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

Fringe meeting of Conservative Party 3 October 2022
Conservative Party Conference 'official fringe meeting': The future arrangements of Great British Railways - Monday October 3rd starting at 1800 (doors open 1745) at Birmingham Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BB.

Participants include: Andy Bagnall (Chief Executive Rail Partners and former Director General of Rail Delivery Group), Malcolm Holmes (Chief Executive West Midlands Rails Executive and Director of Rail for Transport for West Midlands), Denise Wetton (Central Route Director, Network Rail) & Neil Middleton, Railfuture's Communications Director. The new Secretary of State, Ann-Marie Trevelyan, or her Minister for Rail, and the chair of the Transport Select Committee, Huw Merriman, have also been invited.

Railfuture Members and associates are welcome, the event is free but tickets (limited number) must be obtained through EventBrite.

BRANCH COMMITTEE MEETINGS : Branch Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month (except August and December). Normally we meet at the Chiltern Railways meeting room, platform 3, Moor Street Station, Birmingham, and meetings are open to all members. However due to CoViD restrictions meetings at present are online only, by Zoom. Further announcements in due course.

Other events to be notified.

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

Previous Events

Branch AGM was held on-line on 24th April 2021 with guest speaker Linda McCord, Senior Stakeholder Manger for Transport Focus. She and members engaged in a lively conversation about how to encourage passengers to come back to train travel.
In the business section, the Chairman highlighted a number of issues from his previously distributed report. The following were elected to the committee; Steve Wright (Chair), Colin Major (Secretary), Phil Bennion, Peter Kennard, Roger King and new to the committee Owen O'neill and John Gaussen. Steve Boulding was accepted as a co-opted member. This leaves us with two vacancies, and in particular we would welcome on board members from the Wolverhampton or the Black Country, and North West Staffs to bring the committee up to full strength.
After the elections a further discussion about future campaigns took place.

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. These include reviewing WMRE Rail Strategy, contacting the next Mayor of WMCA, and support for various developments in Shropshire, including discussion for TfW Rail about future services on the Welsh Marches line

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 is available on request.

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 2023)
  • Regular passenger services to new stations at Moseley, Kings Heath & Hazelwell on the Camp Hill Line in Birmingham (due 2023)
  • 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. This now has active WMRE support.
  • Improved capacity on the Birmingham - Worcester/Hereford lines.

Longer term goals

  • Electrification of lines through Birmingham Snow Hill
  • Improve inter-community connections on Welsh Marches line between Hereford and Shrewsbury
  • Reinstatement of direct Coventry - Leicester services, avoiding Nuneaton station.
  • Reconnect Ironbridge to the main line at Madeley, to cater for extensive new housing development.
  • 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.

Branch eNews

Click on the West Midlands regional branch's dashboard to read all issues of the branch eNewsletters.

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).

Other documents

See the full West Midlands branch dashboard.

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