Wolverhampton joins West Midlands Railway family

West Midlands Railway has taken charge of Wolverhampton station, replacing previous operator Virgin Trains.

Across the station, distinctive orange branding now announces the arrival of the new train operator for the region.

The changeover forms part of a widespread move throughout the West Midlands towards more devolved transport services, which focus on local towns, cities and residents.

Richard Brooks, left, and Malcolm Holmes of West Midlands Railway at Wolverhampton station.
Richard Brooks, left, and Malcolm Holmes of West Midlands Railway at Wolverhampton station.

Wolverhampton is integral to this drive, with the building of a £150 million transport hub, improving links to the city by rail, bus and Midland Metro.

Alongside the work being undertaken in Wolverhampton, West Midlands Railway will be introducing a raft of improvements for the region.

These include 20,000 extra seats and standing room for an additional 50,000 passengers at peak time in and around Birmingham and investment in new rolling stock.

Additional late night and Sunday services across the region will be available and passengers will be able to take direct West Midlands Trains services to Wolverhampton and Walsall.

Additionally, over the course of new West Midlands franchise and subject to feasibility assessments, West Midlands Railway intends to introduce seven new stations across the region.

After recent works began in March on the Wolverhampton Interchange scheme, the transfer of ownership of the station is the next step in the process.

Under West Midlands Railway’s stewardship, the station facilities will be transformed, offering passengers a state-of-the-art gateway to the city; integrated with other transport modes.

The current station will continue to operate normally whilst the new facilities are being built. The scheme is due to be completed by 2020.

Richard Brooks, customer experience director at West Midlands Railway, said: “The West Midlands has been crying out for its own dedicated rail operator for a number of years now and we’re extremely proud to be in the process of delivering that.

“Wolverhampton is a key part of our network in the region and as the new station facilities owner, we want to make sure our customers have the best experience possible whilst the works are underway, and into the future when they are complete.

“The response we’ve had from colleagues and customers has been overwhelmingly positive and we’re excited to be a real part of the city’s ambitious development plans.”

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail, said: “We believe local responsibility of the railway and its infrastructure is good for passengers, good for the economy and good for taxpayers.

“Once complete, Wolverhampton Interchange will be a fabulous gateway to the city and to the wider West Midlands through massively improved connectivity across all modes of public transport.

“The railway station is a key part of the Interchange. Local management is quicker to identify and respond to the service levels, facilities and development needs of an area and ensures investment goes where it is most required.”