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West Midlands Trains statement in response to Mayor Andy Street

Press release   •   Dec 23, 2019 09:47 GMT

Following a statement issued by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street statement today (23 December 2019) concerning train performance, West Midlands Trains has issued a response.

West Midlands Trains managing director Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde said:

"We recognise that the May timetable has not worked and apologise to all our passengers who have been affected. Last week we brought in extra carriages and made changes to the timetable to improve capacity and performance. Unfortunately, in that short period, we also experienced many incidents outside our control. These included several track and signalling failures – managed by Network Rail, trespass - including a person being struck by a train - and anti-social behaviour disrupting a very busy service.

"December’s changes are only part of a bigger plan to improve performance which we presented to the West Midlands Rail Executive and the DfT last week. We consulted with the Mayor and the DfT extensively on how to speed up improvements already planned. Together, we explored bringing forward next May’s timetable with Network Rail but that was not possible due to the impact on the wider rail industry.

“We have committed to an enhanced compensation package for West Midlands rail users which will recognise the planned national fares increase in January. We are discussing with the Mayor and the DfT how best to deliver this. Subject to approval, we will announce details of the package early in the new year."

About West Midlands Trains

For further information on this release, call our press office on 03300 955150 or email press.office@wmtrains.co.uk

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.

For more information on these services visit westmidlandsrailway.co.uk or londonnorthwesternrailway.co.uk

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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