Work on a new £11.5million railway station in Kenilworth continues, with the station set to open in December 2017.
An hourly service to Coventry and Leamington Spa will operate from the station, linking the town to national routes to both London and Birmingham.
Over 40 students studying Civil Engineering at Warwick visited the site on 14 March, receiving a presentation on the project, a tour, and insight into its design.
Kenilworth’s population now stands at over 24,000 people, a 50% increase since its previous station closed in 1965. It is hoped that the new station will ease congestion on existing rail routes and local roads.
Despite its close proximity to the University, located only 3 miles away from campus, Kenilworth’s student population is relatively small and mainly consists of postgraduates.
£5million of funding for the project is being contributed by the Department for Transport’s ‘New Station Fund’, with Warwickshire County Council and other local transport boards covering the rest.
The station was originally scheduled to open in December 2016, but signalling problems saw this date revised to August and later December 2017.
Some have raised concerns that the station’s shuttle service will not be enough, with railway writer Fraser Pithie telling the Leamington Observer that more frequent trains to a wider range of destinations would be needed to make it a success.
Other than easing congestion, the impact of the new station on Warwick students living outside of Kenliworth appears to be limited.
Claire Ingman, a first-year Philosophy and Literature student, commented: “The fact that trains will only go to Coventry and Leamington means that I can’t see myself or many other students using the station.”
Some have advocated for the construction of a train station on campus to ease travel and decrease the burden on the area’s buses. However, Shivank Nambiar, a first-year German and Business student noted: “While a station on campus would be hugely convenient for students, it wouldn’t serve much use to the local community outside of the University.
“I think the benefit to residents of Kenilworth will be huge, and after all its their tax which in part will go towards paying for it, which students don’t pay.”