Railway investment means changes to trains in the West Midlands this Christmas and New Year

Press Releases   •   Dec 12, 2017 14:59 GMT

Train customers in the West Midlands are being urged to plan journeys in advance and allow extra time over the festive period while work takes place to make the railway more reliable.


West Midlands Trains Finalises £680m Deal For New Trains With Bombardier and CAF

Press Releases   •   Dec 12, 2017 14:25 GMT

Abellio, JR East and Mitsui have today finalised their deal with Bombardier Trains and Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) to manufacture 107 new trains for the new West Midlands franchise, which commenced this Sunday. The financing is being led by Corelink Rail Infrastructure, a joint venture between Infracapital and Deutsche Asset Management.


West Midlands Trains starts £1 billion investment into the UK rail network

Press Releases   •   Dec 11, 2017 17:21 GMT

Today marks the start of the £1 billion investment into the West Midlands franchise network by West Midlands Trains (WMT), a joint venture between Abellio, JR East and Mitsui.


Check before you travel on Monday

Press Releases   •   Dec 10, 2017 19:01 GMT

London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway are advising passengers to check before they travel on Monday ( 11 December). Both operators plan to run as full a service as possible. However further snow falls and freezing temperatures overnight may make road access to stations and depots difficult.


Do Not Travel

Press Releases   •   Dec 10, 2017 10:37 GMT

Local train operators are advising passengers not to travel this Sunday. London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway are attempting to run as many trains as possible. However poor road conditions are preventing key staff from getting to work. This will lead to a significant amount of delays and cancellations throughout the day.

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Abellio, JR East and Mitsui announce £680M new trains for the next West Midlands Rail franchise; 413 electric and diesel carriages to be manufactured by Bombardier and CAF

News   •   Dec 09, 2017 18:16 GMT

Abellio, JR East and Mitsui have today announced that Bombardier Trains and Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) have been selected to manufacture 107 new trains for the next West Midlands franchise, the financing of which is being led by Infracapital and Deutsche Asset Management.

These trains will be made up of 413 carriages and cost £680m; part of the near £1bn investment into the franchise that Abellio, JR East and Mitsui will be overseeing in the coming years.

The new trains will provide space for an extra 85,000 passengers on rush hour services into Birmingham and London. Journeys will be faster and more comfortable, with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and in-seat power sockets provided as standard.

Bombardier will produce 333 electric carriages made up of 90mph 36 x 3 car trains for metro services and 110mph 45 x 5 car trains for outer suburban and long distance configurations. They will be built at Bombardier's facility in Derby.

CAF will produce 80 diesel carriages made up of 12 x 2 car trains and 14 x 4 car trains which will provide dedicated services for journeys to the towns and cities around Birmingham.

The new trains will be essential for delivery of the increased capacity and improved journey times required on the franchise. By the end of the franchise there will be 25% more train carriages available than at the start.

The trains will be leased to the new West Midlands rail franchise, as is standard practice.

Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport said:

"We are delivering the biggest rail modernisation programme for over a century. West Midlands passengers will see longer, more frequent trains, faster journeys and a more reliable service for passengers. This is part of a huge investment happening up and down the country and will make a real difference to passengers.

"This investment reflects our commitment, and that of train operators, to put passengers at the heart of everything we do."

Dominic Booth, Managing Director of Abellio UK said:

"We are delighted to award this work to Bombardier and CAF, which means we are now overseeing £3bn of investment into 1700 new carriages across all our franchises.

"It is great news that so many of these trains will be produced in the UK. As a company, we are committed to working with the government to strengthen the British economy and deliver thousands of high-quality jobs over the coming years."

Richard Hunter, UK Managing Director, Bombardier Transportation said:

"Being selected for this important order is another huge endorsement of our workforce and the quality of the products we design, engineer and manufacture here in the UK. Our modern Aventra trains will be built in the Midlands for the Midlands, and provide passengers with greater connectivity, reliability and shorter journey times."

Richard Garner, Business Development Director for UK and Ireland at CAF said:

"This is fantastic news and builds upon recent success in securing contracts to supply new trains for the Northern and TransPennine franchises. This opportunity consolidates CAF's position as one of the leading manufacturers of trains in the UK market and is a fabulous achievement in CAF's centenary year."

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West Midlands Trains' Top Team Announced

News   •   Nov 30, 2017 16:17 GMT

Following last week’s announcement that Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde has been appointed Managing Director of West Midlands Trains (WMT), his top team for the franchise can now be announced. They are:

  • Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, Managing Director;
  • Adrian Thompson, HR Director;
  • Neil Bamford, Engineering Director;
  • Andy Camp, Commercial Director;
  • Lesley Heath, Head of Safety and Environment;
  • David Lindsay, Finance Director;
  • Mark Steward, Operations Director;
  • Richard Brooks, West Midlands Customer Service Director;
  • Andrew Conroy, West Coast Customer Service Director; and
  • Jane Fisher, Transition and Projects Director.

Adrian Thompson has been appointed to the new role of HR Director. Adrian has undertaken a number of HR roles within Abellio over the last 18 months including interim cover for the HR Director vacancy in ScotRail. Prior to this he was the HR Director at Northern Rail.

Current London Midland (LM) Asset Maintenance Director, Neil Bamford, will become Engineering Director. Neil started his career with British Rail and was Head of Fleet at CrossCountry before joining LM. He will be instrumental in bringing the new trains onto the network on time and within budget as part of the £680m investment WMT is making in rolling stock.

Andy Camp will be the new Commercial Director after several years doing the same job at Greater Anglia. Andy joined Greater Anglia in 2012 following a successful career in commercial outside the rail industry. He will be a strong asset to the business in maximising commercial value, while providing the best possible travelling experience for passengers.

Lesley Heath will stay on as Head of Safety and Environment with the role being upgraded to an executive position. Lesley is an experienced safety professional, joining LM in 2015 and previously undertaking a number of safety roles in other TOCs including East Coast, GWR, Merseyrail and ScotRail.

Moving into the Finance Director role will be David Lindsay, who was the finance lead on the Abellio bid team for WMT. David has been with Abellio – one of WMT’s parent companies – for six years, originally joining as a finance manager and progressing to bid workstream leader. He now takes the step up into the WMT top team.

Mark Steward will become Operations Director for the new franchise having previously spent a short time as Passenger Services Director for London Midland. Mark has a wealth of operational experience having worked in the former Silverlink franchise as well as for other TOCs – most recently South West Trains, where he was Operations Director up until August.

The West Midlands and West Coast Customer Service Director positions are new to the franchise, created to reflect the two business units within WMT. Richard Brooks, the current LM Commercial Director, will take on the role of West Midlands Customer Service Director, covering the area in and around Birmingham, and will work closely with West Midlands Rail and the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Doing Richard’s equivalent role for the West Coast part of the franchise will be Andrew Conroy. Andrew has worked on the WMT mobilisation team for the last three months having previously been Customer Service Director for East Midlands Trains. He will cover the West Coast Main Line from Euston all the way to Crewe and Liverpool, as well as several branch lines, all under the new London Northwestern brand.

Also coming in from within the WMT bid team is Jane Fisher. Jane has worked on the West Midlands bid for the last two years, being Deputy Director when the bid was put together and Mobilisation Director thereafter. She comes in as Transition and Projects Director which will allow her to build on the strong foundations created during mobilisation and ensure the franchise stays on track to achieve everything committed to in the new contract.

Incoming Managing Director of WMT, Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, said:

“This team provides an effective blend of Abellio experience, continuity from the existing successful London Midland team and some new talent, as we deliver nearly £1bn of investment into the network over the next eight years.

“The new franchise starts on 10th December 2017 and we are very much looking forward to getting started, delivering all the benefits we’ve committed to for passengers across the franchise, including over 100 new trains and £60m of station improvements.”

About the new West Midlands franchise

Abellio UK, JR East and Mitsui will be running the next West Midlands rail franchise from 10 December 2017 until 2025/6. Abellio has a 70.1% share of the company and JR East and Mitsui own the remaining 29.9% in a 50:50 split.

The new plans for the franchise include:

  • Nearly £1bn invested into the network over the course of the franchise;
  • £680m investment into new trains with 413 new carriages manufactured by Bombardier and CAF, creating space for an extra 85,000 passengers on rush hour services in Birmingham and London;
  • £70m invested in new and existing depots to improve train reliability;
  • Over £60m invested in station improvements delivering over 1,000 new car parking spaces and over 2,500 cycle parking spaces. This is alongside new and refurbished waiting rooms, more seats at stations and feasibility studies into developing new stations in the West Midlands;
  • A greater choice of travel options for passengers thanks to the introduction of new Sunday services by 2021. This includes services from Birmingham to Shrewsbury and between Bedford and Bletchley;
  • Greater provision of passenger information with audio visual displays on all trains by the end of 2019 as well as 800 new digital customer information screens across the network;
  • Free Wi-Fi on all trains by the end of December 2019;
  • The creation of over 900 new apprenticeships over the course of the franchise, with existing staff benefitting from a £13m investment in staff training and development; and
  • An investment of £1.25m into community rail initiatives.

​Following last week’s announcement that Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde has been appointed Managing Director of West Midlands Trains (WMT), his top team for the franchise has now been announced.

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Merseyrail’s Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde appointed Managing Director of West Midlands Trains

News   •   Nov 30, 2017 16:17 GMT

Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde has today been appointed as Managing Director of West Midlands Trains, which will take over the next West Midlands franchise on 10 December. He joins from Merseyrail where he has been MD since 2015.


London Northwestern brand being brought back to the UK Rail Network

News   •   Nov 30, 2017 16:17 GMT

​Abellio, JR East and Mitsui have today announced that London Northwestern will replace London Midland’s west coast services for the next West Midlands rail franchise, which starts on 10 December.

Contacts 2 contacts

For media inquiries about West Midlands Trains, London Northwestern Railway or West Midlands Railway call 03300 955150

  • Press Contact
  • Head of Corporate Affairs
  • frutancickvofbs.thomhyasap@wmtrains.qdcomzoydogc.uk

About West Midlands Trains

West Midlands Trains Ltd. will be running the West Midlands rail franchise from 10 December 2017 until 2025/6.

Operating train services between London and Northwest and in and around the West Midlands region, West Midlands Trains Ltd. will be running the West Midlands rail franchise from 10 December 2017 until 2025/6.


  • West Midlands Trains
  • 102 New Street
  • B2 4JB Birmingham
  • United Kingdom