News

Evening rail services to boost region’s night time economy


Workers, sports fans, concert goers, theatre buffs and shoppers will all benefit from more evening and night time services when West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway introduce new timetables this May.

More frequent evening services and later last trains are part of a range of service improvements being introduced by the train operators.

There will also be direct services to more destinations, extra capacity and enhanced timetables across the region.

L to R: Malcolm Holmes, executive director WMRE, Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, and Richard Brookes, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway
L to R: Malcolm Holmes, executive director WMRE, Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, and Richard Brookes, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street was joined by West Midlands Trains and the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) bosses at Smethwick Galton Bridge to promote improved evening services and better connections.

More evening and night time services will provide more opportunities for passengers wishing to socialise and enjoy leisure activities in towns and cities or needing to finish work shifts later to get trains home.

Services between Birmingham New Street and Coventry will have trains up to 45 minutes later than under the current timetable, including a 0040 departure from Birmingham on weekdays.

On the Cross City North, four trains an hour will operate in the evening after 1900, and also later with the introduction of a new 2340 departure from Birmingham New Street to Four Oaks on weekdays, and a 2325 departure on Saturdays.

Services calling at local stations to Wolverhampton will see an additional train from Birmingham New Street at 2355 on Mondays to Fridays (2338 on Saturdays).

Services from Birmingham Snow Hill to Kidderminster, Dorridge and Whitlocks End are doubled in frequency during the evening after 1900 on Mondays to Saturdays.

For passengers at stations such as Smethwick Galton Bridge, this will mean better connections between services throughout the evening – with additional trains to both Birmingham New Street and Birmingham Snow Hill.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, said: “This is great news for those many people who are working in the evening.

“Whether this is in hospitality and catering, in retail, at the airport, at a hospital or just staying late in the office, there are more services to get you home.

“We have a vibrant and hugely diverse evening economy in the West Midlands and it is really positive that we are supporting shift workers and those going out in the evening and weekends.”

Richard Brooks, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway, said: “Rail has a massive role to play in the prosperity of our region and train travel has never been more popular. So it is important that our timetables provide frequent and reliable services across the West Midlands.

“The changes we are making this Spring will open up new opportunities for passengers to travel by train at various times throughout the week for both work and leisure – with the additional earlier, later and weekend services operating direct to more destinations than ever before.

“However, this isn’t the whole story. We will also have a further timetable change in two years time, where passengers will see further benefits from the introduction of new trains onto the network, which when fully operational, will increase capacity by 25%.”

Malcolm Holmes, executive director WMRE said: "The improvements in the new May timetable are a great example of how partners are working together to transform the railway for people in the West Midlands. Later evening services and better connections gives people more flexibility to work and socialise when they need and choose too"

The new timetable will operate from Sunday 19 May. There will be changes to the time and formation of some services, so passengers are advised to check their train times and to plan ahead for the changes. The new timetable is now live on journey planning systems and can be found at www.westmidlandsrailway.co.uk or www.londonnorthwesternrailway.co.uk.