Cross-City Railway Line
- the next obstacle

Join the LHCRT 'Tunnel Vision' campaign

The Lichfield Canal has to tunnel under the busy Cross-city railway line from Lichfield to Birmingham through a well-elevated embankment, a difficult obstacle in terms of railway management, especially where there are foundations for overhead line electrification equipment as there are in this case. 



In 2007, despite those in the "it can't be done" camp, when the Lichfield Southern Bypass was to reach Birmingham Road the Trust raised £490,000 without grants to install a canal culvert under the new roadway, stopping just short of the railway embankment.

Plans by County Highways to extend the Southern Bypass are well advanced where there is a vital Agreement in Principle with Network Rail to drive the road through and install a new railway bridge during a brief possession of the line, probably in late 2019. That means work must begin many months before that.

(The embankment is behind us)
Looking down the line of the restored canal


Artist's impression by  Peter Buck and Andrew Wood

Design specifications mean that the road and canal culvert have to stand apart by a short distance with the culvert still below road level, which obviously could have a dynamic influence on the bridge abutments. The work is such that it would be immensely more difficult and substantially more expensive to construct the culvert after the road is completed, and particularly so if proposals for two 400+ house developments either side of the railway go ahead.

Birmingham Rail Crossing  with adjacent canal  and community link. Sketch by PAB  Jan 2016   © LHCRT 

"Will 25 years of successful restoration be stopped in it's tracks and placed beyond reach?"


Whilst routine works still go ahead with modest funding streams, professional estimates put the cost of this tunnel under the railway upwards of £1 million.

In reality, this must be in hand by early 2019 so that contract commitments by the County Council can be made with certainty. It can be done, it must be done, but institutional funding is not the answer. Success depends on the heart of the nation in responding to the David Suchet "Tunnel Vision" Appeal.

Please help the David Suchet
'Tunnel Vision' appeal

Visit our 'Tunnel Vision' web-page

© Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust
Registered in England - No. 2456172
Charity (No 702429)