Snow makes it a baptism of fire for new rail operator

How the new West Midlands Railway trains could look

Snow and freezing temperatures combined to make it a baptism of fire for for the West Midlands’ new rail franchise.

West Midlands Railway and the London Northwestern Railway took over the operation of the old London Midland service on Sunday.

Its ability to cope with severe weather was given an early and thorough test today.

The heavy snow caused major disruption to services across the region and beyond.

Early this morning it announced:
• A reduced service between Bletchley and Bedford.
• Trains between Milton Keynes Central and London Euston were subject to delays or cancellations.
• Trains were unable to run between Watford Junction and St Albans Abbey.
• Trains were unable to run between Stourbridge Town and Stourbridge Junction.
• Trains between Hereford and Birmingham New Street via Bromsgrove might be cancelled or delayed because of a problem with line side equipment between Great Malvern and Hereford. Road transport was being sourced to run between Hereford and Great Malvern.

Meanwhile, at Birmingham Airport, passengers were told there could be some knock on disruption today following yesterday’s adverse weather and freezing temperatures overnight.

Passengers were advised to check with their airline before heading out and if travelling, then to allow extra time for their journeys.

Despite the adverse conditions, roads and motorways were generally problem-free with traffic reported as light.