Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport, has confirmed that there will be a large investment of nearly £1 billion in the West Midlands rail network. The details have been announced following the agreement that West Midlands Trains Ltd will operate the franchise from December 2017 until March 2026.
There will be 400 new carriages introduced onto the network by 2021, along with an increase in passenger capacity of 85,000. There will also be free wi-fi for all passengers on main-line services from 2019 and compensation for services delayed by at least 15 minutes.
Grayling said in a statement:
“This is great news for passengers using West Midlands services – with new trains, more space, more regular services and easier access for disabled people.
We are improving the whole travelling experience with live train crowding information, compensation for people delayed by 15 minutes or more, smart ticketing and better value tickets for part-time workers.
This shows we are delivering on our commitment to build a railway that works for everyone”.