Improving the May 2019 timetable

Following our biggest timetable revamp in a decade, we’ve been closely monitoring the service to see how it’s bedding in.

The good news is that since the changes in May, over 50,000 extra journeys are being made across the Midlands each week, thanks to better links, more frequent trains and additional carriages.

However, when you make over 2,500 alterations to a timetable, it’s inevitable that some things don’t quite go to plan. That’s why we’ve been listening to your feedback to understand what you think is going well, and where we need a rethink.

Making changes can be a complex process, not least because our timetable has to fit in with other train operators and meet a specification set out by the Department for Transport. That means some suggestions simply don’t work – certainly in the short term. But where there is a solution to a problem, we’re doing all we can to make the necessary adjustments as quickly as possible.

The table below sets out the issues you’ve raised, and what we’re doing to address them. If you think there’s something missing, please get in touch

Hereford to Birmingham

Train Issue Solution
0709 Hereford to Birmingham New Street Not enough seats

New trains are on the production line, and due with us next year.

All trains should have at least one extra carriage from 16.12.2019, although this is dependent on the delivery of ‘second hand’ trains from TransPennine Express.

We have looked at swapping trains between routes to secure extra short term capacity, but logistical. constraints prevent this. We’re also considering the designation of Bromsgrove as a ‘pick up only’ stop on certain southbound trains, to free-up seats for those travelling to Droitwich Spa and beyond.

0732 Hereford to Birmingham Not enough seats
0838 Great Malvern to Birmingham New Street Not enough seats
0939 Hereford to Birmingham Not enough seats
0800 Birmingham to Hereford Not enough seats
1550 Birmingham New Street to Hereford Not enough seats
1620 Birmingham New Street to Great Malvern

Not enough seats and some customers unable to board at University.

Shrewsbury to Birmingham

Train Issue Solution
0653 Shrewsbury to Birmingham Train does not stop at intermediate stations between Shifnal and Wolverhampton, leading to a large gap in service. We hope to insert extra stops at either Albrighton or Codsall (or both if train can leave Shrewsbury 2 minutes earlier) from 16.12.2019.
0633 Birmingham to Shrewsbury Slight timing changes have broken onward connections at Shrewsbury.

We are looking to make very minor adjustments from 16.12.2019 to create connections at Shrewsbury onto Transport for Wales services.

Snow Hill lines

Train Issue Solution

0636 Whitlocks End to Kidderminster

Train has been retimed to arrive in Birmingham by 0700hrs, which has created a 25 minute gap in service from Whitlocks End and Shirley. We’re discussing options with the local rail user groups, which includes an earlier departure at 0620 and a slightly later departure of 0640.
0749 Kidderminster to Stratford Not enough seats into Birmingham. This train will increase to 4 carriages from 09.07.2019 on Tuesdays to Fridays and from 05.08.2019 on Mondays too.
1646 Dorridge to Worcester

One of the busiest trains of the evening, shortened by 2 carriages in May and leaving people behind at Jewellery Quarter (although previous and subsequent trains saw an increase).

This will have 5 carriages from 09.07.2019 on Tuesdays to Fridays and from 05.08.2019 on Mondays too.

0708 Leamington Spa to Kidderminster One of the busiest trains of the morning, shortened by a carriage. Chiltern Railways’ service behind is also full. This will have 5 carriages from 09.07.2019 on Tuesdays to Fridays and from 05.08.2019 on Mondays too.
Early morning Dorridge to Birmingham frequency No trains between 0609 and 0654 from Dorridge to Birmingham.

We are hoping to run a new 0630 Dorridge to Birmingham Snow Hill from 16.12.2019.

0807 Whitlocks End to Kidderminster Not enough seats, and following service doesn’t get commuters to Birmingham in time. This will have 5 carriages from 09.07.2019 on Tuesdays to Fridays and from 05.08.2019 on Mondays too.
1657 Stourbridge Junction to Stratford Not enough seats This will have 4 carriages from 09.07.2019 on Tuesdays to Fridays and from 05.08.2019 on Mondays too.

Rugeley/Walsall to Birmingham

Train Issue Solution
0800 Walsall to Birmingham New Street Not enough seats

We have looked at swapping trains between different routes to secure extra capacity, but logistical constraints prevent this at the moment.

From 16.12.2019, this train should have 4 carriages again, although this is dependent on the delivery of ‘second hand’ electric trains from TransPennine Express.

0645 Rugeley to Birmingham International

Not enough seats

From 01.07.2019, First Class may be used by standard class ticket holders as far as Birmingham New Street on weekdays.

0709 Rugeley to London Euston

Not enough seats

From 01.07.2019, First Class may be used by standard class ticket holders as far as Birmingham New Street on weekdays.

0744 Rugeley to Birmingham International Not enough seats

From 01.07.2019, First Class may be used by standard class ticket holders as far as Birmingham New Street on weekdays.

Coventry to Birmingham

Train Issue Solution

0552 Birmingham International to Liverpool

Train previously ran 25 minutes later, but now required to arrive at Birmingham New Street before 0615hrs. Creates 50 minute gap in services from Lea Hall and Stechford, with no other trains arriving at New Street before 0700hrs We are looking to stop an alternative train at Stechford and Lea Hall around 25 minutes later from 16.12.2019.

1714 Birmingham to Euston

Not enough seats due to additional stops between Birmingham New Street and Coventry, which were added in May 2019, and removal of the 1717 departure beyond Birmingham International.

We will remove the Lea Hall and Marston Green stops from 22 July.

Dependent on the delivery of ‘second hand’ electric trains from TransPennine Express, the 1654 Birmingham NS to London service will have 8 carriages (4 today) and the 1717 Birmingham NS to Birmingham International will have 3 carriages (2 today) from 16.12.2019. This will further ease crowding on the 1714.
0614 Northampton to Wolverhampton Not enough seats New 0720 Coventry to Birmingham service from 16.12.2019.
1654 Birmingham to Northampton Not enough seats

This train should have 8 carriages from 16.12.2019, although this is dependent on the delivery of ‘second hand’ electric trains from TransPennine Express.

If you want to get in touch about an issue not listed above, please click here