Rail passengers are being reminded to check their train times, ahead of major changes being introduced across the rail network this weekend.
West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway will be implementing new timetables from Sunday (19 May), bringing improvements for passengers across the West Midlands.
The train operators are introducing a range of improvements, including new additional services, extra capacity and enhanced timetables. The changes will benefit passengers travelling for both work and leisure – including those using rail services during evenings and weekends.
Announcements to remind passengers about the changes can now be heard at railway stations, with new timetables available from ticket offices or to download from the West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway websites.
Events have also been held at stations and on trains across the network to give passengers a chance to speak to senior managers about the upcoming changes. Similar events are also scheduled for the coming weeks, to help gather feedback on the new timetable.
Some of the improvement being introduced across the West Midlands include:
- More direct services between major cities, airports and transport hubs across the rail network. Many of these services will operate via Birmingham New Street, connecting London Euston to destinations such as Wolverhampton, Walsall, Stoke-on-Trent and Liverpool.
- Three trains an hour to and from London Euston every day – with more eight carriage trains. Journey times from Birmingham on the West Coast Mainline will also have reduced waiting time at Northampton, improving the journey times to/from the capital.
- Electric trains will be introduced on the Chase line, following over £100m of electrification work between Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley. This will enable faster trains to operate, with more carriages and extra seats for passengers. From Walsall, there will be an hourly service to London Euston and a half hourly service to Birmingham Airport from Monday to Saturday.
Various timetable enhancements will also provide additional services and capacity across the West Midlands. There will be earlier and later services to and from many stations, with frequent services operating on many routes later into the evenings. These enhancements include:
- The last evening trains to operate between Birmingham New Street and Coventry will depart between 20 and 45 minutes later, with an additional 0040 departure from Birmingham New Street on weekdays.
- On the Cross City North, four trains an hour will continue to the end of the line at Lichfield Trent Valley throughout the day. There will be the introduction of a new 2340 departure from Birmingham New Street to Four Oaks on weekdays, and a 2325 departure on Saturdays.
- Services calling at local stations to Wolverhampton will see an additional train from Birmingham at 2338 from Monday to Saturday.
- There will be new Birmingham Snow Hill to Worcester Shrub Hill departures until 2300 on Fridays and Saturdays.
Richard Brooks, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, said: “The timetable improvements being introduced this weekend will bring a range of benefits to passengers, with more direct services to destinations across our network and improved capacity on some of our busiest services.
“To accommodate these enhancements, there will be alterations to train times, carriage formations and the platforming of some services at busier stations. Therefore, we are advising all passengers to plan ahead for next week and to check the details of their journey. This is particularly important for those who travel regularly and are used to relying on a particular service everyday.
“We also want to make sure people are aware of how they can benefit from new opportunities to travel by train for both work and leisure. With additional earlier, later and weekend services operating direct to more destinations, the new timetable is good news for passengers across the region.”
Andy Street, the mayor of the West Midlands, said: “These are the changes we have been waiting for with more direct services, more seats on some of the busiest routes and crucially more trains running in the evenings and weekends. It is great news for both those who want to enjoy a night out without worrying about how to get home and those who want to be part of our thriving evening economy. This is also just the start of our transport revolution on the railways, with more improvements planned as part of a £1 billion investment in services through West Midlands Railway.”
The train operators will also be introducing a further major timetable change in two years time, where passengers will see additional benefits from the introduction of new trains onto the network, which when fully operational, will increase capacity by 25%.
About West Midlands Trains
For further information on this release, call our press office on 03300 955150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.
- London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast mainline to and from London Euston.
- West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street.
The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26.
West Midlands Trains operates 1,300 services a day, manages 150 stations and provides over 70 million passenger journeys a year. Over the course of the franchise, West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades. This will include 400 new train carriages across the network and space for an extra 85,000 passengers into Birmingham and London at peak times.
The franchise is a joint venture between Abellio (70.1% share) and East Japan Railway Company / Mitsui & Co., Ltd (29.9% share in a 50:50 split). Abellio is the international passenger transport subsidiary of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. In the UK, Abelllio operates ScotRail and Greater Anglia train services, Merseyrail services in a joint venture with Serco and buses through Abellio London. For more information visit www.abellio.com
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