The Midlands Rail Hub plans, announced by Midlands Connect today, unveils ambitions to bring faster and more frequent train services to 43 communities, towns, and cities throughout the region, coming as part of a transformative £1.5bn package of improvements set to rejuvenate east-west connections throughout the Midlands.
These proposals will reduce the overall journey times of services, increasing the number of journeys through maximised line capacity whilst catalysing economic growth around the areas. Analysis has shown that the investment into the railway will generate seismic growth as for every £1 spent on the project, it will deliver over £1.50 in benefits to services, whilst safeguarding 1,600 well-paid jobs in the construction industry.
It is estimated that there can be an extra 14.6 million seats available on the railway every year, with the delivery of over 100 additional trains on the network every day to locations such as Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Nuneaton, Worcester, Hereford, Great Malvern, Bristol, Gloucester, Cardiff, Cheltenham & Leicester. Improvements to the Cross-City Birmingham line alone would enable trains to arrive every ten minutes.
The plan, entitled ‘Going for Growth’ was submitted via the Sub-national Transport Body Midlands Connect, will be launched today in Birmingham. This event will see the collation of politicians such as West Midlands Mayor and chair of the West Midlands Rail Executive Andy Street, Preet Kaur Gill MP, Deputy City Mayor of Leicester Cllr Adam Clarke, alongside councils and business leaders to back the ambitious proposals.
The pan-regional benefits for the Midlands are:
- An additional train per hour between Birmingham and Bristol.
- An additional train per hour between Birmingham and Cardiff via Gloucester stopping at Worcestershire Parkway.
- An additional train per hour between Birmingham and Hereford via Worcester. The service will also stop at Bromsgrove, Great Malvern & Droitwich & Great Malvern.
- An additional fast train per hour between Leicester and Birmingham, stopping at Nuneaton.
- An additional slow train per hour between Leicester and Birmingham. The service will stop at Coleshill Parkway, Nuneaton, Hinckley, Narborough & South Wigston.
The Midlands Rail Hub will also enable a raft of local improvements including:
- One extra train per hour from Redditch to Lichfield Trent Valley.
- One extra train per hour from Bromsgrove to Lichfield Trent Valley.
- Rerouting of the imminent two trains per hour from Kings Norton to Birmingham New Street (Camp Hill) service to instead run to Moor Street.
With the submission of the Outline Business Case, Midlands Connect now hope for funding for the Full Business Case to make the project ready for delivery.
Commenting on the report, Sir John Peace, Chairman of Midlands Connect said:
"This is a truly momentous occasion for us, we are proud to unveil this detailed plan for infrastructure changes which will transform our region.
"We know the project has the backing of the businesses, communities and political leaders in the Midlands, and we stand ready to kickstart its delivery and get spades in the ground.
"The Midlands Rail Hub will significantly impact the future of travel for generations to come."
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