Passengers will be able to enjoy an increase in services on the Chase Line later in May, this follows on from an investment from West Midlands Railway.
The revised timetable, which takes effect from 20th May 2018, will see the reintroduction of two trains an hour during the day between Rugeley, Cannock and Birmingham. This is part of the £200 million project to improve rail services in the area.
Recent enhancements will enable trains to travel faster along the route and the completion of electrification work later this year will enable brand new electric trains to operate a twice hourly service to Birmingham Airport and the NEC, and an hourly service to London via Coventry, Milton Keynes and Hemel Hempstead from Mid-December.
The new four-carriage trains will provide hundreds of extra seats. Over the next few months, work will take place at every station along the Chase Line to extend the platforms to accommodate the longer trains.
What did the officials say?
Richard Brooks, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, said:
“The growth of the Chase Line is a success story everyone can be proud of. It has gone from being a freight line to becoming a major West Midlands commuter route in a generation. We are doubling the number of off-peak services in May and in December; we will be adding new direct services to London as part of our £1 billion investment in the West Midlands rail network.”
Councillor Gordon Alcott, Economic Development and Planning Portfolio Leader said:
”We are pleased to see the benefits to the improved Chase Line rail service being introduced later this month. This will be initially through more frequent diesel services and faster, electric services. From December they will introduce direct services to the NEC, the Airport and London Euston.
“The opening of the £160m McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Cannock at Mill Green in 2020, which will be adjacent to Cannock rail station, has 11 million consumers living within a 90 minute catchment, and with 39 million people visiting Birmingham each year, the Council is confident the current boom in passengers numbers will continue.
“The Council has made investment into rail stations a priority and the current Chase Line Station Alliance work by the West Midlands Combined Authority, Local Enterprise Partnerships and West Midlands Trains, will hopefully lead to improved station facilities at Cannock.”
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