The Whistle Stop Tour

Your chance to speak to our experts and ask your questions

Our Whistle Stop Tour events are your opportunity to meet our management team and discuss your feedback directly with the people who run your railway. They are a great way of helping us understand more about you our customers, as we work to build a better railway.

Our past events - Onboard:

Route: Shrewsbury - Birmingham New Street
Date: Wednesday 12th June
Time: 08:30 - 16:00
Type: In person / onboard

Our past events - In station:

Station: Hagley
Date: Wednesday 12th June
Time: 08:30 - 10:30
Type: Station pop-up

Recent event roundup

We take all feedback seriously and use it to help shape the future of your services. You can find answers to the hot questions from each of our recent Whistle Stop events below.

Our timetable changed on Sunday 2nd June, with headline changes on two of our routes:

Previously we ran 1 train per hour calling at all stations, with 2 trains per hour in peak hours Monday to Friday.

From June it changed to 2 trains per hour throughout Monday to Saturday however:

  • The pre-existing stopping train is being diverted via Bescot between Wolverhampton and Birmingham.
  • The new, additional hourly service will run semi-fast and only call at Smethwick Galton Bridge, Wolverhampton, Shifnal, Telford Central, Wellington and Shrewsbury.
What was the reason these changes have been made in the June 2024 timetable?
  • To provide faster journey times between Birmingham and key Shropshire towns.
  • For services diverted via Bescot to serve new stations at Willenhall and Darlaston once they open (expected late 2025).
  • To provide more options for passengers travelling between Shropshire and Birmingham.
  • Improved reliability and performance along route.
  • Huge benefit for passengers at Shifnal, Telford Central, Wellington and Shrewsbury.
Why is my journey time to/from Birmingham increasing?

To eventually serve new stations at Darlaston and Willenhall.

Why have I less options travelling to/from Birmingham in peak hours?

This is to allow for quicker journey times to/from Shifnal, Telford Central, Wellington and Shrewsbury, where most of our passengers will be travelling to/from.

Why has the service had its issues?

There are a multitude of factors however from a timetabling point of view, services to/from Shrewsbury had little recovery time at Birmingham which led to them often carrying lateness back and forth, which was exacerbated by having to travel through a congested area between Birmingham and Wolverhampton. From June, there is much more recovery time at the Birmingham end of the route, which we believe will lead to a much-improved right-time performance for our Shrewsbury services, which should improve overall reliability.

What’s not working as planned?

We acknowledge that customers at Bilbrook, Codsall, Albrighton, Cosford and Oakengates will experience a slight increase in journey time when travelling to/from Birmingham and have less options in peak hours.

What are we doing about it?

We have received extensive feedback since the June timetable change was introduced regarding calling points along the Shrewsbury line.

  • From Monday 24th June, the 16:52 will be re-strengthened to a 4-car service in response to the specific issues of crowding on the service.
  • Additionally, as of Monday 8th July, the 0757 SHR-BHM and 1652 BHM-SHR services (Monday to Friday) will contain an additional Codsall call.

Previously we ran services originating/terminating at Kidderminster routinely calling at Hagley and Blakedown and services originating/terminating at Worcester routinely calling at Langley Green, Old Hill and Lye.

From June we have swapped these calling patterns so that services originating/terminating at Worcester will routinely call at Hagley and Blakedown and services originating/terminating at Kidderminster will routinely call at Langley Green, Old Hill and Lye.

Furthermore, the timings of the Stourbridge Town car have been amended slightly to align with the minor impact of the above on timings at Stourbridge Junction.

What was the reason these changes have been made in the June 2024 timetable?

To restore direct connectivity between Hagley, Blakedown and Worcester, this amendment was recommended to us by the local user group.

Will this affect train times?

Yes, departures from Birmingham and Worcester will broadly remain as they are, however there will be minor differences in departure times at intermediate stations. It is best for passengers to check their train times before travelling.

Will this affect my commute to/from school/college?

As above, there may be slight changes to some intermediate timings and it is best to check before travelling. However, the general provision for services to/from Hagley in school hours will remain the same as before; and there will be regular direct journey opportunities for those travelling between Hagley/Blakedown and Worcester.

I used to travel between Langley Green/Old Hill/Lye and Worcester and now I’ll need to change trains, why?

We don’t see many passengers making this journey and the timetable structure does not allow for us to call all services at all stations. We have to make decisions based on where we see the most prominent passenger flows and in this case being Hagley/Blakedown and Worcester. It will still be possible to travel between Langley Green/Old Hill/Lye and Worcester via a change at Kidderminster.