West Midlands Branch


The counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, the unitary authorities of Telford & Wrekin, Stoke-on-Trent, and the Metropolitan Districts of Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, and Wolverhampton.

Report of visit to Tyseley Depot on 11th June

This meeting with West Midlands Trains was to discuss their new rolling stock. Read Branch Secretary Colin Major's notes here.

Annual General Meeting 2018 - Saturday, April 21st

Special Guest - MD of West Midlands Trains

This year we were most fortunate that Jan Chaudry-van der Velde, the Managing Director of West Midlands Trains, attended the meeting to discuss with us the company’s plans for the new franchise.

This was our chance to learn more of what the branch committee had been doing since April 2017 and, more importantly, what we plan to do in 2018, and for you to have had your say on these or any other pressing issues.

We secured a rather special venue for the event, the National College of High Speed Rail, near Aston University, Birmingham. We had exclusive use of the premises and the Event Organiser provided a tour of the facility. This included the train driving simulator, set up in a former Eurostar driving trailer cab.

At the business section of the day Steve Wright was elected Branch Chairman, all other committee members were re-elected. Former branch chairman William Whiting agreed to continue as a member of the committee.
Image Image


On 4th May 2017 the whole of the West Midlands were asked to vote for a Mayor of the West Midlands. In advance of this Railfuture West Midlands staged a Transport Forum on 6th April 2017 in the Banqueting Suite at the Council House, Birmingham.

The five main candidates for Mayor answered questions from the public about transport - James Burn (Green Party), Pete Durnell (UKIP), Beverley Nielson (Liberal Democrat), Sion Simon (Labour) and Andy Street (Conservative). The event was chaired by Lorna Slade, editor of Rail Professional and then a Railfuture Vice President.

Flier for the West Midlands Transport Forum Mayoral Debates organised by Railfuture in which four of the five mayoral candidates deabte about transport matters. Event title: Keepoing the West Midlands Moving. Event held in Birmingham on 6 April 2017

The event was free to all and was attended by around 140 people including many Railfuture members. We believe that attendees found it interesting and useful, even if they don’t live in the West Midlands itself as many decisions made here are likely to have impacts on neighbouring counties.

We thank Birmingham Friends of the Earth who assisted Railfuture West Midlands in promoting the event and by providing stewards on the day.

View the professionally-produced VIDEO (lasting 1 hour 27 minutes).

Subsequently Andy Street was elected to be Mayor of the West Midlands. He is now the chairman of the West Midlands Combined Authority and transport forms a major part of his role. The Mayor has a budget of £8 billion to allocate (but not just to transport).

Current campaigns

  • For HS2, ensure connectivity for travellers to the proposed Curzon Street and Interchange stations. Urge HS2 to include provision for a link into the existing network to access New Street for direct London - Wolverhampton HS2 trains and for future use by Cross Country services.
  • Re-instate passenger services between Wolverhampton and Walsall (WMT are receptive to this aspiration)
  • Extend Birmingham local network - via Kings Heath and towards Castle Bromwich with new stations
  • Reopen the line between Stourbridge, Walsall, Lichfield and Burton for passenger services
  • Support re-instatement of Stratford - Honeybourne with chords east and west for Stratford-Worcester and Oxford services SUAWOOX campaign
  • Redouble Coventry-Leamington and four-track rail route between Coventry and Wolverhampton
Our campaign for a semi-fast Birmingham to Stratford service has succeeded with a service via Solihull now in the timetable. Also electrification is in progress between Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley and to Bromsgrove. That to Bromsgrove is expected to start operation by July 2018.


Click events for regional and national events for rail campaigners, including Railfuture and other conferences.

Branch contacts

Branch Chairman & Local Media Contact - Steve Wright - steve.wright at railfuture.org.uk
Branch Secretary - colin.major at railfuture.org.uk
General Enquiries - westmidlands at railfuture.org.uk

Branch eNews

Click view or download to see West Midlands Branch January 2018 eNews. (149Kb)

West Midlands AGM 2017 - Guest Speaker Christian Wolmar

The 2017 branch AGM was held on Saturday 22nd April in Birmingham close to the Bull Street tram stop. The official business included receiving reports from officers and electing officers for 2017-18 including the officer posts of Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer and other committee members. William Whiting was re-elected as Chairman for the following year and Michael Tombs elected as Treasurer. The post of Secretary was left vacant at the AGM but at the following committee meeting Colin Major volunteered to stand-in for a year.

In 2016 we were most disappointed that our invited guests Nigel Harris (Managing Editor of RAIL magazine) and Christian Wolmar (transport journalist, author and regular RAIL columnist, and Railfuture's Honorary President) both had to withdraw at the last moment. Therefore we were pleased Christian was able to speak to our members and the public in 2017.

Please click HERE for more info.

The Passenger Experience slides presented by Railfuture director Jerry Alderson at the West Midlands AGM in 2016 can be viewed HERE or downloaded HERE (3.5MB).

West Midlands Rail user groups

Rail user groups in the West Midlands are shown on Railfuture's Regional List of Rail User Groups, which can be viewed or downloaded (860kb PDF document, dated July 2017).

Branch Newsletters

Go to the Dashboard for West Midlands to read archived issues of the West Midlands Branch eNewsletters.

Other documents

West Midlands Rail Franchise for 2017 - view or download our consultation response.

West Midlands and Chilterns Route Study (July 2016) - view or download our consultation response (254kB).

The following documents are from meetings that Railfuture has attended:
  • London Midland Stakeholder Conference 2015 - view or download Notes taken by Railfuture (PDF 348kB)
Stakeholder News
  • London Midland Trains 'Business Travel Made Simple' March 2016 - view or download - (PDF 3MB)

Railfuture - The independent campaign for a better passenger and freight rail network

We need you - Join us!

Please go to the Join page to become a member of Railfuture.
Railfuture is the campaigning name for Railfuture Ltd, a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. Registered in England and Wales No. 05011634. Registered office: 24 Chedworth Place, Tattingstone, Suffolk IP9 2ND.

Rail User Express Rail Action