‘Public transport revolution’: 100% more rail services on track for Birmingham & upgraded platforms

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The government has announced major upgrades for train services in Birmingham including Cross City Line services running every 10 minutes

Birmingham residents have been promised a “revolution” in public transport with a major project set to deliver additional trains, upgraded platforms and a ‘turn-up-and-go’ service on the Cross-City line.

The government has said today, Thursday (February 29), that design work on the £1.75 billion Midlands Rail Hub project is set to begin after ministers provided an initial £123 million funding injection.

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According to the Department for Transport, the project has been made possible through reallocated HS2 funding. Plans for the northern leg of the controversial high-speed railway line were axed by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last October after the project faced criticism in the past due to delays and cost increases over the years.

Mr Sunak said at the time that money would be spent on alternative rail, road and bus schemes instead. The government says the first phase of the Midlands Rail Hub project will mean an additional train every hour in both directions between central Birmingham and locations such as Cardiff, Bristol, Cheltenham and Worcester. It adds the first wave of funding will enable design work to begin on creating space for extra services.

Here are some of the major improvements the government has said Birmingham residents can expect in the future:

  • More London to Birmingham services will be extended from Moor Street to Snow Hill station meaning the Chiltern line will also serve Birmingham’s Snow Hill business district.
  • Kings Norton station will be made more accessible, while platforms at Snow Hill, Moor Street, and Kings Norton stations will be upgraded.
  • When delivered in full, the Hub will see services on most routes increase by between 50 per cent and 100 per cent.
  • Birmingham’s Cross-City line will be given a ‘turn-up-and-go’ service with a train every 10 minutes.
  • The number of trains between Birmingham and Leicester will be doubled from two to four per hour, while additional trains are planned between Birmingham and Nottingham, and the new Birmingham to Worcester trains extended to Hereford.

West Midlands Railway train at Birmingham New StreetWest Midlands Railway train at Birmingham New Street
West Midlands Railway train at Birmingham New Street

'A revolution in public transport'

Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands, claimed the Midlands Rail Hub would “deliver a revolution in public transport” and open up more capacity on the routes in and out of central Birmingham.

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He continued: “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.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper added: “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.”

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