MAJOR changes to train services in Staffordshire introduced this weekend will improve passengers’ experience and benefit businesses, the county’s economy leader has said.
Mark Winnington is also vice chairman of the West Midlands Rail Executive, which oversees regional train services and contracts. He added that WMRE would be closely monitoring the new services, particularly in light of timetable change issues in other areas of the country.
Today – Sunday, May 19, the biggest changes to rail timetables in the region in over a decade will take effect. New services will increase capacity, bring more through journey opportunities and increase evening frequencies and later trains. The new timetables will be on services operated by West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern.
One major improvement has been the electrification of the Chase Line, which runs from Rugeley Trent Valley to Walsall. More services will operate between Rugeley Trent Valley and Birmingham in the evenings and weekends. Most services from Rugeley Trent Valley will continue to Birmingham International and London Euston.
There will also be improved services on the Lichfield to Bromsgrove Cross City Line and the Shrewsbury to Birmingham line which stops at stations in South Staffordshire. In addition, there will be hourly services from Stone to Birmingham and a new half-hourly service from Penkridge in Liverpool.
People are advised to check their local timetable before travelling.
Mark Winnington said: “This weekend there will be a huge overhaul of the train service timetables in the West Midlands and will include numerous improvements for passengers in Staffordshire.
“With more services, particularly at evenings and weekends, and increased capacity on trains running through the county, this is good news for residents, businesses and visitors. Improved transport infrastructure is critical for continued economic growth and Staffordshire’s connectivity is a major strength for us.
“With our partners at the West Midlands Rail Executive, we will, of course, be carefully monitoring the new timetable operation to ensure services are running effectively. We are confident that Staffordshire train users will see real improvements with the new services, offering them greater flexibility, comfort and broader travel options.”
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