new west midlands franchise - latest news

17 november 2017

On 10 August, the Department of Transport announced that West Midlands Trains Ltd had won the bid to operate the West Midlands franchise from 10 December 2017, taking over from Govia who had operated the franchise since 2007 under the London Midland brand.


In a document titled “Headlines and Benefits” released by West Midlands Rail the same day, the executive summary announced the following benefits for passengers.


West Midlands Trains Ltd (a joint venture between Abellio, East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui & Co Ltd) will deliver substantially more space for passengers and a fleet of brand new and refurbished trains serving the region. Improved passenger information and accessibility standards, more services at weekends and evenings, flexible ticketing for part-time workers, better compensation, free Wi-Fi, station upgrades and an innovative staff gainshare scheme will all contribute to a significantly enhanced passenger experience across the entire network.


The franchise will operate from 10 December 2017 through to March 2026.


Passengers in the West Midlands will benefit from 180 new train carriages creating more space for people, especially during rush hour. This includes an investment in 100 new carriages on the Cross City line in Birmingham, and a further 80 for the Snow Hill line. The new Cross City line carriages will offer metro-style passenger facilities, with increased space to carry more passengers and wider doors.


There will be more than 300 extra Sunday services across the franchise, with most routes operating at Saturday frequencies. There will be more evening and later Saturday services from Birmingham and a new hourly service from Birmingham and Wolverhampton to Crewe via Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent.

The document also detailed the benefits for each route, and detailed the following for the Snow Hill lines (Worcester - Kidderminster - Birmingham - Stratford-upon-Avon/Leamington Spa).



Since 11 September, more details have become available and among proposals for the new franchise are aspirations to



The latest news from Transport for West Midlands and West Midlands Trains can be viewed by clicking on the buttons below.

News - New Franchise - Abellio Presentation.pdf

14 August 2017

Presentation by West Midlands Trains to Combined Authority

News - New Franchise - New Train Order.pdf

17 October 2017

Abellio announce the order for new trains for West Midlands franchise

4 September 2017

Presentation by Transport for West Midlands

News - New Franchise - TfWM Report.pdf News - New Franchise - New Liveries.pdf

27 October 2017

New Liveries revealed for West Midlands and London North Western

13 November 2017

Managing Director of West Midlands Trains Appointed