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Wednesday 14 August 2019
Following the announcement that First Trenitalia has been awarded the West Coast Partnership franchise, Sir John Peace, Chair of Midlands Connect and Midlands Engine said:
“We’re very much looking forward to working with First Trenitalia as they take on the West Coast Partnership from December. This new franchise is a fresh opportunity to guarantee our region benefits from the quality railway it needs and deserves.
“There’s a lot of work to do to prepare for the arrival of high speed services in Birmingham in 2026 and make sure the region is ready to take advantage of the capacity HS2 will release on the existing West Coast Mainline for both passengers and freight.
“It’s encouraging to see First Trenitalia making a clear commitment to more services, better stations, clearer fairs, and greener trains. These things are important to Midlands Connect, they’re important to our partnership, and above all they’re important to the people who travel to, from and through the Midlands.
“We’re also eagerly awaiting the recommendations of the Williams Rail Review, so this comes at the perfect time for us all to ensure the Midlands’ rail network, and the services which operate on it, are the best they can be for our region’s people, businesses and economy.
“Midlands Connect will be bringing together our region-wide partnership, including West Midlands Rail Executive, the Constellation Partnership and Network Rail to speak to First Trenitalia and the Department for Transport with one voice concerning our expectations of the speed, frequency and stopping patterns of trains serving our major economic centres. We’re not just working in the interests of Birmingham, but Coventry, Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, Telford, Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent and the rest of the Trent Valley too”.
Sophie Zumbe, External Affairs