West Midlands Franchise Prospectus

There is not enough detail for SLUG to determine what, if any, improvements will be made to Stourbridge line services in the period to October 2017.  SLUG has contacted London Midland to request this information and will pass this onto members when we receive it.  However, it will be very disappointing if the Stourbridge line is omitted from the list of routes that get earlier Sunday morning services.

West Midlands Rail Franchise from 2017


On 9 December, the Department for Transport issued the prospectus for the new West Midlands Rail franchise.  It is expected that the franchise will run for between 7 and 9 years.  The new franchise would require the new franchisee to create a separate business unit for the West Midlands area which would be managed from the end of the next franchise by West Midlands Rail.

A public consultation document will be published later this month and stakeholders will have until March 2016 to respond.  SLUG will obviously take the opportunity to press for improvements to our service in terms of better Sunday and evening services, better connections at the southern end of the line and maintenance of the current level of service on weekdays and Saturday daytimes.  SLUG will keep you informed of our actions.

If you wish to view the West Midlands Rail Franchise Prospectus, please click on the link below.

london midland new franchise news

There have been two major developments since the start of December regarding the future of the London Midland franchise.

London Midland Direct Award

The first announcement was made on 3 December when London Midland and the Department for Transport (DfT) signed a direct award agreement that means that London Midland will continue to run services until October 2017.

£13 million worth of improvements are planned over the next 18 months.  These include

London Midland will also have to meet tough new targets to improve train cleanliness install CCTV on cross-city Birmingham services to improve security and equip station staff with tablets to improve the information given to customers.  The operator will also be required to work with the Smart Cities Partnership to introduce smart ticketing on trains, building on the existing Swift smartcard scheme, to provide seamless and more convenient journeys.

5 january 2016