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West Midlands 30 year Rail Strategy published

Published: Wednesday, 7th November 2018

The West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) has published its draft strategy for investment in the future of the region’s rail services.

The WMRE, which is made up of local authorities from across the region, is consulting on its proposals until Monday 19th November.

Main elements of the Strategy

The Strategy consists of seven principal components, which the document states are driven by their value to the region’s economy. These components are:

One - West Midlands Trains franchise quick wins: 2018-2026

Working with the West Midlands Railway franchise, which WMRE co-manages with the Department for Transport, to deliver a range of promised improvements including cross-Birmingham connectivity, better Sunday and evening services, new Camp Hill and Walsall-Wolverhampton services, new stations, more train capacity and reliable performance.

Two - High frequency '6-4-2' rail services matching our growing, vibrant economy

These are minimum standards of six, four and two trains per hour at stations.

Three - Midlands Rail Hub: 2026-2032

Making the case now for new services across the wider Midlands region maximising use of additional capacity delivered by the Midlands Rail Hub scheme, developed in partnership with Midlands Connect.

Four - Our high growth rail corridors: 2018-2032

Developing the high-growth corridors set to see the greatest economic and population growth to 2032 and which can benefit most from new and enhanced connectivity.

Five - High Speed 2: 2026 and 2033

Active support for delivery of both phases of High Speed 2 (HS2) in 2026 and 2033, working closely with HS2 to maximise the capacity and new local and regional opportunities it releases for the West Midlands.

Six - Radical change towards 2047

Starting work now to identify the radical infrastructure change needed after delivery of HS2 and the Midlands Rail Hub.

Seven - Supporting rail-freight development and growth

Including, supporting Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and other WMRE partners freight strategies, maximising shared benefits for passengers and freight services of capacity released by HS2.

Survey

As well as being able to submit consultation responses by email, the WMRE website sets out a “short survey” of five broad questions. These include seeking views on whether the strategy has identified the key drivers for change on the rail network and selected the main growth areas in the service plans; whether the strategy has “responded appropriately to the opportunity that HS2 will bring to the region”; whether the Strategy has “appropriately” identified the economic benefit of rail to the region; and whether it has effectively identified the long-term development needs for the network to support both passenger and freight services. In addition, the document asks for comments on the individual corridor priorities which are included in the appendix.

Clearly, there is a great deal of detail in the Strategy. To read the consultation document in full, find the Wider Impact Modelling technical report or complete the survey you can visit the West Midlands Rail Executive website (link opens in a new window).

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