Improved leaf fall timetable for the Cross City commuters this autumn

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Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 09:35
Improved leaf fall timetable for the Cross City commuters this autumn

West Midlands Railway is introducing a new leaf fall timetable on the Cross City line this year, aimed at reducing disruption for commuters travelling to and from Birmingham city centre.

The autumn timetable will operate from Monday 15 October until Friday 7 December 2018, affecting services from Lichfield, through Birmingham New Street, to Redditch and Bromsgrove.

Some trains this route will have an amended stopping pattern on weekdays, The normal timetable will operate from 2000 hours in the evenings and at weekends.

The focus of the changes, compared to previous years, is on maintaining a normal level of service for commuters travelling to and from the Birmingham city centre. From Mondays to Fridays, trains heading towards Birmingham New Street to arrive before 0930, will call at all stations. Trains heading out of the city after 1530 will also call at all stops as normal.

Where stations are missed, two trains per hour will run non-stop between Birmingham New Street and Sutton Coldfield and two trains per hour will run non-stop between Selly Oak and Longbridge. Services will only skip stops on one section of railway per journey.

The leaf fall timetable involves missing out some stops on the route to help deal with slippery rail conditions. Autumnal weather creates significant challenges for train drivers, as wheels and rails can often become coated with a hard residue. As a result, trains often need to slow down to adapt to the driving conditions.

West Midlands Railway is continuing to work closely with Network Rail on a number of initiatives to reduce the impact on services. Vegetation has been cut back along the route and rails are spray cleaned throughout the day.

Richard Brooks, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway said, “Autumn presents us with some major operational challenges on Cross City line, where services are frequent and well used throughout the day.

“We have listened to customer feedback, and I believe that this year’s timetable strikes a realistic balance between offering a safe solution for drivers and keeping our passengers moving, with minimal delays.

“The introduction of an autumn timetable has helped improve punctuality by almost fifty per cent, compared to dealing with issues on an ad-hoc basis. In turn, this offers a more reliable service and enables passengers to plan ahead.”

Passengers are advised to plan ahead and check their train times at

About West Midlands Trains

For further information on this release, call our press office on 03300 955150 or email [email protected]

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.

For more information on these services visit or

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

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