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Whistle Stop Tours signal upcoming timetable improvements

Press release   •   May 01, 2019 12:49 BST

Rail passengers at stations and on trains across the West Midlands will be able to find out more about upcoming timetable improvements over the next few weeks.

West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway will be hosting a number of ‘Whistle Stop Tour' events at stations, as well as providing senior management on trains across the network to remind passengers of changes to services coming this Spring.

The events will be an opportunity for passengers to meet with railway managers, ask any questions they might have and to find out more about how their journey may be affected.

From 19 May, there will be a range of major changes to train services across the West Midlands. The train operators are introducing new direct services to more destinations, additional services throughout the week and earlier morning and later evening services to and from many stations*.

The changes will bring a range of benefits to passengers across the region, but will mean changes to train times and the platforms that some services depart from at busier stations. Over the next few weeks, passengers are being reminded to check if their usual journey is likely to change and make sure they are aware of any alterations before heading out after 19 May.

Richard Brooks, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, said: “While the timetable improvements being introduced in May will be great news for many passengers, there will be changes to many train times, the platforms being used at some stations and carriage formations to accommodate the changes. This will be the biggest timetable change in the West Midlands for over 10 years, so we expect people to have some questions. Our ‘Whistle Stop Tour' events will give our passengers a chance to find out more about what is coming with the new timetable and to feed back any concerns.”

Malcolm Holmes, Executive Director for West Midlands Rail Executive, said: “The timetable improvements are very positive for passengers, with new services, extra capacity and improved frequencies. More frequent and later evening services on a number of lines are great in helping people get home after work or leisure and supporting our healthy evening economy in the West Midlands. These ‘Whistle Stop Tour' events are a great opportunity for passengers to come and talk about their personal journeys.”

James Dean, chief operating officer for Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: “Our work to electrify the railway between Rugeley and Walsall has helped unlock the new services across the London North Western route. We’ve worked with London Northwestern Railway, West Midlands Railway and the West Midlands Rail Executive to deliver these benefits for passengers. The 'Whistle Stop Tour' events are a great way for people to find out more.”

'Whistle Stop Tour' events will be calling at:

  • Thursday 2 May - Birmingham Snow Hill – 0730 - 0930 and 1630 - 1830
  • Tuesday 7 May - Worcester Foregate St – 1630 – 1830
  • Monday 13 May - Birmingham New Street - 0800 - 1815
  • Wednesday 15 May - Wolverhampton – 1630 - 1830

In addition to these dates, West Midlands Railway management will be out on some services throughout May, meeting with passengers to answer questions about the upcoming changes.

  • Tuesday 7 May – 0600 – 1000 
    • Birmingham New Street - Walsall – Rugeley and Birmingham – Worcester – Hereford
  • Thursday 9 May – throughout the day
    • Birmingham New Street – Lichfield Trent Valley

For more information and to find out more about future 'Whistle Stop Tour' dates go to or

The new timetable will operate from Sunday 19 May. As there will be changes to the time and formation of some services, 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 more information can be found at or


For further information on this release, call our press office on 03300 955150 or email

*For a summary of the timetable changes planned across the West Midlands go to

About West Midlands Trains

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 or

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

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