UK: Work to Commence on Delivering Midlands Rail Hub

The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has provided an initial 123 million GBP in funding for work to begin on the Midlands Rail Hub.

This project is part of the government’s plan to improve transport across the region by increasing the capacity and frequency of passenger rail services.

Midlands Rail Hub
The Midlands Rail Hub would cut journey times for thousands of commuters – between Birmingham and Hereford journeys will be slashed by up to 13 minutes

The first phase of the Midlands Rail Hub project will enable an additional train to run every hour in both directions between central Birmingham and stations such as Cardiff, Bristol, Cheltenham and Worcester.

The newly announced funding will be used to initiate design work to create extra space for these services. The first phase of the project could then be completed by the early 2030s.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:

“The Midlands Rail Hub will bring huge benefits to passengers in the region and beyond, so it’s great to be in Birmingham with Mayor Andy Street to kick start this important project. Today's announcement is part of the Government’s plan to invest in transport projects with reallocated HS2 funding, helping to grow the economy and better connect communities across the Midlands.”

The Midlands Rail Hub project will also extend more London to Birmingham services from Moor Street to Snow Hill station, allowing the Chiltern line to serve Birmingham’s Snow Hill business district.

What’s more, Kings Norton station will be made more accessible, while platforms at Snow Hill, Moor Street, and Kings Norton will be upgraded.

Once delivered in full, this project aims to increase services on most routes by between 50 and 100 percent.

For example, the number of trains between Birmingham and Leicester will be doubled from two to four per hour. More trains are also planned between Birmingham and Nottingham and the new Birmingham to Worcester trains will be extended to Hereford.

In addition, Birmingham’s Cross-City line will gain a ‘turn-up-and-go’ service with a train every 10 minutes.

Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands and chair of the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) said:

“The Midlands Rail Hub will deliver a revolution in public transport for our region opening up more capacity on the routes in and out of central Birmingham which will allow us to run more services to more places both locally and nationally.

“Midlands Rail Hub will also provide an opportunity for us to open more new stations and lines across our network as well as deliver faster journey times into central Birmingham from the new Camp Hill line stations that are currently under construction at Moseley Village, Kings Heath and Pineapple Road.

“This investment will not only better connect communities to convenient and rapid public transport services but also attract further investment into our region, delivering jobs, growth and greater prosperity.”

The newly announced investment is part of the government’s Network North transport plan, which committed a total of 1.75 billion GBP in reallocated HS2 funding to deliver the Midlands Rail Hub.

The news also follows the government’s allocation of 2.2 billion GBP for the Midlands to improve local transport connections.

Maria Machancoses, Chief Executive of Midlands Connect, said:

“This announcement marks a major milestone in this transformational, nationally significant project. The Midlands Rail Hub programme is the result of years of collaboration and determination by cross-party leaders from all corners of the Midlands.

“Today's £123m announcement is a clear sign of Government’s trust in our partnership - getting us closer to finally delivering much need east-west connectivity across the region. We will continue to work with Government to progress the plans and ensure, as set out in Network North, Midlands Rail Hub is delivered in full, extending the benefits to towns and cities like Hereford, Nottingham, Derby and Leicester.”

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