Travel Update

Update: 1600hrs, 22nd May 2020

Please only travel if necessary, and do not travel if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

The government wants social distancing to be strictly followed where possible on the railway and advises all passengers to wear face coverings.

If you have no alternative, then we need you to be aware that we've made some changes to your journey through our stations and on our trains. We'll need you to allow extra time, buy your tickets online and avoid busier times if you can.

The information below will help you understand the changes and get prepared before you set off. Please do read our guidelines

  • Before you set off
  • Getting through the station
  • On the train

Responsible travel starts here.

Make yours a contactless journey.

Train times and frequency have changed. From 18 May more services will run, online journey planners are showing the right times, you can also download a timetable here, or read the summary.

Travel at quieter times. If you can change your routine, travel between 10am-3pm or after 6pm on weekdays, chances are there'll be more space on board and your ticket will be cheaper too, making it more comfortable for you and for those people that need to travel at busiest times.

Don't stand in line, buy online and with a barcode ticket you don't have to pick up or handle a paper ticket, you do need a ticket before you board the train.

No first class at the moment. To maximise space on our trains we are removing first class temporarily, it will no longer show up in our retail systems. If you have already bought a first class ticket, we’ll refund the difference - apply here.

Pay by phone for your car park. Avoid waiting in line, get your ticket from the comfort of your car - available online, in-app and pay by mobile. Set up an account before you leave home. At some stations car park spaces might be blocked off to help with queuing.

Book passenger assistance before you travel please – it will really help us plan and make sure you’re not hanging around. Our team (if appropriate) will try to keep at arms-length and will spend the shortest time with you. Customers using a wheelchair – please face forward – don’t be alarmed if our team wipe the handles, it’s all part of the service (we’re regularly cleaning our own wheelchairs too) we’ll also position you 2m away whilst we set up a ramp to the train. If we need to use the lift, we might dash to the stairs and meet you at the top or bottom, as we’re trying to keep to one person at a time – it won’t always be possible. And, if you have a visual impairment – rest assured we will still provide this and position ourselves carefully . Our Passenger Assistance call centre will ask extra questions, so allow a little more time to make your booking. Book assistance here.

Video: How to buy tickets using our app

It may take longer to get through the station.

Drop off and pick up points. We want to avoid lots of people gathering in the station, it would be really helpful if you stayed in your car when your picking up and dropping off your loved ones.

Give yourself a bit more time to get through the station. At some stations we are introducing separate entrance and exit, along with one-way and queuing systems (inside & outside) - very similar to supermarket queuing systems. And to help our staff social distance, some ticket windows may be closed.

Availability of ticket windows and ticket machines may be reduced, to help with social distancing for you and our teams. So, queues may be longer - that's why we really do recommend buying online before you arrive. Where ticket machines are side by side, we're rolling out divider screens to keep as many open as possible. Also, retailers on our stations haven't yet opened.

Chatting to us at the station. Like you, we need to keep to the social distancing guidelines, so please be mindful of this when you're talking to us - we're not being rude if we take a step back.

Tapping in and out through the barriers. Our ticket barriers remain working as normal, this helps us understand the number of people travelling, you may see more dividing barriers or our staff behind screens to help with social distancing guidelines.

Please keep your distance, extra notices will help you. In confined spaces like lifts - one at a time please, on escalators and stairs, try to keep 4 steps between you. You might find some one-way systems in place - please stay in your lane.

Natural areas of congregation. We'll rely on you to self-regulate, but we'll take measures to help you. We'll try to reopen waiting rooms and toilets where we can so you can keep your distance and wash your hands in line with government advice, but they won't hold as many people. Where possible we'll keep the entrance doors open so it'll be one less thing to touch. We'll continue to focus our cleaning on things you touch most like buttons, door handles and bannisters.

Platform etiquette. We'll be running the longest trains possible on each service. Customer information screens will let you know how many carriages there are, so that you can spread out as much as possible. Stay on the platform until people get off the train to give everyone space. Please try and keep the vestibule free.

Taking extra care on board our trains.

Try to keep one seat next to you free on board. Remember, to apply social distancing on a train, the carriage will be full with 15-20 people. This number will vary slightly by train type and those with toilets and first class in the carriage. Please consider whether your travel is essential.

You'll see more cleaning during your journey. We've increased our on-train cleaning team - they'll be paying particular attention to surfaces people touch the most.

We're still here for you. A Senior Conductor will be available on every train, they'll make announcements to let you know where they are if you need to talk to them. Please remember you must get your ticket before you board. If things have changed at other operator's stations we'll try and let you know that too.

Wash your hands on board. All our trains have a toilet on board, and we'll be paying extra attention to keeping them topped up with soap and water.

What happens if I see a crime or anti-social behaviour? Text 61016 and British Transport Police will pick up your message 24/7, and take action where they can, or for emergencies call 999.


All timetables are available to download now and below is a summary of our new timetable plan.

Birmingham – Northampton via Coventry

Mondays – Saturdays

  • Northampton – Birmingham International (all stations) – Marston Green – Birmingham New St – 2 trains per hour
  • Birmingham international – Birmingham New St (all stations) – Tame Bridge Parkway - Walsall - Rugeley Trent Valley (all stations) – hourly

Avanti West Coast will also be running hourly on these routes:

  • London Euston – Watford – Rugby – Coventry – Birmingham International – Birmingham New St
  • London Euston – Milton Keynes – Coventry – Birmingham International – Birmingham New St – Sandwell & Dudley – Wolverhampton.
  • London Euston – Stafford – Crewe – Runcorn – Liverpool Lime St

CrossCountry will run hourly between Birmingham New St - Birmingham International – Coventry – Leamington Spa

Transport for Wales will not be running between Birmingham International and Birmingham New St

Sundays

  • Northampton, Long Buckby, Rugby, Coventry, Tile Hill, Birmingham International, Marston Green - 2 trains per hour
  • Canley, Berkswell, Hampton-in-Arden, Lea Hall, Stechford, Adderley Park - hourly

Cross City (Lichfield - Redditch/Bromsgrove)

Mondays – Sundays

  • Lichfield Trent Valley – Birmingham (all stations, except Shenstone) - 2 trains per hour
  • Shenstone – 1 train an hour (2 trains an hour on Sundays)
  • Four Oaks – Birmingham (all stations) – 3 trains per hour
  • Redditch, Alvechurch – 2 trains per hour
  • Bromsgrove – 1 train an hour (also served by the Hereford trains)
  • Barnt Green – Birmingham (all stations) – 3 trains per hour

Chase Line (Rugeley/Walsall - Birmingham)

Mondays - Saturdays

  • Rugeley TV, Rugeley Town, Hednesford, Cannock, Landywood, Bloxwich North, Bloxwich, Bescot Stadium (extends to Birmingham International except on Sundays) – hourly
  • Walsall, Tame Bridge Parkway – 2 trains an hour (one extends to Birmingham International except on Sundays)

Wolverhampton - Birmingham New Street

Mondays - Sundays

  • Wolverhampton – Birmingham – 3 trains per hour
  • Sandwell & Dudley, Smethwick Galton Bridge – 2 trains per hour
  • Wolverhampton – Birmingham, all stations – hourly

Avanti West Coast will run hourly between Wolverhampton – Sandwell & Dudley - Birmingham New St

CrossCountry will run hourly between Wolverhampton and Birmingham New St

Birmingham New Street - Stafford / Crewe

Mondays - Sundays

  • Birmingham New St – Liverpool, via Penkridge / Stafford / Crewe – hourly
  • Crewe - Alsager – Kidsgrove - Stoke-on-Trent - Stone - Stafford – hourly

CrossCountry will run hourly between Birmingham – Stoke-on-Trent via Stafford

East Midlands Railway will run hourly during the day between Crewe - Alsager – Kidsgrove – Stoke.

Hereford / Shrewsbury lines

Mondays – Saturdays

Train services between Hereford and Worcester replaced the bus service.

  • Hereford - Worcester Shrub Hill – Droitwich Spa – Bromsgrove – University - Birmingham New St – hourly
  • Shrewsbury – Wolverhampton (all stations) – Birmingham New St – hourly

Transport for Wales will run an hourly service between Shrewsbury – Wellington – Telford Central – Wolverhampton – Smethwick Galton Bridge - Birmingham New St, but will not be extending through Birmingham International.

Sundays

  • Hereford, Ledbury, Colwall, Great Malvern, Malvern Link - 1 train every 2 hours
  • Worcester Foregate St - Birmingham New St (all stations) - 2 trains per hour
  • Shrewsbury - Wolverhampton (all stations) - Sandwell and Dudley - Birmingham New St - hourly

Mondays – Saturdays

  • Dorridge – Solihull – Birmingham Snow Hill – 2 trains per hour
  • Birmingham Snow Hill – Kidderminster via Stourbridge Junction – 2 trains per hour
  • Stratford-upon-Avon – Birmingham Snow Hill via Whitlocks End – hourly
  • Worcester – Birmingham Snow Hill – hourly

Chiltern Railways will run hourly between Leamington Spa – Solihull – Birmingham Moor St, and hourly between Leamington Spa – Dorridge – Solihull – Birmingham Moor St – Birmingham Snow Hill.

Sundays

  • Dorridge - Solihull - Birmingham Snow Hill - hourly
  • Birmingham Snow Hill - Kidderminster - via Stourbridge Junction - hourly
  • Stratford-upon-Avon - Birmingham Snow Hill via Whitlocks End - hourly
  • Worcester - Birmingham Snow Hill - hourly

Mondays - Saturdays

  • Nuneaton – Coventry - Leamington Spa – hourly
  • Stourbridge Town – Stourbridge Junction – up to 6 trains per hour

CrossCountry will run hourly between Leamington Spa – Coventry

Sundays

  • Coventry - Nuneaton - hourly
  • Coventry - Leamington Spa - hourly
  • Stourbridge Town - Stourbridge Junction - up to 4 trains per hour

If you choose not to travel

If you bought your ticket from us, we're happy to temporarily waive the £10 admin fee when applying for a refund on single and return tickets, for journeys between now and 31st May 2020.

Additionally, all Advance fares purchased before 7am on Monday 23 March can be refunded with no admin fee.

Season tickets are eligible for a refund if they still have a least 7 days remaining on a monthly or longer Season Ticket, or at least three days remaining on a 7-Day Season Ticket to obtain a refund. (although on some 7-Day Season Tickets there may be no refund value after three days of use, dependent upon the relevant Anytime Day Return price).

Where to change your ticket or apply for a refund

In line with government advice to stay at home and for the safety of our staff, please apply online using one of the methods listed below. Please DO NOT go to the ticket office for your refund.

Please bear with us, refunds requests are very high and taking longer than usual to process. We expect the majority of eligible requests made in March to be processed by the end of April.

If you bought your ticket via... Apply for a refund in this way.
London Northwestern Railway or West Midlands Railway ticket offices (booking window or self-serve ticket machine)
Our website (lnr.uk or wmr.uk), our app or from our phone team

Log into your online account

  • Access your bookings under 'My Account' and follow the instructions

If you are unable to cancel in this way, email::

Please note our call centre is not currently available

An alternative retailer

Contact them directly

Following the latest government update on COVID-19, we would like to reassure our passengers that we are committed to playing our part in keeping them safe and well, and to getting them to their destinations on time.

We also urge passengers to help out by keeping up to date with the latest official health advice. For health information and for answers to frequently asked questions on travelling by rail during this challenging period please click here to visit National Rail's coronavirus page.

Coronavirus has had a big impact on staff availability as more rail workers go in to self-isolation.

However, Some routes will have a reduced train service or a bus replacement service. This is to ensure Network Rail and ourselves are focusing resources where they are needed most, particularly on trunk routes carrying both freight and key worker traffic.

If you are travelling with us and have feedback on the services available please contact us. Please also get in touch if our reduced timetables make travel impossible for you.

Simply fill out our online form giving details of your journey, your place of work and your working hours. This will help us to understand whether an alternative solution can be found.

For most people, the answer is no. You should only use the train if your journey is essential and you have no other travel option. The government has advised people to avoid unnecessary travel and to only use public transport if you have no other option in order to limit the spread of coronavirus. If you need to travel to get to work, you should try to use an alternative mode of transport, such as car, bicycle, or on foot.

Your safety is our priority and we are doing all we can to meet the challenges of Covid 19. In order to reduce the spread of coronavirus, you should only use the train if your journey is essential and you have no other travel option. You should follow the government guidance on using public transport at all times.

No. If you have cold or flu-like symptoms you should stay at home and not travel. You should follow NHS guidance to reduce the risk of catching coronavirus or spreading it to others. See www.gov.uk/coronavirus for the latest guidance.

Yes. The government has advised all passengers to use a face covering when on the train. While wearing a face covering is not mandatory, we strongly encourage our passengers to follow the government guidance.

At some of our larger stations and those operated by Network Rail or other train companies, there may be one-way systems in place to help enable social distancing. One-way routes will be clearly signposted.

We are taking a number of steps to support social distancing, including putting in place one-way systems in stations, introducing queuing systems where necessary and putting up signs and floor markings. However, it may not be possible to maintain a two-metre distance at every point throughout a journey – for example at ‘pinch’ points such as entrances and exits - so we encourage passengers to follow government advice and wear a face covering.

We have relaxed our refunds policy. For more details open the ‘Refunds and Changing Tickets’ tab above.

You should only use the train if your journey is essential and you have no other travel option. We encourage passengers to ask themselves if their journey is really necessary. We are monitoring train performance carefully, listening to feedback and will make necessary adjustments to our timetables where appropriate.

In common with the rest of the rail industry, we significantly reduced our timetable between March 23 and May 17 to protect our customers and colleagues and run services for key workers on core routes. As rail industry staffing levels improve we are able to bring back more trains.

Open the “Timetable changes from 18th May” tab above.

The timetable is in place until further notice. It is being kept under review in accordance with the latest government advice on the use of public transport. Any changes will be communicated on this website and on social media.

Yes. We have stepped up our cleaning regime on board our trains and at our stations, focusing on high-touch areas such as handrails and flat surfaces.

There are many reasons why a train may be delayed or cancelled on a given occasion. Rail workers are also not immune from the effects of coronavirus, so short-notice cancellations due to sickness are a possibility.

Owing to the developing coronavirus situation and to protect our staff, our telephone team offices are currently closed meaning you will be unable to speak to our advisors over the phone. On a daily basis, we will be collating frequently asked questions from our social media channels and providing answers to topics such as our reduced timetable and what we are doing to keep you safe.

If your query is specifically relating to refunds, you can now apply online for a refund, even if your ticket was purchased at the ticket office. Please open the ‘How to get a refund or change a ticket’ tab for more information.​​

Only as a last resort where there are no other means to pay. The first choice will always to be to pay online, by mobile phone, card or contactless payment, to minimise risk to staff and customers.​

It's important to remember that, in effect, season tickets offer 'free travel' based on the alternative of buying other tickets. In the case of weekly season tickets, it's roughly three days free travel, for monthly seasons it's roughly a week of free travel and for annuals it's roughly two months free travel. So, the amount you could get back would depend on these specific circumstances.

If you request a refund, whether you have a weekly, monthly or annual ticket, West Midlands Railway will calculate the cheapest way you could otherwise have bought the travel which you have already used. In some cases this may mean that you will receive less than what you may have been expecting and sometimes there is little or no value left on a ticket that has been used for several months.

As a precautionary step to combat the spread of coronavirus, waiting rooms at some stations may be kept closed. We are keeping this under review in accordance with the latest government guidance.

Live help with your journey is available via our ticket machine from 7am - 7pm. Just press the VITA Help Point button on the left side of the screen to speak to our advisors who can help with ticket queries or onward journey information. The facility is available from any operational West Midlands Railway ticket machine (except Wolverhampton, where it will be available once the new station building opens.) Outside these times live departure information is available here.