Midlands Rail Hub

The Midlands Rail Hub is our flagship plan to future-proof the Midlands’ rail network for generations to come.

With relatively few interventions between 2023 and 2033, we can have a huge impact on services. By 2040, the Rail Hub could create space for 6 million more journeys a year and shift the equivalent of 4,300 lorries a day from the roads.

The Rail Hub will support an extra £649 million of economic growth and investment annually by enabling faster and more frequent journeys across the Midlands and spreading easy access to HS2 services. These improvements will allow 1.6 million more people in the Midlands to reach its biggest towns and cities within an hour, bringing the east and west closer together.

This strategy can achieve 24 extra trains every hour, 12 in each direction, doubling the number of services and significantly improving journey times. Linking the Midlands’ primary economic centres and international gateways with regular direct services will transform East-West connectivity, supporting the growth of more than 100,000 planned new jobs.

Railway capacity must also meet demand from freight. Four of the UK’s five main freight routes pass through the Midlands. The Rail Hub would create space for an extra 36 freight paths a day, carrying £22 billion worth of goods every year.

£649 million

annual economic benefit to the Midlands by 2037

Next steps:

  • Develop the case for investment in 24 extra trains per hour
  • Work with West Midlands Rail Executive and other partners on best allocation of train paths
  • Further development of East-West rail corridor studies
  • Detailed investigation into the costs and benefits of increasing capacity between Thames Valley and East Midlands to improve connections to Birmingham Airport
  • Investigating the options for crossing the West Coast Main Line (WCML) to enable direct services between Coventry and Leicester
4320 lorries

shifted from road to rail each day under Midlands Rail Hub plans

We have four principal areas of focus:

  • New track and passing places (e.g. the construction of two chords at Bordesley)
  • Longer and restored platforms (e.g. reinstating the fourth platform at Snow Hill station, remodelling Kings Norton and Water Orton, two more platforms and stabling facilities at Moor Street)
  • Improved junctions and signalling
  • Some minor electrification

"These Rail Hub plans are essential to releasing the extra capacity the Midlands railway network needs to support this region, its businesses and its commuters.”

Malcolm Holmes, Executive Director,
West Midlands Rail Executive

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