s - with many stations and around a third of routes decommissioned.
Castle Bromwich was one among many casualties of the well-known Beeching cuts, with passenger services finally ceasing in 1968.
A diesel train pictured at Castle Bromwich in 1955
-just over a decade before the long-established station closed.
There has been talk of reviving a Castle Bromwich service for many years, although Mr Street has reignited the debate with the promise of a new round of bids to central government's Restoring your Railways fund.
Meriden's MP, Saqib Bhatti, said he was "delighted" by the proposal. "This investment in our transport infrastructure will link my constituency to the rest of the West Midlands and bring new jobs and opportunities to people in Castle Bromwich," he said.