New West Midlands train franchise.(London Midland Image)
London Midland has congratulated the group that has won the right to operate the next West Midlands rail franchise. London Midland says a new long-term franchise means further investment can now be made in the region’s rail network.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that West Midlands Trains Ltd (a joint venture between Abellio, East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui & Co Ltd) has won the contract to operate the next West Midlands rail franchise.
Commenting on the announcement, London Midland managing director, Patrick Verwer, said:
“The new franchise will bring much welcomed investment in new services and extra capacity across the network. We congratulate the consortium on winning the franchise. Over the coming months our focus will remain on delivering the best possible service to our passengers, each day and every day. This approach is already producing high levels of customer satisfaction.
“We have created a strong foundation for the new operators to build on. During the months ahead we will continue to work with West Midlands Trains Ltd, the DfT and all our stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition into the new franchise.”
London Midland has been operating train services from London to Liverpool and across the West Midlands since 2007. During the present franchise, over £400 million has been invested in improving the network with new trains and more stations. The company’s current contract began in April 2016 and was due to end in October 2017. During this time London Midland has invested £14 million in raising performance and introducing additional passenger benefits including world leading free on-train entertainment and Wi-Fi.
Since the start of 2017 London Midland has been named the country’s most improved train company by the Institute of Rail Operators and Britain’s most improved organisation for Customer Service by the UK Customer Service Institute. Investors in People has also upgraded the London Midland to Gold status, making the employer only the fourth train company to receive the top rating. The company has also won two Corporate Social Responsibility awards this year for its work with communities.