The Redditch & Evesham Line Barnt Green through Redditch and Evesham to Ashchurch
The line was built by three separate companies, and opened in four stages between 1859 and 1868. However, the Midland Railway had seen the potential, and backed the nominally independent companies and furthermore, each section of the line was operated by the Midland Railway. Although the line was never originally conceived as a strategic route, it was developed gradually from a desire to keep competitors at bay into a useful diversionary route. The line proved prosperous as it served the developing manufacturing towns of Redditch and Alcester. Passenger traffic was normally fairly light, but the area served also brought a good deal of day trippers from the Birmingham area at weekends and holidays. The growth of Redditch as a New Town created a level of passenger traffic never previously imagined, and the surviving line has a frequency of trains that are the envy of much larger towns. It now forms the southern end of the electrified 'Cross City' rail link from Lichfield through Birmingham.