Rail passengers are being reminded to check their train times, as major changes are introduced across the rail network this weekend.
London Northwestern Railway is implementing a new timetable from Sunday (19 May), bringing improvements for passengers across Staffordshire and Cheshire.
Changes being made include the more carriages on some London-bound services from Crewe, quicker journey times to/from the capital and new direct services to destinations across the rail network, including Birmingham Airport. The changes will benefit passengers travelling for both work and leisure – including those using rail services during evenings and weekends.
Announcements to remind passengers about the changes can now be heard at railway stations, with timetables available from ticket offices or to download from the London Northwestern Railway website.
Events have also been held at stations and on trains across the network to give passengers a chance to speak to senior managers about the upcoming changes. Similar events are also scheduled for the coming weeks, to help gather feedback on the new timetable.
Some of the improvements being introduced across Staffordshire and Cheshire include:
- A new Monday to Saturday service will operate from Crewe, via Stoke-on-Trent, to Wolverhampton, Birmingham New Street, Birmingham Airport and London Euston. On Sundays this service will operate as far as Birmingham New Street for onward connections across the rail network.
- The introduction of some eight carriage services between Crewe and London Euston. The improvement comes as services will begin operating directly between Crewe and Stafford – shortening journey times between Cheshire and the capital, via stations such as Stafford, Rugeley Trent Valley and Lichfield Trent Valley. Passengers from Alsager, Kidsgrove, Stoke-on-Trent and Stone will also be able to connect with fast London-bound services at Stafford for travel to and from the capital.
- Later evening services on weekdays, with a new 2153 departure from Crewe.
- On Sundays, journey times will be reduced, with trains from Crewe no longer travelling via Northampton.
Across South Staffordshire, there will also be a number of improvements:
- Electric trains will be introduced on the Chase line, following over £100m of electrification work between Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley. This will enable faster trains to operate, with more carriages and extra seats for passengers. From Walsall, there will be an hourly service to London Euston and a half hourly service to Birmingham Airport from Monday to Saturday.
- More services will operate between Lichfield and Birmingham on the Cross City line, with four trains per hour serving the station throughout the week.
- There will also be more trains calling at Penkridge on the line between Birmingham and Liverpool.
Jonny Wiseman, customer experience director for London Northwestern Railway, said: “The timetable improvements being introduced this weekend will bring a range of benefits to passengers, with more direct services to destinations across our network and improved capacity on some of our busiest services.
“To accommodate these enhancements, there will be alterations to train times, carriage formations and the platforming of some services at busier stations. Therefore, we are advising all passengers to plan ahead for next week and to check the details of their journey. This is particularly important for those who travel regularly and are used to relying on a particular service everyday.
“We also want to make sure people are aware of how they can benefit from new opportunities to travel by train for both work and leisure. With additional earlier, later and weekend services operating direct to more destinations, the new timetable is good news for passengers across the region.”
Passengers can plan ahead using journey planning systems and are advised to go to londonnorthwesternrailway.co.uk for more information.
The train operator will also be introducing a further major timetable change in two years time, where passengers will see additional benefits from the introduction of new trains onto the network, which when fully operational, will increase capacity by 25%.
About West Midlands Trains
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West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.
- London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast mainline to and from London Euston.
- West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street.
The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26.
West Midlands Trains operates 1,300 services a day, manages 150 stations and provides over 70 million passenger journeys a year. Over the course of the franchise, West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades. This will include 400 new train carriages across the network and space for an extra 85,000 passengers into Birmingham and London at peak times.
The franchise is a joint venture between Abellio (70.1% share) and East Japan Railway Company / Mitsui & Co., Ltd (29.9% share in a 50:50 split). Abellio is the international passenger transport subsidiary of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. In the UK, Abelllio operates ScotRail and Greater Anglia train services, Merseyrail services in a joint venture with Serco and buses through Abellio London. For more information visit www.abellio.com
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