Midlands Rail Hub plans £1.5bn of new and improved infrastructure by 2030

Sir John Peace, chairman of Midlands Connect, at the launch of the Midlands Rail Hub

Midlands Rail Hub plans, which outline up to £1.5bn of new and improved infrastructure to be completed between 2025-2030, have been announced.

Plans have been submitted to the government by sub-national transport body Midlands Connect which would make space for more than 100 additional trains on the network every day.

The proposals will reduce journey times, increasing rail journeys and supercharge the economy by bringing the East and West Midlands closer together. 

Midlands Connect believes the plans would create more than 14.6 million more seats on the railway every year and will enhance access to HS2 for 1.6 million more people. 

Faster and more frequent train services are on the cards for up to 43 communities, towns and cities as part of the package of improvements to transform east-west connections in the Midlands. 

The plans, launched recently in Birmingham, have brought together politicians, councils and business leaders to back the ambitious proposals.

The plan, entitled ‘Going for Growth’, proposes to build two chords as well as 11 further engineering interventions throughout the region to deliver a massive step change in rail transport in the Midlands.

The biggest engineering proposals are between Bordesley and Moor Street, called the West Chord, allowing access to Birmingham Moor Street from South-West and Wales, and making sure services are improved on the Hereford and Worcester corridors. 

The project’s second chord is called the East Chord. This creates access to Birmingham Moor Street from the East Midlands.

Other plans for engineering upgrades include Snow Hill platform 4, Moor Street platform 5, improvements around Kings Norton-Barnt Green, Stoke Works junction, a Malvern Wells turnback facility, Ledbury – Shelwick partial double-tracking, Moor Street platforms A & B (east side), Bordesley viaduct widening, Water Orton remodelling, Nuneaton to Wigston signalling headways and freight loops between Nuneaton and Leicester.

The improvements will make space for up to ten extra trains per hour in and out of Birmingham. This means that passengers will see up to 100 extra trains on the rail network in the Midlands every single day.

If funded by the government, this would deliver a series of major benefits for passengers, commuters and businesses.

The plans have been submitted to the government by Midlands Connect, in partnership with Network Rail and with the backing of 47 partner organisations including West Midlands Combined Authority, local authorities, LEPs, chambers of commerce, HS2 and East Midlands Airport. 

With the submission of the Outline Business Case, Midlands Connect now hopes for funding for the Full Business Case to make the project ready for delivery.

Sir John Peace, chairman of Midlands Connect, said: “This is a truly momentous occasion for us, we are proud to unveil this detailed plan for infrastructure changes which will transform our region. 

"We know the project has the backing of the businesses, communities and political leaders in the Midlands, and we stand ready to kickstart its delivery and get spades in the ground.

"The Midlands Rail Hub will significantly impact the future of travel for generations to come."

Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the West Midlands Rail Executive, said: “Midlands Rail Hub is a game changing scheme for our region. 

“The benefits it can bring to local people and businesses are many – whether it’s connecting millions more people to the HS2 network; creating space for more local journeys, stations, and rail lines; or opening faster and more frequent rail links for commuters as well as business and leisure travellers.

“The Midlands Rail Hub will also enable a raft of local improvements including restoration of the full six train per hour service on Birmingham’s Cross City Line, faster journeys into Birmingham from the new Camp Hill line stations at Moseley Village, Kings Heath and Pineapple Road. 

“And crucially, Midlands Rail Hub provides the additional rail network capacity that will be required to support further expansion of the regional rail network including new stations and new services on routes such as the Sutton Park Line.

“As we bounce back from Covid, Midlands Rail Hub will support our recovery by unlocking the bottleneck at Birmingham New Street to improve local services, whilst also better connecting the East and West Midlands. All of this helps open access to opportunities right across the Midlands and supports thousands of jobs during a critical period for our region.”

Click here to read more about the Midlands Rail Hub plans

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