The McClean Way is an old South Staffs Railway line between Walsall & Lichfield. With the tracks pulled up in 1984 the route was left to overgrow and fill with rubbish. Over the years there was talk of resurrecting the rail line. In 2016 a group of passionate locals formed ‘Back the Track’ and launched a campaign to resurrect the old line as a greenway for cyclists and others to enjoy.
Back the Track has a website with lots of information about their work and campaigning and you can make a donation:
The McClean way has been named after John Robinson McClean an engineer whose achievements in and around the Brownhills area were equal to those of, ‘Isambard Kingdom Brunnel’ and ‘Thomas Telford’.
I cycled up this way when I first moved to North Birmingham. I stumbled upon the old railway line out of Walsall whilst on a rambling ride, it started as a nice gravel track, but I was soon fighting my way through mud baths and jungle. I turned around and cycled home. The route has been much improved since then.
Our last ride along the Curly Wyrley didn’t get up as far as the intersection with the McClean Way. I’d seen on Brownhills Bob’s blog the new steps that had been built to connect the line with the canal above. To get some much needed training in the the NC500 ride and as part of our Project139, Mary & I decided to ride up the newly sign posted McClean way and have a look-see.
It is a wonderful ride out of Walsall. There were lots of volunteers out working hard to clean and clear the route. It’s quite an achievement and a fabulous local resource. It currently terminates at Brownhills. I really hope they manage to raise enough to purchase the rest of the track from Network Rail and complete the route through to Lichfield.
Maybe one day it will be possible to ride to Lichfield on the Curly Wyrley and come back on the McClean Way! Wouldn’t that be something!
Watch the video for the location of a hidden badge!
Thank you for reading
See you out there
Sarah & Mary
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