London Midland

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London Midland
London midland logo.svg
350252 at Watford Junction.jpg
Overview
Franchise(s) West Midlands
11 November 2007 – 9 December 2017
Main region(s) West Midlands, London
Other region(s) North West, East Midlands
Stations called at 178
Stations operated 146
Route km operated 867.4
National Rail abbreviation LM
Parent company Govia
Website www.londonmidland.com
Route map
Route map

London Midland[1] is a train operating company in England, owned by Govia, operating the West Midlands franchise.

London Midland operate local services in the West Midlands and surrounding areas through their City sub-brand. They also operate long distance and commuter services on the West Coast Main Line through the Express sub-brand from London Euston to and from the West Midlands, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire. Additionally, services on the Stourbridge Town Branch Line operated by Pre Metro Operations are branded as the London Midland Stourbridge Shuttle.

The franchise was originally due to expire in September 2015, this was extended to March 2016, and again to October 2017 after London Midland agreed to put on extra trains and improve services.[2][3] In July 2017, it was further extended until December 2017,[4] when West Midlands Trains will take over the franchise.

Services

London Midland's services are divided between four groups of routes: London Euston Routes, Birmingham Regional, West Midlands Local and Branch Lines.[5]

  • London Euston Routes includes train services between London Euston and Birmingham New Street or Crewe, as well as services which only use a small section of the route (e.g. Northampton - Birmingham New Street).
  • Birmingham Regional includes longer-distance, semi-fast services between Birmingham New Street and Hereford, Shrewsbury or Liverpool Lime Street.
  • West Midlands Local includes stopping services through Birmingham to nearby settlements such as Lichfield and Kidderminster.
  • Branch Lines includes services which operate on branch lines that are essentially separate from the rest of the network.

London Midland operates several "parliamentary train" stations, where only a handful of trains a day call. These include:

  • Bordesley; 1 train per week on a Saturday, from Whitlocks End to Great Malvern, plus football specials.
  • Polesworth; 1 train per day from Northampton to Crewe.

London Midland also operates stations where it operates no services. These stations are only served by CrossCountry, which does not manage any stations. These include:

As of February 2016, its routes off-peak Monday to Friday, with frequencies in trains per hour (tph), include:[6]

London Euston 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, Cheddington, Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley
London Euston to Birmingham New Street 3 1tph Watford Junction, Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley, Milton Keynes Central, Wolverton, Northampton, Long Buckby, Rugby, Coventry, Canley, Tile Hill, Berkswell, Hampton-in-Arden, Birmingham International, Marston Green
Note: In the northbound direction this service is timetabled as two separate services, terminating/originating at Northampton.
1tph Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley, Milton Keynes Central, Wolverton, Northampton, Long Buckby, Rugby, Coventry, Tile Hill, Hampton-in-Arden, Birmingham International, Marston Green
1tph Watford Junction, Milton Keynes Central, Northampton, Long Buckby, Rugby, Coventry, Canley, Tile Hill, Berkswell, Birmingham International, Marston Green, Lea Hall, Stechford
Birmingham International to Birmingham New Street 1 Lea Hall, Stechford, Adderley Park
London Euston to Crewe 1 Milton Keynes Central, Rugby, Nuneaton, Atherstone, Polesworth (limited service), Tamworth, Lichfield Trent Valley, Rugeley Trent Valley, Stafford, Stone, Stoke-on-Trent, Kidsgrove, Alsager
Birmingham regional
Route tph Calling at
Birmingham New Street to Liverpool Lime Street 2 1 tph Coseley, Wolverhampton, Penkridge, Stafford, Crewe, Winsford (southbound only), Hartford (southbound only), Runcorn, Liverpool South Parkway
1 tph Smethwick Galton Bridge, Wolverhampton, Penkridge (southbound only), Stafford, Crewe, Winsford (northbound only), Hartford, Acton Bridge (limited service), Runcorn, Liverpool South Parkway
Birmingham New Street to Shrewsbury 1 Sandwell & Dudley, Wolverhampton, Bilbrook, Codsall, Albrighton, Cosford, Shifnal, Telford Central, Oakengates, Wellington
Birmingham New Street to Hereford 1 University, Bromsgrove, Droitwich Spa, Worcester Foregate Street, Malvern Link, Great Malvern, Colwall, Ledbury
West Midlands local (Cross City route)
Route tph Calling at
Lichfield Trent Valley to Longbridge (and Redditch) 2 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
1 tph extended to Redditch calling at Barnt Green and Alvechurch
Lichfield City to Longbridge (and Redditch) 2 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
1 tph extended to Redditch calling at Barnt Green and Alvechurch
Four Oaks to Longbridge (and Redditch) 2 Sutton Coldfield, Wylde Green, Chester Road, Erdington, Gravelly Hill, Aston, Duddeston, Birmingham New Street, Five Ways, University, Selly Oak, Bournville, Kings Norton, Northfield
1 tph extended to Redditch calling at Barnt Green and Alvechurch
West Midlands local (Chase Line route)
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 & Dudley, Dudley Port, Tipton, Coseley
Rugeley Trent Valley to Birmingham New Street 1 Rugeley Town, Hednesford, Cannock, Landywood, Bloxwich North, Bloxwich, Walsall, Tame Bridge Parkway
Walsall to Birmingham New Street 1 Tame Bridge Parkway
West Midlands local (Snow Hill route)
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, 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, Small Heath, Birmingham Moor Street, Birmingham Snow Hill, Jewellery Quarter, The Hawthorns, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Rowley Regis, Cradley Heath, Stourbridge Junction, 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, Henley-in-Arden, Danzey, Wood End, The Lakes, 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, 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, Small Heath, Bordesley (limited service), Birmingham Moor Street, Birmingham Snow Hill, Jewellery Quarter, The Hawthorns, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Rowley Regis, Cradley Heath, Stourbridge Junction, Hagley, 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[a] 6
Coventry to Nuneaton 1 Coventry Arena, Bedworth, Bermuda Park
Bletchley to Bedford 1 Fenny Stratford, Bow Brickhill, Woburn Sands, Aspley Guise, Ridgmont, Lidlington, Millbrook, Stewartby, Kempston Hardwick, Bedford St Johns
Watford Junction to St Albans Abbey - Watford North, Garston, Bricket Wood, How Wood, Park Street
Irregular service; approximately every 45 minutes.

Former services

A map of the former London Midland network

In December 2008, London Midland discontinued the direct service between Walsall and Wolverhampton. Traffic on the route was low, but growing, and there was a campaign to keep the service.[7] The service was a priced option with the new West Midlands franchise, but the Department for Transport decided not to provide funding from December 2008, and as a result the service ceased.[8] There is only one early morning train on Saturdays from Wolverhampton to Walsall (Parliamentary service).[9]

In December 2008, a two-hourly Worcester Shrub Hill to Gloucester service was introduced to improve transport links between the two towns as well as to provide an increased service at Ashchurch for Tewkesbury. This service was withdrawn in December 2009 because of low passenger use.[10]

Proposed services

In October 2010, London Midland applied to the Office of Rail Regulation to run a new hourly Birmingham to Preston service from 2016 by diverting every other Birmingham to Liverpool train. The Euston to Crewe service would also then be extended to Liverpool to maintain a half-hourly service between Crewe and Liverpool by 2016.[11][12] This was rejected by the Office of Rail Regulation.[13] London Midland also sought to run additional evening and Sunday trains between Euston and Crewe, to satisfy what the company says is unmet demand.[11] From April 2012, London Midland began operating an hourly Euston to Crewe service on Sundays.[14]

In order to win a contract extension, London Midland has agreed to put on extra services, resulting in an extra 6,600 seats per week.[15]

Performance

The company stated that it experienced many breakdowns due to the outdated rolling stock it inherited and which it has now replaced,[16] and also provided extra seats in the 2014 timetable.[17]

In autumn and winter 2012, many services suffered cancellations owing to a shortage of train operating staff.[18][19][20]

Performance since the staff shortages have been varied with a low of 76% for the period 10 November to 7 December 2013 to a 92.2% for the period 1–26 April 2014.[21] The average punctuality since the start of the franchise is 87%[22]

A new partnership agreement between London Midland and transport authority Centro was set to trigger a £10 million investment in station improvements across the West Midlands. 'Transforming Rail Travel' was a deal between the two organisations to continue a two-year arrangement with the aim of delivering further enhancements to services and facilities.[23]

Rolling stock

A pair of trains approach Stourbridge Junction; both were procured by London Midland following their gaining of the franchise - a Class 139 railcar on the left arrives with a service from Stourbridge Town, while a Class 172 pulls in with a service towards Kidderminster

London Midland inherited a fleet of Class 150, Class 153, Class 170, Class 321, Class 323 and Class 350/1s from Central Trains and Silverlink.

One of the major franchise commitments was the replacement of the existing fleet of Class 150 and Class 321 units.[24] Upon being awarded the franchise, London Midland ordered a total of 66 new trains of three different types, comprising two Class 139 Parry People Movers, 12 two-car and 15 three-car Class 172 Turbostars and 37 four-car Class 350/2 Desiros.[25][26][27]

All bar three Class 150 units were cascaded to First Great Western (12 x two-car, 2 x three-car) and Northern Rail (18 x two-car) and the Class 321s to First Capital Connect (13) and National Express East Anglia (17).[28][29] The Class 153, Class 170 and Class 323 units have all been refurbished.

The first of the Class 350/2 units arrived in the UK in early October 2008 for testing at the Siemens Northampton depot.[30] By July 2009, they were all in service.

London Midland was to lose all of its Class 321 units, but a change of plan saw it retain seven for use both on the Watford Junction to St Albans Abbey branch line and on peak-hour express services between Northampton/Milton Keynes Central/Tring-London Euston.[31][32][33] The final seven units moved to Abellio ScotRail in 2015/16,[34][35][36] and were replaced by seven Class 319s cascaded from Thameslink.[37][38][39]

The two Class 139 railcars were due to enter service on the Stourbridge line with the start of the new timetable on 15 December 2008. However, problems in testing caused a delay in their introduction, with a replacement bus covering the route following the reallocation of the Class 153 originally used.[40] The two railcars finally entered full passenger service in June 2009.[41]

London Midland was to lose all of its Class 150 units, but a change in plan saw it retain three Class 150 units as additional capacity, following a statement from the Department for Transport on 10 August 2011. However, London Midland transferred two Class 153 units to First Great Western as a result.[42] The other Class 150 units were transferred to First Great Western and Northern Rail.

In 2011, London Midland announced that it would be procuring a further 18 four-car Class 350 units, eight for itself and ten for sub-lease to First TransPennine Express.[43] In February 2012 it was announced that 20 Class 350 units had been ordered by London Midland. Ten Class 350/3 units entered service with London Midland, and ten Class 350/4 units with First TransPennine Express.[44][45]

Current fleet

As of October 2017, the fleet comprised:[46]

Class Image Type Top Speed Carriages Number Routes Operated Built
mph km/h
139 Parry People Mover Parry People Mover 139 002 leaving Stourbridge Town Railway Station - geograph.org.uk - 1376879.jpg Railcar 40 64 1 2 2008
150 Sprinter[47] London Midland 150107 at Bedford.jpg DMU 75 121 2 3[48][49] 1984-7
153 Super Sprinter 153371 Bedford.JPG DMU 75 121 1 8 1987–8
Class 153 LM.png
170/5 & 170/6 Turbostar 170631 at Shrewsbury - DSC08281.JPG DMU 100 161 2 17 1999–2000
3 6
172/2 & 172/3 Turbostar Stourbridge Junction - London Midland 172222-172332 Worcester service.JPG DMU 100 161 2 12 2011
3 15
319/0, 319/2 & 319/4 319433 Watford Junction.jpg EMU 100 161 4 7 1987–8
Class 319 London Midland Diagram.png
323 Birmingham New Street railway station MMB 22 323220.jpg EMU 90 145 3 26 1992–3
350/1, 350/2 & 350/3
Desiro
Hugh llewelyn 350 255 (6536924189).jpg EMU 100 161 4 77 2004–14
110 177
Class 350 London Midland Diagram.PNG

The franchise agreement included the option of replacing the three remaining Class 150/1 in the fleet with six Class 153 units in June 2017.[50] The Northern franchise agreement indicates this option has been taken up, as the London Midland Class 150 units will transfer to Northern in 2017. The Northern franchise agreement also rules out the option of any additional Class 323 units being leased from Porterbrook to London Midland before 1 January 2019.[51]

In July 2016, London Midland and the West Midlands Combined Authority announced that it would run a year-long trial of the prototype Vivarail Class 230 DMU on the Coventry to Nuneaton Line.[52] In January 2017, this was cancelled by the West Midlands Combined Authority as a fire on the trial unit would have caused the trial to be impossible to complete before the end of the franchise.[53]

Past fleet

Former units operated by London Midland include:

 Class   Image   Type   Carriages   Number   Built   Notes   Withdrawn 
321/4 St Albans Abbey railway station MMB 01 321417.jpg EMU 4 37 1989–90 Transferred to:
First Capital Connect (13)
National Express East Anglia (17)
Abellio ScotRail (7)
2009–15
Class 319 London Midland Diagram.png

Incidents

On 8 September 2015 an early morning commuter service caught fire and had to be evacuated at Warwick Parkway Station.[54]

On 26 November 2015 an identical unit on the same route again caught fire during the morning commuter rush and had to be evacuated at Lapworth Station.[55]

Future

In April 2016, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced that Govia, MTR Corporation and a consortium of Abellio, East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and Mitsui had been shortlisted to bid for the next franchise.[56] The Invitation to Tender (ITT) was issued in August 2016 and the franchise was due to be awarded in June 2017.[57] In July 2016 MTR Corporation withdrew from the bidding process.[58]

In July 2017, the franchise was extended until 9 December 2017.[59] In August 2017, the franchise was awarded to the consortium led by Abellio. The new company, named West Midlands Trains, will commence operations on 10 December 2017.[60][61]

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b Operated by Pre Metro Operations on behalf of London Midland; services are branded as London Midland.

References

  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 5814584 London & Birmingham Railway Limited
  2. ^ London Midland rail franchise extended to 2016 BBC News 10 June 2014
  3. ^ "London Midland wins franchise extension". Railnews. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015. 
  4. ^ Jones, Tamlyn (17 July 2017). "London Midland wins franchise extension on key Birmingham route". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 19 July 2017. 
  5. ^ "Our Network". London Midland.com. London Midland. Retrieved 2 June 2009. 
  6. ^ London Midland Train Times
  7. ^ "Save Wolverhampton to Walsall Rail Services". RMT Union. Retrieved 2 June 2009. 
  8. ^ "Black Country rail service faces funding axe". Birmingham Post. 25 July 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2009. 
  9. ^ Passenger Services Over Unusual Lines 2014
  10. ^ "Lack of passengers brings cut to service". Worcester News. 4 September 2009.
  11. ^ a b Miles, Tony (December 2010). "Blackpool through service proposed in West Coast path frenzy". Modern Railways. London. p. 6. 
  12. ^ Application for Section 22A amendment track access agreement. London Midland application.
  13. ^ London & Birmingham Railway Limited: application for approval of track access rights Office of Rail Regulation letter 10 March 2011
  14. ^ "Faster and bigger trains on London service". Lichfield Mercury. 31 March 2012.
  15. ^ "London Midland welcomes new contract award". 
  16. ^ "Improving our services". London Midland. 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  17. ^ "London Midland reveals new timetable and additional seating across network". Birmingham mail. 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  18. ^ "London Midland staff shortages cancel trains". BBC News. 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  19. ^ "More London Midland trains hit by driver shortage". BBC News. 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  20. ^ "London Midland driver shortage hits 37 trains". BBC news. 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  21. ^ "Performance London Midland". London Midland. 
  22. ^ "Performance Network Rail". Network rail. 
  23. ^ "£10m investment in West Midlands transport". Insider Media Limited. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  24. ^ Improvements on the way for passengers as Govia wins the West Midlands rail franchise London Midland News 6 November 2007
  25. ^ Parry People Movers for Stourbridge branch line London Midland News 14 December 2007
  26. ^ Twenty seven new trains for London Midland London Midland News 13 December 2007
  27. ^ Porterbrook purchases new Siemens Class 350 Desiro trains for West Midlands Franchise London Midland News 6 November 2007
  28. ^ "FCC receives its first Class 321" Today's Railways issue 89 May 209-page 65
  29. ^ "The Class 321 EMUs" Today's Railways issue 154 October 2014 page 50
  30. ^ "Siemens unveils Desiros for London Midland". Rail (603). Peterborough. October 2008. 
  31. ^ "London Midland's 321 trains get a fresh coat of paint" (Press release). London Midland. 11 June 2009. 
  32. ^ "London Midland to introduce more seats for London commuters" (Press release). London Midland. 1 October 2009. Archived from the original on 22 January 2010. 
  33. ^ "London Midland keeps seven Class 321s" Rail Express issue 158 July 2009 page 51
  34. ^ "ScotRail to receive LM Class 321/4s" Rail Magazine issue 766 21 January 2015 page 7
  35. ^ "London Midland 321s Scotland Bound" Railways Illustrated issue 151 September 2015 page 10
  36. ^ "LO 321/4 converted for ScotRail" Rail Magazine issue 797 30 March 2016 page 26
  37. ^ "London Midland takes on Class 319s for Euston work" Rail Magazine issue 779 22 July 2015 page 30
  38. ^ "Seventh 319 for LM" Today's Railways issue 174 June 2016 page 69
  39. ^ "LM receives its seventh 319" Rail Magazine issue 804 6 July 2016 page 30
  40. ^ "Delay to new Class 139 Parry People Mover service" (Press release). London Midland. 5 December 2008. 
  41. ^ "The fleet's in! Class 139 enters service at Stourbridge" (Newsletter). Parry News. Parry People Movers. July 2009. 
  42. ^ Freedom of Information Act Request - F0007261 Archived 28 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Department for Transport letter 24 January 2011
  43. ^ Samuel, A. (15 September 2011). "New rolling stock for London Midland & First TransPennine Express". Rail.co. 
  44. ^ "Extra trains and faster journey times will boost capacity" (Press release). Department for Transport. 29 February 2012. 
  45. ^ "London Midland's new trains bring extra capacity and faster journeys" (Press release). London Midland. 29 February 2012. 
  46. ^ "Vivarail 230s for new West Midlands franchise as 170s to go". Today's Railways UK. No. 191. November 2017. p. 8. 
  47. ^ West Midlands Rail Franchise Consultation: Comments of West Midlands Campaign for Better Transport West Midlands Campaign for Better Transport 16 March 2017
  48. ^ "AbRail Rail Databases - Diesel Multiple Units". Retrieved 31 July 2016. 
  49. ^ Operations in the West Midlands Railway Correspondence and Travel Society March 2017
  50. ^ London Midland Direct Award Franchise Agreement Department for Transport
  51. ^ Northern Franchise Agreement Department for Transport
  52. ^ Gillman, Alice (22 July 2016). "Class 230 to enter passenger service this year". Vivarail. Retrieved 22 July 2016. 
  53. ^ "Funding for D-Train trial withdrawn after engine fire". Rail News. 10 January 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  54. ^ "Smoke billows from train after fire broke out during rush hour". Mail Online. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  55. ^ "London Midland train fire: 200 passengers evacuated". BBC News. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  56. ^ East Japan Railway on West Midlands franchise shortlist Railway Gazette International 7 April 2016
  57. ^ "West Midlands franchise ITT issued". 
  58. ^ "MTR withdraws from West Midlands bidding". Modern Railways. Railway Study Association. 73 (815): 21. August 2016. 
  59. ^ Jones, Tamlyn (17 July 2017). "London Midland wins franchise extension on key Birmingham route". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 19 July 2017. 
  60. ^ More seats for rail passengers as nearly £1 billion is invested in Midlands services Department for Transport 10 August 2017
  61. ^ West Midlands Trains announced as winning bidder for West Midlands franchise Abellio 10 August 2017

External links

  • Media related to London Midland at Wikimedia Commons
  • Official website
Preceded by
Central Trains
Central Trains franchise
Operator of West Midlands franchise
2007–2017
Succeeded by
West Midlands Trains
West Midlands franchise
(From December 2017)
Preceded by
Silverlink
North London Railways franchise
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