New local rail service unveiled as West Midlands Rail takes over routes

A newly branded train arrives at Smethwick Galton Bridge

London Midland's tenure ended at the weekend with the regions train services now operated jointly by the Department for Transport and the West Midlands Rail consortium.

Taking over from their predecessor, the new West Midlands Railway franchise claims it will 'give local people and businesses the rail service they deserve' by delivering 'a train service that’s more responsive to what people in our region actually need'.

Over the next nine years, £1bn will be pumped into the region’s network, providing more trains - including late night and off-peak services, more seats, better stations, extra facilities and more affordable travel which will be carefully planned to connect better with the rest of the bus and tram network. A spokesperson for the new venture said:

"We're developing a railway for everyone. The new franchise will serve the hard-working people of the West Midlands at work and at play, every single day.

"The region is thriving and the new service will help the region continue to grow and prosper."

Key highlights of the new operation are set to include £700 million which will be spent on buying new trains and sprucing up older ones, with 108 new carriages on the Cross City Line, which will itself be extended to Bromsgrove, and another 80 carriages for the popular Snow Hill Line.

Standing room for 50,000 extra passengers travelling to and from Birmingham in ‘metro-style’ carriages with more space and wider doors and 20,000 extra seats on rush hour services in Birmingham. Compensation for customers will be on offer if the train is delayed by more than 15 minutes and free Wi-Fi will be available on all trains by 2019.

The new franchise came into operation on Sunday, but was officially launched this morning with a train pulling into

Customers can visit to find out more.


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