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13.03.19

West Midlands unveils new May rail timetable

More direct services, greater capacity and extra evening and weekend services have been promised as West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway launch their new timetable for May 2019.

The train operators have revealed a raft of changes including an “enhanced” timetable and extra capacity across the region, which will come into effect on 19 May.

There will be more direct services between major cities, airports and transport hubs across the West Midlands rail network with many of the new services operating via Birmingham New Street in order to connect places such as Wolverhampton, Walsall and Liverpool with London Euston.

These new routes will enable three trains an hour from Birmingham to Euston every day, and more weekend and evening services will also be added in the timetable change.

Electric trains will be introduced on the Chase line as part of the May changes, following the £100m electrification of the Walsall Rugeley Trent Valley – which the operators say will enable faster to operate along with greater capacity.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “This is great news for those who want to go out for a night at the cinema, take in a show or see their favourite band because they know they will be able to get the train home thanks to later evening services on key routes.

“There will also be more services on Saturdays and Sundays which will help those going for a day out as well as those many people who work weekends.

“And for some of those commuters who struggle with overcrowded trains day in day out there will be extra carriages on a number of services, with a promise of more to come in future years thanks to West Midlands Railway's £1 billion investment.”

City of Wolverhampton Council leader Roger Lawrence added that one of the city’s key demands for the new West Midlands Rail franchise was more frequent services and more capacity, and was delighted with this being delivered.

Richard Brooks, customer experience director for London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway, said: “The timetable improvements being introduced in May will bring a range of benefits to passengers, with more direct services to destinations across our network and improved capacity on some of our busiest services.

“However, this isn’t the whole story. We will also have a further timetable change in two years’ time, where passengers will see further benefits from the introduction of new trains onto the network, which when fully operational, will increase capacity by 25%.”

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