Railway staff who speak multiple languages will be more identifiable across the London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway networks from this week. Over 25 different languages are represented by staff in a range of roles, including French, Urdu, Arabic and British Sign Language (BSL).
The train operator is giving staff the option to have their language skills identified on their name badges, by including national flags as part of the design. The flags will identify individuals who are confident speaking multiple languages, to a level that they would be able to assist customers with basic issues that may arise on their journey.
The staff-led initiative aims to improve accessibility on the railway, particularly for customers who don’t speak English as their first language.
Cameron Bliss, customer experience strategy manager said, “With over 21 million visitors enjoying London, Birmingham and Liverpool each year, we know that our customers represent a range of different languages and so do we! Many of our colleagues speak second, third or even fourth languages, so we want to celebrate their talents and offer an improved experience for customers who may be struggling to find their way around.”
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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