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Midlands Rail Hub proposal document launches in Birmingham

Key figures within the Midlands rail industry have gathered in Birmingham today to back the region’s new investment proposal and launch the Midlands Rail Hub summary report.

Those attending the high-profile event include chair and current Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire Sir John Peace, director Maria Machancoses of Midlands Connect and West Midlands mayor Andy Street.

The Midlands Rail Hub proposal document outlines up to £2bn in new and improved rail infrastructure for the region and has been described as “the most ambitious for a generation”.

Improvements would be completed between 2024-2033, with the upgrades making space for 24 new passenger trains an hour across the network, 85,000 seats a day in and out of Birmingham and an estimated six million more journeys each year.

MRH benefits graphic

The project has been backed by 47 partner organisations, including local authorities, LEPs, chambers of commerce, HS2 and Network Rail.

Mr Street urged government to invest in the proposals, as well as ensuring that HS2 was delivered to the region in its entirety.

He said: “At around £2bn, the Midlands Rail Hub is genuinely a bargain when you consider some of the projects that have already happened in London.

“The Secretary of State for Transport must persuade the Treasury to support this project to boost the region’s connectivity and with it, the region’s economy.”

READ MORE: New Midlands Rail Hub could deliver £2bn economic boost

READ MORE: Midlands Rail Hub needed to deliver 10 extra services an hour

This was a common theme from those backing the Midlands Rail Hub, for the government not to overlook investment in the region.

In the last two years, rail usage in the Midlands has grown faster than anywhere else in the UK, with growth in the last decade of 121% in the West Midlands and 37% in the East Midlands.

Sir Peace said: “The next Prime Minister of this country must not ignore the Midlands, the 10 million people who live here, or our £220 billion annual contribution to the UK economy. Now is the time for the government to prove to the Midlands it’s listening to us.”

Road vs Rail Graphic

Alongside the improvements for passenger services within the Midlands, the proposal would also allow for 4,320 lorries’ worth of freight to be shifted from the road to the railway every day. This is through the creation of 36 additional freight paths a day, which will be worth an estimated £22bn a year.

Also present at the event, which takes place at Birmingham Moor Street station, include Network Rail regional managing director Tim Shoveller, HS2 Ltd project director Mike Lyons, councillors Brigid Jones and David Welsh, regional chair of the PwC regional chair Matthew Hammond, CEO of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce Paul Faulkner and chairman of Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP Tim Pile.

The summary report document is available to download here.

The future of rail in the Midlands is being discussed at TCR Midlands, a networking event designed for rail professionals.

TCR Midlands is being held at the Vox Conference Centre in Birmingham on 18 July, featuring keynote speaker Ms Machancoses and HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston. Visit the website here to enquire.


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