THE FIRST new-look ‘West Midlands Railway’ trains went into service on Monday, signalling £1billion investment into the UK rail network.
West Midlands Trains (WMT), a joint venture between Abellio, JR East and Mitsui, has now taken over the franchise from London Midland after winning the contract back in August.
WMT will run West Midlands Railway (WMR) and London Northwestern Railway (LNR). WMR will operate in and around Birmingham and LNR will operate on the Euston, Northampton, Birmingham and Liverpool corridor.
As part of the £1billion investment, £680million will go on new trains manufactured by Bombardier and CAF. By the end of the franchise the company claims there will be 25 per cent more carriages on the network than there was at the beginning.
There will also be £70million worth of investment towards new and existing depots as well as £60million on station improvements. The company said the moves were aimed at providing far more capacity for those heading into London and Birmingham during rush hour, with space for an extra 85,000 passengers at this time.