11th Apr, 2021

£1bn boost for railways covering the West Midlands

THE leader of Redditch Borough Council hopes the town will benefit from a share of the near £1 billion investment from the new train company covering the West Midlands.

Councillor Bill Hartnett hopes Redditch will get a slice of the cash to provide a morning and evening express service between the town and Birmingham and the introduction of fare equalisation with the rest of the West Midlands Combined Authority area.

A new company called West Midlands Railway is part of Abellio, JR East and Mitsui, which won the contract to replace London Midland’s West Coast services whose franchise ends in December. London Northwest, a separate company, also part of the franchise winning group, will handle services outside London Midland schedules outside the Birmingham area.

The hope is that, with the possibility of greater devolution for the WMCA, West Midlands Railway would fall under its remit while London Northwestern would remain under the Department for Transport for future retender.

The changes are a part of the near £1billion investment in the network over the next nine years by the three partners. This includes £680m on new trains and £70m on new depots.

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