BROMSGROVE’S new electric train service begins on Sunday, July 29, meaning for commuters heading back to work on Monday there will be four trains per hour between the town and Birmingham New Street.
The Cross City Services which currently terminate at Longbridge will carry onto Bromsgrove with the other three going to Redditch as they do now.
One per hour going to Bromsgrove will also stop at Barnt Green.
West Midlands Railway said there would now be be up to five trains per hour to and from Birmingham New Street during the peak and between two and four trains pr hour in the off-peak.
But while the number of trains serving Bromsgrove increasing from 45 to 132 on weekdays there has been criticism levelled over the fact CrossCountry Services will no longer be calling at Bromsgrove from Monday.
That is a loss of two trains in each direction in the morning and the evening weekday peak-times.
Network Rail has invested £100million in installing new track, new signaling and upgraded power to allow the new electric train service to run.
The new overhead power lines between Barnt Green and Bromsgrove were switched on in May 2018, when the first trains started test runs on the route.
The electrification of the line is part of a £1bn investment in the region and follows the construction of the new Bromsgrove station which opened in July 2016.
Richard Brooks, customer experience director at West Midlands Railway, said Bromsgrove rail users would benefit immenseley with far more choice of when and where they could travel.
“Not only are we offering more trains to and from central Birmingham, but also to many other destinations on our network that were previously not served directly from Bromsgrove.”
Richard Dugdale, senior sponsor at Network Rail, said: “Bromsgrove passengers are benefiting from more trains to more places as a result of millions of pounds of investment in the railway in the area.
“Working with our partners, the Railway Upgrade Plan is delivering huge benefits across the country and this is the latest example.
“With the new station and electric trains, Bromsgrove now has a railway it can be proud of.”
The extra trains to Bromsgrove will support a package of wider improvements to the Cross City line.
This includes 100 new carriages, that are due to be delivered under the region’s new rail franchise which is managed by West Midlands Rail Executive – a consortium of local councils, in partnership with government.
Coun Roger Lawrence, chair of West Midlands Rail Executive and transport lead on the West Midlands Combined Authority, said: “Electrification and the extra trains for Bromsgrove mark the latest stage in a 40-year journey for the Cross City Line during which time our local transport authority has worked tirelessly with partners to transform the route into the region’s busiest commuter line, relied on by thousands of people every day.
“It now means Bromsgrove will get the same sort of high frequency service enjoyed by the rest of the Cross City Line and that’s good for the regional economy as well as for passengers.
“Together with the new franchise improvements, it shows the value of local investment and of moving responsibility for the regional network from Whitehall to the West Midlands.”
Rail Minister Jo Johnson said: “We are investing in the most significant upgrade of the rail network since Victorian times, delivering more trains, a greater number of services and more comfortable journeys for passengers.
“The completion of this project demonstrates the benefits of our £1bn investment in the region’s railways, with a significant increase in the number of trains into central Birmingham during peak times.”