Rail passengers are to get more frequent services with new trains and extra seats as a result of a near £1 billion investment in the West Midlands network.
The cash injection is part of a deal announced in early August 2017 that will see West Midlands Trains Ltd (a joint venture between Abellio, East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui & Co Ltd) run the region's rail services under new franchise from December onwards.
Trains running only in the West Midlands area will be jointly managed by the Department for Transport (DfT) and West Midlands Rail (WMR), a consortium of 16 local councils.
A package of improvements has been built into the franchise agreement aimed at providing more services and more space for passengers and to stimulate and support further economic growth and jobs across the region.
It is the first time that West Midlands authorities have had such a level of influence in setting out what a train company needs to deliver for local passengers.
For more information you can visit the West Midlands Rail website.
A Modern Railways supplement on plans for rail in the West Midlands can be downloaded below.
Our ‘Rail Devolution Works’ report argues that further rail devolution will enable other regions and areas to also radically transform rail services in a way that supports economic growth at the same time as improving the journey experience for passengers.
The report takes a detailed look at how devolution changed rail services for the better in Merseyside, on London Overground, in Scotland and in Tyne and Wear.
This report sets out the success of regional rail over the past decade and a half despite limited investment when compared to other rail sectors. The report then goes on to develop two hypothetical scenarios to demonstrate how investment in regional rail could deliver even greater benefits, significantly reducing subsidy and growing the benefits delivered to our city region economies.