Kenilworth will get its first train service since the mid-1960s on Monday (30 April) , when its new station opens its doors.
Passengers using the new station, built on the site of the town’s former station, will benefit from an hourly service between Coventry and Leamington Spa, operated by West Midlands Railway, opening up new leisure, training and employment opportunities.
The Kenilworth Station project has been funded by the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), 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 station was designed in a partnership between Warwickshire County Council and the local train operator following consultation with local residents. It will feature an on-site retail unit offering a full range of tickets for travel across the UK, rail travel advice and a community café will open for business.
Passengers will also benefit from a covered cycle parking and a ticket vending machine. The station is fully accessible, with step-free access throughout, thanks to lifts and 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.
Monica Fogarty, Joint Managing Director of Warwickshire County Council, said:
"Now that the station is opening it is time to celebrate the completion of a very complex project and for the town of Kenilworth to celebrate that once again it has got a rail station. This will provide a real boon for the local economy, bringing visitors to the town and also giving Kenilworth residents the opportunity to travel across Warwickshire without having to get in the car.
"My heartfelt thanks go to all the people of Kenilworth who have shown such patience while the work was being carried out. I am sure the new station will make it all worthwhile."
Richard Brooks, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, said “This additional service between Coventry and Leamington Spa, calling at Kenilworth, is a great example of how West Midlands Railway is helping to boost the local economy, opening up new journey opportunities, linking people and places across the region.”
Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “Kenilworth station is a fantastic addition to the rail network. It will provide local people with regular services to Coventry and Leamington Spa and connections with services across Britain.
“The station supports our Railway Upgrade Plan and is an example of how third party investment can support economic growth while providing a better railway for passengers.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “We are currently investing in the most significant upgrade to our railways since Victorian times with faster, more comfortable trains and a greater number of services.
"Our New Stations Fund has provided £4.9 million to reopen Kenilworth station which has been closed for more than fifty years, to offer a vital service for passengers. Stations like Kenilworth have the potential to create jobs, connect communities and grow the vital economy here in the West Midlands.”