Kenilworth today (Monday April 30) saw its first train service since the mid-1960s when its new station opened to passengers.
The station is being served by an hourly service between Coventry and Leamington Spa as part of the region’s new, locally managed rail franchise which will bring a near £1 billion investment into the local network over the next eight years.
Kenilworth Station and other improvements including 20,000 more rush hour seats into Birmingham, 100 new carriages on the Cross City line and 80 new carriages for the Snow Hill lines have been built into the new franchise by West Midlands Rail (WMR), a consortium of 16 local councils in close collaboration with the Department for Transport (DfT).
Malcolm Holmes, WMR’s executive director and director of rail at Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), said: “This new station opens up new opportunities for those who commute from Kenilworth each day as well as for those wanting to visit other places for leisure or shopping.
“But, of course, the station will also make it easier for people from elsewhere in the West Midlands and beyond to come and experience Kenilworth’s historic attractions.
“The station can bring significant benefits for the local economy of Kenilworth and WMR has worked hard to make sure the rail franchise can take maximum advantage of it.”
The Kenilworth Station project has been funded by Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Warwickshire County Council and £4.9m from the Department for Transport’s New Stations Fund.
It is part of a major rail investment scheme to boost economic regeneration between Nuneaton and Leamington Spa and support sustainable travel, including more reliable signalling between Coventry and Nuneaton, and new stations at Bermuda Park and Coventry Arena.
The facility, built on the site of the town’s former station, has been designed in partnership between Warwickshire County Council and the local train operator following consultation with local residents.
It features an on-site retail unit offering a full range of tickets for travel across the UK, rail travel advice and will include a community café.
Passengers will also benefit from covered cycle parking and a ticket vending machine. The station is fully accessible, with step-free access throughout, thanks to lifts and a footbridge. It also has a new 72 space car park.
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. These features were donated by Kenilworth residents and have contributed to the heritage feel of the station, this having been requested by the local community.