West Midlands Railway to expand services

Passengers urged to check journeys ahead of timetable increase.

Rail passengers in the West Midlands are being urged to check their journey times ahead of a new, upgraded timetable coming into effect this weekend.

West Midlands Railway is introducing thousands of extra seats into the timetable from Sunday 6 September as passenger numbers across the rail network continue to rise.

The new timetable will see available space increased as schools and workplaces return across the region. It returns the capacity in many places on the WMR network to near pre-Covid levels.

The enhanced timetable is the most significant step up in rail capacity since lockdown and will see the introduction of longer trains running modular routes to boost reliability.

Among the key changes are:

– Train frequency on Birmingham’s Cross-City Line increases from three to four trains an hour on the majority of the route and will be the maximum six carriages in length
– Services on the Birmingham-Hereford and Birmingham-Shrewsbury lines increase to two trains per hour in the peak
– Snow Hill Line services increase to six trains per hour while services to Birmingham International increase to two trains per hour
– Services between Walsall and Rugeley step up to two trains per hour both peak and off-peak. In order to improve reliability, Chase Line trains will remain self-contained in the West Midlands rather than continue through to London Euston

Jonny Wiseman, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, said: “We’re urging our customers travelling from Sunday onwards to check their journeys carefully as their train times may have changed. This timetable is the most significant step up in our capacity since lockdown. We’re adding thousands of extra seats to give our customers the space to travel with confidence.

“We’ve taken all the aspects which made our lockdown timetable work so well and expanded them as increasing numbers of customers continue returning to the railway. This simpler timetable will be more reliable for passengers with longer trains to help social distancing.”

Passengers are also being reminded that wearing a face covering is compulsory on trains and in stations unless exempt for medical reasons. Non-compliance is punishable by a fine from the British Transport Police.