Rail operator expands timetable as demand increases

Rail operator West Midlands Trains says it is adding thousands of extra seats to its timetable from next week as demand for train travel increases amid the easing of lockdown measures.

The operator – which runs West Midlands Railway (WMR) and London Northwestern Railway (LNR) services – is stepping up its timetable with dozens of extra services from July 6.

Key changes in the timetable include:
40,000 additional seats will be provided on LNR services to and from London every weekday, including 10,000 at peak times
Additional peak services between Worcester and Birmingham New Street every weekday
Trains between Birmingham and Wolverhampton will operate to an increased frequency from Monday-Saturday
Services between Crewe and Stafford via Stoke-on-Trent will now continue to Birmingham New Street from Monday-Saturday

However, the advice remains that trains are for essential journeys only. Passengers are being reminded to check their journeys before travelling and to bring a face covering to wear on their journey in line with the new mandatory regulations.

Julian Edwards, managing director of West Midlands Trains, said: “This new timetable marks an important milestone for our customers and our colleagues as the country begins to get back to work.

“Since the pandemic began we have moved quickly to adapt our timetable based on the level of demand and the availability of our own staff, who are not immune to the effects of coronavirus.

“I am pleased we are now in a position where we can run more trains with as many carriages as we possibly can to help our passengers travel with confidence.”

Passengers returning to the railway for the first time since lockdown are being urged to avoid peak travel times, buy their tickets online and allow extra time as some stations may have one-way systems in operation.