A long-term vision for the West Midlands

With new trains coming in and development funding in place for the Midlands Rail Hub, West Midlands Rail Executive’s Executive Director MAL DRURY-ROSE and West Midlands Trains Managing Director IAN MCCONNELL tell PHILIP SHERRATT about the region’s ambitions for growth

New train, expanded station: WMT’s No 196109 calls at University with the 10.40 Hereford to Birmingham New Street on 8 March 2024.

The West Midlands is at the heart of the country and also at the heart of several major investment programmes. West Midlands Trains (WMT) has just begun introducing new Class 730 EMUs, complementing the new Class 196s already in service. A raft of new stations is due to open over the next few years, while for the longer-term the Government has pledged to fund the full Midlands Rail Hub to increase capacity in the region, with a start made on that with the release of £123 million to enable business case and design work to progress.

The region is also one of two to have gained a Trailblazer Deeper Devolution Deal, unlocking further transport funding and the opportunity to roll out improvements such as smart ticketing. And thoughts are starting to turn to plans for future service provision, with WMT outlining its ambitions in its vision document ‘WMTen: A Rail Revolution’.

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