Some trains will be switched from Birmingham's overcrowded New Street station to Snow Hill from 5 January 2004 in an attempt to improve reliability and punctuality.

At the same time a new timetable will also be introduced between Birmingham and Worcester via Stourbridge Junction and between Birmingham and Worcester via Bromsgrove.

The changes to weekday train services will see most evening peak services to Worcester via Stourbridge Junction switch from New Street to depart from Snow Hill.

This will give passengers to Stourbridge Junction via Jewellery Quarter, Hawthorns, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Langley Green, Rowley Regis, Old Hill, Cradley Heath and Lye more trains - from Birmingham Snow Hill and Moor Street stations.

Passengers travelling between New Street and Worcester via Bromsgrove will benefit from the introduction of two new train services departing from Birmingham New Street at 16.20 and 17.50 hours.

The 07.56 departure from Worcester to Birmingham New Street via Droitwich Spa and University will be lengthened from 3 to 4 carriages (not calling at Bromsgrove). Bromsgrove will have five morning trains in the peak, departing for Birmingham at 07.23, 07.43, 07.51, 08.23 and 08.42.

"I am delighted that in partnership with Centro we have been able to introduce a higher peak frequency on the Stourbridge line," said Nigel Pennington, Central Trains director of West Midlands services.

"This will also help ease rail congestion at New Street. We have taken action at the earliest opportunity to revise the timetable between Birmingham and Worcester to improve performance and provide more capacity".

Robert Smith, Centro services director, added: "With one in six commuter journeys into Birmingham made by rail, and demand increasing, it is important that the needs of people for a more frequent service are met. By supplying an improved evening peak frequency on the Stourbridge line from Moor Street and Snow Hill, Centro and Central Trains are helping meet the need for better public transport. This also contributes to more cars being left at home."

Information from Central Trains. Media enquiries: 0121 654 1278