Investing to Improve

Our bright, new franchise runs until 2026, giving the people and businesses of the West Midlands the rail service they’ve always wanted.

It will be bigger, better, more affordable and one we can all be proud of and prosper from.

We’re investing a whopping £1 billion into the region’s network, providing new and smartly refurbished trains, better stations, extra benefits and cheaper travel. We’re ensuring everything connects with the rest of the bus and tram network, too. It’s good news all the way!

And we’re putting our money where our mouth is, by:

  • Putting over £700 million into sparkling new trains
  • That includes 100 new carriages on the Cross City Line (between Lichfield and Longbridge with the route extended to Bromsgrove)
  • Another 80 carriages for the ever-popular Snow Hill Line
  • Standing room for 50,000 extra passengers travelling to and from Brum in ‘metro-style’ carriages (basically, more space and wider doors)
  • An overcrowding-busting 20,000 extra seats on rush hour services in Brum
  • Live train crowding information
  • Free Wi-Fi by 2019 (Surf and work away!)
  • Improved access for disabled passengers
  • Compensation when trains are delayed by more than 15 minutes (now admit it, that’s something you didn’t expect)
  • Better value ticket for part-time workers

A timetable that’s better for you

We will be introducing a new timetable, but not until December 2018. We want to make sure we get it just right – so your journey is as easy and convenient as it can be.

We have plans, though:

  • There will be more late services in and out of Birmingham New Street to the region’s stations, including at weekends. This will boost the West Midlands’ economy and build on the buzz that already exists
  • From May 2021, our Sunday timetable will run as many services as our Saturday services (In effect, doubling the fun!)
  • Three extra services an hour will run from Wolverhampton to Stoke, Shrewsbury and Brum – that’ll be from December 2018
  • Increased Sunday services on the Snow Hill line with four extra trains per hour running between Snow Hill and Stourbridge Junction

Stations you deserve

We’re spending a lick over £60m on improving the look of our stations, adding over 1,000 new car park spaces, over 2,500 cycle parking spaces, a cycle hire scheme trial, new and refurbished waiting rooms, and more seats at stations. £70m will be spent on existing and new depots.

We’re also going to looking at the feasibility of opening new stations at Willenhall and Darlaston. Fingers crossed!

Investing in people

Our trains and stations will be manned by more friendly, local people. So we’re investing an extra £13 million on staff training, helping them to help you in any way they can, at any time. We also plan to create more than 900 new apprenticeships for the young, ambitious people of our region. We will employ more women and more ethnic minorities, and give work experience placements to over 250 young people.

Smart ticketing

Smart ticketing makes life for our passengers so much easier and we plan to introduce it right across our region. We’ll be working with Network West Midlands to get it just right. We’ll be extending the Swift Card, a super-fast, convenient way to get around the region, which can be topped up just like an Oyster Card.

At last, the region will get the rail service its hard-working people and businesses deserve. Over the next nine years, we’ll be investing significantly across the area, ensuring that West Midlands Railway unites one and all to grow, to thrive, to go places.