West Midlands Branch


The counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, the unitary authorities of Telford & Wrekin, Stoke-on-Trent, and the Metropolitan Districts of Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, and Wolverhampton.

Forthcoming Events

BRANCH COMMITTEE MEETINGS : Branch Committee meetings are usually held on the second wednesday of the month (except August and December) at the Chiltern Railways meeting room, platform 3, Moor Street Station, Birmingham. Meetings normally open to members but currently suspended due to the coronovirus situation. Further announcements in due course.

Click events for regional and national events for rail campaigners, including Railfuture and other conferences.

Previous Events

Branch Open Meeting- On 14th October 2020 we held an online Meeting open to all Branch members where the attendees reported their experiences in using trains during the current restrictions and gave their suggestions for future campaigns.

Branch member Owen O’Neill gave a stimulating presentation comparing his ideas for rail development in the next twenty years compared to those of the West Midlands Mayor’s 2040 Vision for rail and tram.

PUBLIC MEETING : Saturday 12th October 2019 1.15pm -'Shropshire Rail - The Forgotten County ?'
Photo of the audience at a public meeting on Shrewsbury on 12 October 2019, which was organised by Railfuture West Midlands

Railfuture West Midlands Branch hosted an Open Meeting at the Gateway Centre, Shrewsbury on Saturday 12th October to explore the question “Shropshire Rail -the Forgotten County” which was attended by over one hundred and twenty persons including, Peter Nutting, Leader of Shropshire Council, the Transport & Economy portfolio holders of Shropshire CC , Telford & Wrekin and Powys Councils and several other county, town and parish councillors, as well as all the rail user groups covering the lines radiating from Shrewsbury and various residents' and community groups

Recognising that Shrewsbury is the major interchange station for rail services to and from South, West and North Wales, Cheshire, the West Midlands and London Railfuture West Midlands had invited the following to speak: -

Daniel Kawczynski - MP for Shrewsbury & Atcham
Lee Robinson – TfW Development Director, North Wales
Peter Sargant - Head of Rail Development, West Midlands Rail Executive
Ced Green - Secretary of North Cheshire Rail Users Association.

After hearing their short presentations there was a ninety minute Question and Answer session where passengers and rail user groups asked challenging questions of the speakers and Peter Nutting on future plans and services.
That day the Shropshire Star front page was on the changes to the first off peak service to Chester from Shrewsbury in December which would no longer stop at the second busiest station on the line and thus leave a two-hour gap in the service. Much concern not only on the changes but that there had been no promised consultation from Transport for Wales. The event was so successful that requests were made for a repeat event in 2020.

A more detailed report will follow.

Annual General Meeting 2019 - Saturday, April 27th
The 2019 branch AGM took place at the Priory Rooms, Bull Street, Birmingham, on 27th April, and was attended by approximately 30 members.
In the business section, the following were elected to the committee; Steve Wright (Chair), Colin Major (Secretary), Michael Tombs (Treasurer), Phil Bennion, Steve Boulding, Peter Kennard, Roger King, and Peter Rowland. This leaves us with two vacancies, and in particular we would welcome on board members from the Black Country, and North Staffs to bring the committee up to full strength.
Following on was a presentation from Peter Sargant, Head of Rail Development at the West Midlands Rail Executive. His presentation was a summary of rail plans in the West Midlands covering the next 30 years, and was based on the WMRE Investment Strategy Document dated January 2019.
view or download the document. (9.18MB)

Recent Campaign Successes

The branch has regular dialogue with West Midlands Rail Executive, Local Authorities, Network Rail and Train Operating Companies. These discussions have been influential in the development of....
  • Electrification of the Chase Line (Walsall - Rugeley)
  • A reinstated Walsall - Wolverhampton direct passenger service, with new stations at Willenhall & Darlaston. (due 2021/2022)
  • Regular passenger services to new stations at Moseley, Kings Heath & Hazelwell on the Camp Hill Line in Birmingham (due 2021)
  • Redevelopment of University Station Birmingham. (in time for the 2022 Commonwealth Games)
  • Provision of an 'Assisted Living Lounge' at New Street Station.
Photo of 'assisted travel' lounge Network Rail opened at Birmingham New Street station in 2019, intended for people who need additional help to board trains

pic- Assisted Living Lounge, Birmingham New Street. courtesy railbusinessdaily.com

Current Active Campaigns

  • A 'One Station' concept, linking Birmingham New St, Moor St, and the new HS2 station at Curzon Street.
  • New local services and stations at Fort Parkway & Castle Bromwich on the Water Orton line.
  • Earlier trains serving Birmingham Airport, seven days a week.
  • Reopening of the Lichfield to Burton line to passenger services, including a new station at Alrewas serving the National Arboretum Centre.
  • Improved capacity on the Birmingham - Worcester/Hereford lines.

Longer term goals

  • Reinstating the Stourbridge - Dudley - Walsall - Lichfield line to relieve heavy congestion on the existing Black Country rail & road networks.
  • Completion of 'double tracking' between Coventry & Leamington Spa, creating additional local & Cross country capacity.
  • Reconnect Ironbridge to the main line at Madeley, to cater for extensive new housing development.
  • Electrification of lines through Birmingham Snow Hill.
  • Reinstatement of direct Coventry - Leicester services, avoiding Nuneaton station.

Branch eNews

Click view or download to see West Midlands Branch February 2021 eNews. (228kb)

Branch contacts

Branch Chairman & Local Media Contact - Steve Wright - steve.wright at railfuture.org.uk
Branch Secretary - colin.major at railfuture.org.uk
General Enquiries - westmidlands at railfuture.org.uk

West Midlands Rail user groups

Rail user groups in the West Midlands are shown on Railfuture's Regional List of Rail User Groups, which can be viewed or downloaded (860kb PDF document, dated July 2017).

Branch Newsletters

Go to the Dashboard for West Midlands to read archived issues of the West Midlands Branch eNewsletters.

Other documents

Report of visit to Tyseley Depot on 11th June 2018.This meeting with West Midlands Trains was to discuss their new rolling stock. Read Branch Secretary Colin Major's notes here.
West Midlands Rail Franchise for 2017 - view or download our consultation response.
West Midlands and Chilterns Route Study (July 2016) - view or download our consultation response (254kB).

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