West Midlands Trains

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West Midlands Trains
WestMidlandsTrains.svg
172339 at Birmingham Moor Street.jpg
172339 at Birmingham Moor Street in new West Midlands Railway colours
Overview
Franchise(s) West Midlands
10 December 2017 – March 2026
Main region(s) West Midlands
Greater London
Other region(s) North West
East Midlands
Stations called at 178
Stations operated 146
Route km operated 867.4
National Rail abbreviation LM[1]
Parent company Abellio (70%)
JR East (15%)
Mitsui (15%)
Website www.wmtrains.co.uk
Route map
Route map

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 took over the franchise on 10 December 2017 and operates trains under two distinct brand names, London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway. It is planned that each brand will have their own unique livery applied.

History

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]

Management

Unlike the previous London Midland franchise, which was solely accountable to the DfT, WMT will also be accountable for services that operate wholly within the West Midlands region to West Midlands Rail, 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.

Branding

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 brand. This name was chosen in tribute to the former London & North Western Railway (LNWR), the company that operated services on the route until 1923. Branding of trains and associated publicity use a green colour scheme with a logo composed of the letters 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]

Services

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 Railway

LondonNorthwestern.svg
Overview
National Rail abbreviation LN
Website londonnorthwesternrailway.co.uk

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 the rural Abbey line and Marston Vale line that branch off the West Coast main line

As of December 2017, the typical off-peak weekday London Northwestern Railway services, with frequencies in trains per hour (tph), include:[18]

Mainline
Route tph Calling at
London Euston to Tring 2 Wembley Central (1 tph), 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 1 tph 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.
1 tph Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley, Milton Keynes Central, Wolverton, Northampton, Long Buckby, Rugby, Coventry, Tile Hill, Hampton-in-Arden, Birmingham International, Marston Green
1 tph Watford Junction, Milton Keynes Central, Northampton, Long Buckby, Rugby, Coventry, Canley, Tile Hill, Berkswell, Birmingham International, Marston Green, Lea Hall, Stechford
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 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
Branch lines
Watford Junction to St Albans Abbey Watford North, Garston, Bricket Wood, How Wood, Park Street
Irregular service; approximately every 45 minutes.
Bletchley to Bedford 1 Fenny Stratford, Bow Brickhill, Woburn Sands, Aspley Guise, Ridgmont, Lidlington, Millbrook, Stewartby, Kempston Hardwick, Bedford St Johns

West Midlands Railway

WestMidlandsRailway.svg
Overview
National Rail abbreviation WM
Website westmidlandsrailway.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 December 2017, the typical off-peak weekday West Midlands Railway services, with frequencies in trains per hour (tph), include:[18]

Birmingham regional
Route tph Calling at
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
Cross City line
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
Chase 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
Rugeley Trent Valley to Birmingham New Street 2 Rugeley Town, Hednesford, Cannock, Landywood, Bloxwich North, Bloxwich, Walsall, Tame Bridge Parkway
Birmingham International to Birmingham New Street 1 Lea Hall, Stechford, Adderley Park
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, 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. A few trains continue to Great Malvern.
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. A few trains continue to Great Malvern.
Branch lines
Route tph Calling at
Stourbridge Junction to Stourbridge Town[nb 1] 6
Coventry to Nuneaton 1 Coventry Arena, Bedworth, Bermuda Park
Leamington Spa to Coventry 1 Kenilworth

Future

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

Future changes include:[11]

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 stock

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.[23][24]

Current fleet

Class Image Type Top Speed Carriages Number Routes Operated Built
mph km/h
West Midlands Railway
139 Parry People Mover Parry People Mover 139 002 leaving Stourbridge Town Railway Station - geograph.org.uk - 1376879.jpg Railcar 40 64 1 2

2009
150 Sprinter London Midland 150107 at Bedford.jpg DMU 75 121 2 3[25]

1984–87
153 Super Sprinter 153371 Bedford.JPG DMU 75 121 1 8

1987–88
170/5 & 170/6 Turbostar 170631 at Shrewsbury - DSC08281.JPG DMU 100 161 2 17

1999–2000
3 6
172/2 & 172/3 Turbostar 172339 at Birmingham Moor Street.jpg DMU 100 161 2 12

2011
3 15
323 Birmingham New Street railway station MMB 22 323220.jpg EMU 90 145 3 26

1992–93
London Northwestern
319/0, 319/2 & 319/4 319433 Watford Junction.jpg EMU 100 161 4 9

1987–88
350/1, 350/2 & 350/3 Desiro 350373 in LNWR livery.jpg
London Northwestern Railway branded train 15 19 15 597000.jpeg
EMU 100 161 4 77[26] West Coast Main Line services:

2004–14
110 177
Class 350 in London NorthWestern Railway livery
Class 350 London Midland Diagram.PNG

Future fleet

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.[27] 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 will transfer to West Midlands Trains from London Overground, whilst the ten Class 350/4 units currently operated by TransPennine Express are also set to join the fleet. West Midlands Trains will also become the first operator of the Class 230, a new class of diesel electric multiple unit that are upcycled London Underground D78 Stock. WMT have placed an order for three two-car units, which will be operated on the Marston Vale Line.[28]

In October 2017, details were announced of the first group of planned new rolling stock for West Midlands Trains.[29] Further details became available shortly afterwards.[24][30]

Class Image Type Top Speed Carriages Number Route(s) to be operated Built In service
mph km/h
Diesel multiple units
172/0 Turbostar Unit 172006 at Leyton Midland Road.JPG DMU 100 160 2 8 Coventry–Nuneaton (WMR) 2009–10 2018
Class 172 LO Diagram.PNG
196/0 & 196/2 Civity DMU TBC TBC 4 14 WMR services:
  • Birmingham New Street–Hereford/Shrewsbury
  • Birmingham Snow Hill–Stratford-upon-Avon[31]

TBC 2020
2 12
Diesel-electric multiple units
230/2 D-Train[32] D-Train-203001-LongMarston-P1410018.jpg DMU 60 97 2 3 Bletchley–Bedford (LNWR) TBC[nb 2] 2018
Electric multiple units
350/4 Desiro EMU 350403 at Edinburgh Waverley.jpg EMU 110 180 4 10 LNWR West Coast Main Line services:

2013–14 2019
TransPennine Express Class 350 Diagram.png
730/0, 730/1 &
730/2 Aventra
EMU 90 145 3 36 Redditch–Lichfield Trent Valley (WMR)[31] TBC 2020–21
110 180 5 29 Electrified LNWR suburban services[33]
16 Long distance LNWR services[33]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Operated by Pre Metro Operations on behalf of West Midlands Trains; branded as a West Midlands Railway service.
  2. ^ London Underground stock was initially built between 1979 and 1983

References

  1. ^ "West Midlands Trains (LM)". 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 7 April 2016
  4. ^ East Japan Railway on West Midlands 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. ^ a b Timetables West Midlands Railway]
  19. ^ Webb, Jonathan, ed. (October 2017). "Abellio awarded West Midlands franchise". Today's Railways. No. 190. Sheffield: Platform 5. p. 8. ISSN 1475-9713. 
  20. ^ Department for Transport announces new operator for West Midlands franchise The Sentinel 10 August 2017
  21. ^ Harris, Jordan (19 August 2017). "Staffordshire forgotten in rail shake-up". Express & Star. Retrieved 19 August 2017. 
  22. ^ Staffordshire stations to keep direct London rail link BBC News 17 August 2017
  23. ^ 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. 
  24. ^ a b "Vivarail 230s for new West Midlands franchise as 170s to go" Today's Railways UK issue 191 November 2017 page 8
  25. ^ "AbRail Rail Databases – Diesel Multiple Units". Retrieved 31 July 2016. 
  26. ^ "Back from the grave". Flickr. 
  27. ^ Lea, Robert (17 October 2017). "Big Order for Bombardier Train Unit". The Times (72356). p. 43. ISSN 0140-0460. 
  28. ^ "First D-Trains lined up for West Midlands Trains in 2018". Rail (UK). PressReader.com. 20 December 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2018. 
  29. ^ Gibbs, Nigel (November 2017). "Vivarail 230s for new West Mids franchise as 170s to go". Today's Railways (191): 8. 
  30. ^ "Bombardier and CAF win West Midlands train contracts". Railway Gazette International. 17 October 2017. Retrieved 17 October 2017. 
  31. ^ 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. 
  32. ^ "West Midlands Trains" (PDF). Stourbridge Line User Group. Retrieved 17 October 2017. 
  33. ^ 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
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