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West Midlands Trains[2] (WMT) is a train operating company in the United Kingdom that operates passenger trains on the West Midlands franchise between London and stations in the English Midlands. It is owned by a consortium of three companies: Abellio, JR East and Mitsui.

West Midlands Trains
WestMidlandsTrains.svg
350232 at Watford Junction.jpg
350232 in the transitional LNWR livery at Watford Junction
Overview
Franchise(s)West Midlands
10 December 2017 – March 2026
Main region(s)West Midlands
Greater London
Other region(s)North West
East Midlands
Fleet sizeWest Midlands Trains

London Northwestern Railway

Stations called at178
Stations operated146
Route km operated867.4
National Rail abbreviationLM[1]
Parent companyAbellio (70%)
JR East (15%)
Mitsui (15%)
Websitewww.wmtrains.co.uk
Route map
Route map

West Midlands Trains took over the franchise on 10 December 2017 and operates trains under two brand names, London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway.

Contents

HistoryEdit

In April 2016, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced the shortlist of bidders for the West Midlands franchise, comprising the incumbent operator Govia, MTR Corporation, and West Midlands Trains: a consortium of Abellio (70%), JR East (15%) and Mitsui (15%).[3][4][5] In July 2016, MTR Corporation withdrew from the bidding process.[6][7]

The invitation to tender was issued in August 2016.[8] In August 2017, the West Midlands Trains consortium was awarded the franchise. It took over from London Midland on 10 December 2017.[9][10] The franchise is scheduled to run until March 2026.[11][12]

ManagementEdit

Unlike the previous London Midland franchise, which was solely accountable to the DfT, West Midlands will also be accountable for services that operate wholly within the West Midlands region to West Midlands Rail Executive, a group of 16 local authorities.[13][14] However, the DfT will still need to approve any changes West Midlands Rail wish to make until the franchise is relet, by which time West Midlands Rail will award the future franchise for services wholly within the West Midlands region.

BrandingEdit

WMT services are split into two businesses which operate under two distinct sub-brands. Longer-distance train services running on the West Coast Main Line, including those running to/from London Euston, Liverpool Lime Street and Crewe operate under the London Northwestern Railway brand. This name was chosen in tribute to the former London & North Western Railway (LNWR), the company that operated services on the route between 1846 and 1922. Branding of trains and associated publicity use a green colour scheme with a logo composed of the letters L, N and W.[15][16]

Services running in Birmingham and the West Midlands region — previously operated by under the London Midland City brand — are operated by WMT under the West Midlands Railway brand. These services bear an orange and grey colour scheme and are branded with a hexagonal "WM" monogram. WMT have chosen to operate these services as a distinct business unit in order to facilitate a possible future devolution of these services from the national DfT to the West Midlands Combined Authority.[15]

ServicesEdit

 
 
350 372 in the Interim LNWR livery at Rugby, March 2019
Overview
National Rail abbreviationLN
Websitelondonnorthwesternrailway.co.uk

West Midlands Trains operate all train services previously run by London Midland. Trains operate under one of the company's two brand names depending on route.[17]

London Northwestern RailwayEdit

WMT's medium- and long-distance services along the West Coast main line rail corridor are operated under the London Northwestern Railway brand. These services include:[17]

  • suburban and regional services out of London Euston;
  • services between Birmingham and Liverpool;
  • services on rural lines that branch off the West Coast main line.

As of 19 May 2019, the typical off-peak weekday London Northwestern Railway service pattern, with frequencies in trains per hour (tph), include:[18]

London suburban routes
Route tph Calling at
London Euston to Tring 2 Wembley Central (1tph), Harrow & Wealdstone, Bushey, Watford Junction, Kings Langley, Apsley, Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted
London Euston to Milton Keynes Central 1 Watford Junction, Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Tring (London-bound only), Cheddington (London-bound only), Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley
Mainline (via Northampton and Birmingham New Street)
Route tph Calling at Service
London Euston to Birmingham New Street via Northampton 1 Watford Junction, Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Tring (Birmingham-bound only), Cheddington (Birmingham-bound only), Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley, Milton Keynes Central, Wolverton, Northampton, Long Buckby, Rugby, Coventry, Canley, Tile Hill, Berkswell, Hampton-in-Arden (Birmingham-bound only), Birmingham International, Marston Green
Trains continue beyond Birmingham New Street (see below).
I
1 Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley, Milton Keynes Central, Wolverton, Northampton, Long Buckby, Rugby, Coventry, Canley (London-bound only), Tile Hill, Berkswell (London-bound only), Hampton-in-Arden, Birmingham International, Marston Green, Lea Hall (London-bound only), Stechford (London-bound only)
Trains continue beyond Birmingham New Street (see below).
II
1 Watford Junction, Milton Keynes Central, Northampton, Long Buckby, Rugby, Coventry, Canley (Birmingham-bound only), Tile Hill, Berkswell (Birmingham-bound only), Hampton-in-Arden (London-bound only), Birmingham International, Marston Green, Lea Hall (Birmingham-bound only), Stechford (Birmingham-bound only)
Trains continue beyond Birmingham New Street (see below).
III
Birmingham International to Birmingham New Street 1 Lea Hall, Stechford, Adderley Park
Trains continue beyond Birmingham New Street (see below).
IV

Services running to/from Birmingham New Street are combined, which gives through services between London (as above) and Rugeley/Liverpool/Crewe (as below).

Birmingham New Street to Rugeley Trent Valley 1 Tame Bridge Parkway, Bescot Stadium, Walsall, Bloxwich, Bloxwich North, Landywood, Cannock, Hednesford, Rugeley Town
Trains continue beyond Birmingham New Street (see above).
A
2 Tame Bridge Parkway, Walsall, Bloxwich, Bloxwich North, Landywood, Cannock, Hednesford, Rugeley Town
Trains continue beyond Birmingham New Street (see above).
B
Birmingham New Street to Liverpool Lime Street 2 Smethwick Galton Bridge, Wolverhampton, Penkridge, Stafford, Crewe, Winsford (Liverpool-bound only), Hartford, Acton Bridge (limited service), Runcorn, Liverpool South Parkway
Trains continue beyond Birmingham New Street (see above).
C
1 Coseley, Wolverhampton, Penkridge, Stafford, Crewe, Winsford (Birmingham-bound only), Hartford, Acton Bridge (limited service), Runcorn, Liverpool South Parkway
Trains continue beyond Birmingham New Street (see above).
D
Birmingham New Street to Crewe via Stoke-on-Trent 1 Smethwick Galton Bridge, Wolverhampton, Stafford, Stone, Stoke-on-Trent, Kidsgrove, Alsager
Trains continue beyond Birmingham New Street (see above).
E
Mainline (Trent Valley)
Route tph Calling at
London Euston to Crewe via Tamworth 1 Milton Keynes Central, Rugby, Nuneaton, Atherstone, Polesworth (limited service), Tamworth, Lichfield Trent Valley, Rugeley Trent Valley, Stafford
Branch lines
Route tph Calling at
Watford Junction to St Albans Abbey Watford North, Garston, Bricket Wood, How Wood, Park Street
Irregular service; approximately every 45 minutes.
Bletchley to Bedford 2 Fenny Stratford, Bow Brickhill, Woburn Sands, Aspley Guise, Ridgmont, Lidlington, Millbrook, Stewartby, Kempston Hardwick, Bedford St Johns

West Midlands RailwayEdit

 
 
Class 172 in West Midlands Railway livery at Birmingham Moor Street in 2019.
Overview
National Rail abbreviationWM
Websitewestmidlandsrailway.co.uk

In the West Midlands region, WMT's train services are operated under the West Midlands Railway brand. These services include:[17]

Services on the short Stourbridge Town branch line are run by the independent operator Pre Metro Operations, who operate services on behalf of WMT under the West Midlands Railway brand name.

As of 19 May 2018, the typical off-peak weekday West Midlands Railway services, with frequencies in trains per hour (tph), include:[19][20]

Birmingham regional
Route tph Calling at
Birmingham New Street to Shrewsbury 1 Sandwell & Dudley, Wolverhampton, Bilbrook, Codsall, Albrighton, Cosford, Shifnal, Telford Central, Oakengates, Wellington
1 Wolverhampton, Codsall, Shifnal, Telford Central, Wellington
Birmingham New Street to Hereford 1 University, Bromsgrove, Droitwich Spa, Worcester Foregate Street, Malvern Link, Great Malvern, Colwall, Ledbury
Cross City line
Route tph Calling at
Lichfield Trent Valley to Redditch 1 Lichfield City, Shenstone, Blake Street, Butlers Lane, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, Wylde Green, Chester Road, Erdington, Gravelly Hill, Aston, Birmingham New Street, Five Ways, University, Selly Oak, Bournville, Kings Norton, Northfield, Longbridge, Barnt Green, Alvechurch
1 Lichfield City, Blake Street, Butlers Lane, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, Wylde Green, Chester Road, Erdington, Gravelly Hill, Aston, Birmingham New Street, Five Ways, University, Selly Oak, Bournville, Kings Norton, Northfield, Longbridge, Barnt Green, Alvechurch
Four Oaks to Redditch 1 Sutton Coldfield, Wylde Green, Chester Road, Erdington, Gravelly Hill, Aston, Duddeston, Birmingham New Street, Five Ways, University, Selly Oak, Bournville, Kings Norton, Northfield, Longbridge, Barnt Green, Alvechurch
Lichfield Trent Valley to Bromsgrove 1 Lichfield City, Blake Street, Butlers Lane, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, Wylde Green, Chester Road, Erdington, Gravelly Hill, Aston, Birmingham New Street, Five Ways, University, Selly Oak, Bournville, Kings Norton, Northfield, Longbridge, Barnt Green (Bromsgrove-bound only)
1 Lichfield City, Shenstone, Blake Street, Butlers Lane, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, Wylde Green, Chester Road, Erdington, Gravelly Hill, Aston, Birmingham New Street, Five Ways, University, Selly Oak, Bournville, Kings Norton, Northfield, Longbridge, Barnt Green (Lichfield-bound only)
Four Oaks to Bromsgrove 1 Sutton Coldfield, Wylde Green, Chester Road, Erdington, Gravelly Hill, Aston, Duddeston, Birmingham New Street, Five Ways, University, Selly Oak, Bournville, Kings Norton, Northfield, Longbridge
Walsall line
Route tph Calling at
Walsall to Wolverhampton via Aston 2 Bescot Stadium, Tame Bridge Parkway, Hamstead, Perry Barr, Witton, Aston, Duddeston, Birmingham New Street, Smethwick Rolfe Street, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Sandwell and Dudley, Dudley Port, Tipton, Coseley
Snow Hill lines
Route tph Calling at
Stratford-upon-Avon to Stourbridge Junction via Dorridge 1 Stratford-upon-Avon Parkway, Dorridge, Widney Manor, Solihull, Olton, Acocks Green, Birmingham Moor Street, Birmingham Snow Hill, Jewellery Quarter, The Hawthorns, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Langley Green, Rowley Regis, Old Hill, Cradley Heath, Lye
Dorridge to Kidderminster 1 Widney Manor, Solihull, Olton, Acocks Green, Tyseley (Dorridge-bound only), Small Heath (Dorridge-bound only), Birmingham Moor Street, Birmingham Snow Hill, Jewellery Quarter, The Hawthorns, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Rowley Regis, Cradley Heath, Stourbridge Junction, Hagley, Blakedown
Dorridge to Worcester Shrub Hill or Worcester Foregate Street 1 Widney Manor, Solihull, Olton, Acocks Green, Tyseley (Worcester-bound only), Small Heath (Worcester-bound only), Birmingham Moor Street, Birmingham Snow Hill, Jewellery Quarter, The Hawthorns, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Rowley Regis, Cradley Heath, Stourbridge Junction, Hagley (Dorridge-bound only) Kidderminster, Hartlebury, Droitwich Spa
Most trains run to Worcester Shrub Hill, then reverse to continue to Foregate Street. Some irregular off-peak trains either terminate at Shrub Hill or run through to Foregate Street, avoiding Shrub Hill.
Stratford-upon-Avon to Stourbridge Junction via Whitlocks End 1 Stratford-upon-Avon Parkway, Wilmcote, Wootton Wawen,[a] Henley-in-Arden, Danzey,[a] Wood End,[a] The Lakes,[a] Earlswood, Wythall, Whitlocks End, Shirley, Yardley Wood, Hall Green, Spring Road, Birmingham Moor Street, Birmingham Snow Hill, Jewellery Quarter, The Hawthorns, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Langley Green, Rowley Regis, Old Hill, Cradley Heath, Lye
Whitlocks End to Kidderminster 1 Shirley, Yardley Wood, Hall Green, Spring Road, Tyseley (Whitlocks End-bound only), Small Heath (Whitlocks End-bound only), Birmingham Moor Street, Birmingham Snow Hill, Jewellery Quarter, The Hawthorns, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Rowley Regis, Cradley Heath, Stourbridge Junction, Hagley, Blakedown
Whitlocks End to Worcester Shrub Hill or Worcester Foregate Street 1 Shirley, Yardley Wood, Hall Green, Spring Road, Tyseley (Worcester-bound only), Small Heath (Worcester-bound only), Bordesley (limited service), Birmingham Moor Street, Birmingham Snow Hill, Jewellery Quarter, The Hawthorns, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Rowley Regis, Cradley Heath, Stourbridge Junction, Hagley (Worcester-bound only), Kidderminster, Droitwich Spa
Most trains run to Worcester Shrub Hill, then reverse to continue to Foregate Street. Some irregular off-peak trains either terminate at Shrub Hill or run through to Foregate Street, avoiding Shrub Hill.
Branch lines
Route tph Calling at
Stourbridge Junction to Stourbridge Town 6 shuttle service
Leamington Spa to Nuneaton 1 Kenilworth, Coventry, Coventry Arena, Bedworth, Bermuda Park
  1. ^ a b c d Request stop

FutureEdit

 
Map of the Birmingham & the West Midlands rail network (2017)

Future changes include:[11]

  • introduction of a half hourly service between Northampton and Crewe via Tamworth and Stafford.
  • extension of the Birmingham to Wolverhampton service to Crewe via Stoke-on-Trent. This will replace the London Euston to Crewe service via Stoke-on-Trent that will operate directly from Stafford to Crewe via the West Coast Main Line.[21] The change of this service has angered councillors in Staffordshire as to the loss of the direct service (although Virgin Trains West Coast will continue to operate a London-bound service through Stoke-on-Trent). The change of service is necessitated by West Midlands Trains increasing the number of carriages up to twelve in peak hours, which makes stopping at Alsager, Stone and Kidsgrove impossible due to their platform lengths being unable to take 12-car trains.[22] West Midlands Rail have since stated these stations will retain a direct service to London taking a slower route via Birmingham and Northampton.[23]
  • reintroduction of calls at Barlaston and therefore closure of Wedgwood. This will mean the end of the long-standing Rail Replacement Bus service.[24] From 10 December 2017, the Stafford – Stoke-on-Trent Rail Replacement Bus was cut back to run only between Stoke-on-Trent & Norton Bridge, via Wedgwood, Barlaston and Stone.

Rolling stockEdit

WMT inherited a fleet of Class 139, 150, 153, 170, 172, 319, 323 and 350 units from London Midland, but as the newer units come on stream, some will be returned to the leasing companies that own them.[25][26]

West Midlands Trains are also the first operator of the Class 230, a new class of diesel electric multiple unit that are upcycled London Underground D78 Stock. WMT placed an order for three two-car units, which are starting to be used on The Marston Vale Line.[27]

Current fleetEdit

Class Image Type Top Speed Carriages Number Routes Operated Built
mph km/h
West Midlands Railway
139 Parry People Mover   Railcar 40 64 1 2 2009
153 Super Sprinter   DMU 75 121 1 8 1987–88
170/5 & 170/6 Turbostar   DMU 100 161 2 17 1999–2000
3 6
172/0, 172/2 & 172/3 Turbostar   DMU 100 161 2 20 2010-2011
3 15
323   EMU 90 145 3 26 1992–93
London Northwestern Railway
230/0 D-Train[28]   DMU 60 97 2 3 2018–[nb 1]
319/0, 319/2 & 319/4   EMU 100 161 4 15 1987–88
350/1, 350/2 & 350/3 Desiro   EMU 110 177 4 77[29] West Coast Main Line services:
2004–14

Future fleetEdit

West Midlands Trains has ordered 26 brand new CAF Civity diesel multiple units (80 carriages) and 81 electric multiple units based on Bombardier Transportation's Aventra platform (333 carriages), giving a total of 107 brand new trains for the operator.[30] All of the new trains are set to be delivered to West Midlands Trains between 2020 and 2021.

In addition to the new rolling stock on order, eight two-car Class 172 units transferred to West Midlands Trains from London Overground in 2019, whilst the ten Class 350/4 units currently operated by TransPennine Express are also set to join the fleet.

In October 2017, details were announced of the planned new rolling stock for West Midlands Trains.[31][26][32]

Class Image Type Top Speed Carriages Number Route(s) to be operated Built In service
mph km/h
Diesel multiple units
196/0 & 196/2 Civity DMU 100 160 2 12

Stratford upon Avon-Birmingham
Birmingham-Shrewsbury

2019–20 2020
4 14
Electric multiple units
350/4 Desiro   EMU 110 180 4 10 LNWR West Coast Main Line services 2013–14 2019
 
730/0, 730/1 &
730/2 Aventra
EMU 90 145 3 36 Redditch–Lichfield Trent Valley (WMR)[33]
Bromsgrove–Lichfield Trent Valley (WMR)[33]
TBC 2020–21
110 180 5 29 Electrified LNWR suburban services[34]
16 Long distance LNWR services[34]

See alsoEdit

  • Central Trains – Former West Midlands franchise operator (1997-2007).
  • London Midland – Former West Midlands franchise operator (2007-2017).

NotesEdit

  1. ^ London Underground stock was initially built between 1979 and 1983

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "West Midlands Trains (WMT)". nationalrail.co.uk. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  2. ^ Companies House extract company no 9860466 West Midlands Trains Limited
  3. ^ Contenders for West Midlands rail franchise revealed BBC News 9 April 2016
  4. ^ East Japan Railway on LNWR franchise shortlist Railway Gazette International 7 April 2016
  5. ^ "Three shortlisted for next West Midlands franchise" Rail Magazine issue 799 27 April 2016 page 21
  6. ^ Battle to run London Midland rail service down to two Birmingham Post 6 July 2016
  7. ^ "MTR withdraws from West Midlands bidding" Modern Railways issue 815 August 2016 page 21
  8. ^ West Midlands franchise ITT issued Railway Gazette International 30 August 2016
  9. ^ West Midlands Trains announced as winning bidder for West Midlands franchise Abellio 10 August 2017
  10. ^ Lea, Robert (11 August 2017). "Southern operator comes off the rails in West Midlands". The Times (72299). p. 37.
  11. ^ a b More seats for rail passengers as nearly £1 billion is invested in Midlands services Department for Transport 10 August 2017
  12. ^ Abellio, JR East and Mitsui clinch West Midlands franchise International Railway Journal 10 August 2017
  13. ^ "London Midland loses West Midlands rail franchise". BBC News. 10 August 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  14. ^ Jones, Tamlyn (10 August 2017). "£1 billion rail investment as London Midland loses franchise". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  15. ^ a b West Midlands Trains announces London Northwestern brand Railway Gazette International 27 October 2017
  16. ^ Witherow, John, ed. (27 October 2017). "Railway great returns". The Times (72365). p. 54. ISSN 0140-0460.
  17. ^ a b c Route Map
  18. ^ Timetables - London Northwestern Railway
  19. ^ Timetables - West Midlands Railway]
  20. ^ West Midlands Railway (26 July 2018). "Up to three extra trains per hour for Bromsgrove". Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  21. ^ Department for Transport announces new operator for West Midlands franchise The Sentinel 10 August 2017
  22. ^ Harris, Jordan (19 August 2017). "Staffordshire forgotten in rail shake-up". Express & Star. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  23. ^ Staffordshire stations to keep direct London rail link BBC News 17 August 2017
  24. ^ [1]
  25. ^ Clinnick, Richard (25 October 2017). "£680m deals agreed for new West Midlands trains". Rail Magazine. No. 838. Peterborough: Bauer Media. p. 12. ISSN 0953-4563.
  26. ^ a b "Vivarail 230s for new West Midlands franchise as 170s to go" Today's Railways UK issue 191 November 2017 page 8
  27. ^ "First D-Trains lined up for West Midlands Trains in 2018". Rail (UK). PressReader.com. 20 December 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  28. ^ "West Midlands Trains" (PDF). Stourbridge Line User Group. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 October 2017. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  29. ^ "Back from the grave". Flickr.
  30. ^ Lea, Robert (17 October 2017). "Big Order for Bombardier Train Unit". The Times (72356). p. 43. ISSN 0140-0460.
  31. ^ Gibbs, Nigel (November 2017). "Vivarail 230s for new West Mids franchise as 170s to go". Today's Railways (191): 8.
  32. ^ "Bombardier and CAF win West Midlands train contracts". Railway Gazette International. 17 October 2017. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  33. ^ a b "Abellio, JR East and Mitsui announce £680m new trains for the next West Midlands Rail Franchise 413 electric and diesel carriages to be manufactured by Bombardier and CAF". Abellio. Abellio. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  34. ^ a b Jones, Tamlyn. "Over 100 new trains West Midlands trains – with wi-fi and speeds up to 110mph". Birmingham Post. Birmingham Post. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
Preceded by
London Midland
West Midlands franchise
Operator of West Midlands franchise
2017–2026
Succeeded by
incumbent