End Of The Year - Stourbridge Line User Group

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The End of the Year (Non-) Show
You would have to live on the planet Zog not to know that West Midlands Trains are facing fierce criticism from all angles for the appalling service that they are providing at present.

On 23 December 2019, the West Midlands Metro Mayor, Andy Street, tweeted the following:-

The current service provided by West Midlands Trains is WOEFUL.  I have lost all faith in WMT’s ability to run our network.  If not sorted out by midnight 31/01/20, I will formally ask @transportgovuk to STRIP WMT of the franchise.
West Midlands Trains responded with the following statement from Managing Director Chaudhry-van der Velde:-

"We recognise that the May timetable has not worked and apologise to all our passengers who have been affected. Last week we brought in extra carriages and made changes to the timetable to improve capacity and performance. Unfortunately, in that short period, we also experienced many incidents outside our control. These included several track and signalling failures – managed by Network Rail, trespass - including a person being struck by a train - and anti-social behaviour disrupting a very busy service.

"December’s changes are only part of a bigger plan to improve performance which we presented to the West Midlands Rail Executive and the DfT last week. We consulted with the Mayor and the DfT extensively on how to speed up improvements already planned. Together, we explored bringing forward next May’s timetable with Network Rail but that was not possible due to the impact on the wider rail industry.

“We have committed to an enhanced compensation package for West Midlands rail users which will recognise the planned national fares increase in January. We are discussing with the Mayor and the DfT how best to deliver this. Subject to approval, we will announce details of the package early in the new year."
The use of the May timetable change as an excuse for the pathetic service that has been provided on Snow Hill line services is beneath contempt.  The reason for our trains being cancelled is obvious to all of the long-suffering passengers - LACK OF TRAIN CREW.  SLUG has every sympathy with the stance taken by the Mayor and has written to West Midlands Trains and the West Midlands Rail Executive to seek face to face meetings with senior officials from both organisations to express the concerns of our members and demand answers.  We await their replies.

In the meantime, SLUG has been collating data of all Snow Hill line cancellations and our findings up to 14 December may be viewed on the News page entitled “A Lack of Service”.  It was hoped that the new timetable starting on 15 December would coincide with improvements to the service but, in the run-up to Christmas, the situation got worse and worse, culminating in the joke of a non-service suffered by Snow Hill line passengers on Christmas Eve.

In fairness to West Midlands Trains, there has been a major improvement since Christmas.  In fact, on Saturday 28 December every service operated and only one was over five minutes late.  The downward trend of cancellations continued during the last two days of 2019 and one hopes that this will continue throughout 2020.  However, SLUG will continue to collate cancellation figures and will press for a permanent solution to the train crew shortage problem.  A detailed breakdown of the service provided for each day from 15 December to the end of the year may be viewed by clicking on the appropriate date below.  Cancelled services are highlighted and the following colour code is used.
Train Crew Issue
Late Arrival of Inbound Service
Other reason attributable to West Midlands Railway

Other Reason not attributable to West Midlands Railway
Chiltern Railways service
Due to scheduled early rundown of services on Christmas Eve

Latest News

27 October 2021

The Department for Transport has just announced that the bid by Pre-Metro Operations for funding under the Restore Your Railways Fund to progress the provision of a light rail shuttle service from Stourbridge Junction to Harts Hill to link up with the Midland Metro has been rejected.

7 October 2021

Worcestershire County Council has launched a consultation into proposals to expand the car park at Blakedown station by 87 spaces.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

29 August 2021

West Midlands Railway is reintroducing the Snow Hill line services that were withdrawn on 2 August with effect from 30 August.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

2 August 2021

A new Stourbridge Line User Group Facebook page has been set up to complement this web site by posting any developments or problems as they happen.  The Facebook page may be viewed by clicking on the Facebook icon on this page.

28 July 2021

West Midlands Railway is introducing a reduced timetable on Snow Hill line services from 2 August.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

23 May 2021

The Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail has been published by the Government.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

15 May 2021

Timetable changes take effect on Sunday 16 May 2021.  Full timetable details can be found on the Timetables page, with updated departure boards posted on each individual station's page.

26 April 2021

West Midlands Railway has announced an improved timetable for the Stourbridge line from 16 May.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

6 December 2020

The Office of Road and Rail has published the annual station usage estimates for the year ending March 2020.  Figures for each Stourbridge line station have been published under "Station Information" on the appropriate station page.

16 October 2020

Stourbridge Junction has narrowly missed out on being named the station of the year in a poll organised by the Rail Delivery Group.  Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

7 August 2020

Improvement works will shortly take place at Hartlebury.  The programme of works will include the extension of both platforms to accommodate the new four-car Class 196 trains, as well as the refurbishment of existing platforms.  The work is scheduled for completion in February 2021.

23 July 2020

The first of the new Class 196 units was out on the Stourbridge line today when it made its first ever test run from Tyseley to Hereford and back.

7 June 2020

The new station building at Kidderminster has been opened.
Full details may be read in the News and Comment section.

23 May 2020

The 10 successful projects from the bids submitted in the first round under the Restore Your railways scheme have been announced by the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps.  A scheme submitted by PMOL for a light rail link between Stourbridge Junction and Brierley Hill was not among the 10 successful bids but PMOL has been asked to provide further details to a subsequent round.
The Membership Secretary
Stourbridge Line User Group
46 Sandringham Road
West Midlands

Site Last Updated on 31 October 2021
(News and Comment)
The Membership Secretary
Stourbridge Line User Group
46 Sandringham Road
West Midlands

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