Trains (past, present and future) in Birmingham and West Midlands

Birmingham & West Midlands Trains - With People with Passion we're building gallery & collection of posts looking at the past, present & future of the region's trains.


This is a community owned project with wonderful contributions from our People with Passion.

 

WEST MIDLANDS RAILWAY

West Midlands Railway took over from London Midland in December 2017. They current have trains of the following Classes: 139, 170, 172 and 323. The old 153's will be leaving the fleet.

The Stourbridge Shuttle, Class 139

There is two Stourbridge Shuttle's, also called Parry People Movers. Introduced into service under London Midland in 2009, between Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town. After West Midlands Railway took over in late 2017, the livery was changed from green to purple / orange in 2018.

Stourbridge Shuttle

Stourbridge Shuttle: West Midlands Railway 139001 at Stourbridge Town Station (July 2019). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Class 153

Introduced to service in 1991/92 and still in service. West Midlands Railway has about 8 Class 153's that they inherited from London Midland in late 2017. The final one was withdrawn from service at the end of December 2020.

Class 153

West Midlands Railway 153364 at the newly opened Kenilworth Station (March 2018). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Class 170

The Class 170 Turbostar trains were built in 1999. West Midlands Railway currently has 23 of them in their fleet, inheriting them from London Midland at the end of 2017. When the Class 196 trains comes into service later in 2021, these trains will be transferred to East Midlands Railway.

Class 170

West Midlands Railway 170633 at Birmingham Moor Street Station (March 2018). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Class 172

Built between 2010 and 2011 they were put into service on the Snow Hill Lines in 2011 by London Midland, they transferred to West Midlands Railway at the end of 2017. Originally they had 172/2 x 12 and 172/3 x 15. 172/0 x 8 was transferred over from London Overground in 2019, and entered service on the Leamington Spa to Nuneaton via Coventry line, refurbished with a new West Midlands Railway livery inside and out.

Class 172

West Midlands Railway 172 338 at Birmingham Moor Street Station (October 2018). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Class 196

West Midlands Trains has new trains on order including the new Class 196. They were on test runs on the Snow Hill Lines during 2020, and may come into service later in 2021. Built between 2019 and 2020 by CAF in Spain, they are of the Civity type of train. On order is 196/0 x 12 and 196/1 x 14. It is planned to replace West Midlands Railway entire fleet of Class 170 trains (see above). It is planned for them to run on the Birmingham to Shrewsbury line, the Birmingham to Hereford line and some appearances on the Snow Hill Lines (Dorridge & Stratford-upon-Avon to Worcester via Birmingham Snow Hill).

Class 196

West Midlands Railway 196 101 on a test run through Yardley Wood Station (August 2020). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Class 323

These entered into service in 1994 after being built around 1990 to 1991. West Midlands Railway inherited a fleet of 26 Class 323's from London Midland at the end of 2017. They run on the Cross City Line from Redditch to Lichfield Trent Valley via Birmingham New Street. Bromsgrove was added to the Cross City Line after electrification (from 2018). They also run up the Chase Line towards Walsall. Beyond Walsall the line was electrified to Rugeley Trent Valley, but West Midlands Railway usually uses Class 350's on that line now (from 2019).

Class 323

West Midlands Railway 323203 from the Somerset Road Bridge in Edgbaston near the Worcester & Birmingham Canal (January 2018). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

LONDON NORTHWESTERN RAILWAY

London Northwestern Railway took over from London Midland in December 2017. They inherited the Class 350's.

Class 350

These semi fast electric trains entered into service in 2005. The Class 350 is also called Desiro. London Northwestern Railway (a sub company of West Midlands Trains), inherited a fleet of 77 Class 350's from London Midland at the end of 2017. A further 10 Class 350's were transferred from TransPennine Express during 2019 to 2020. They operate the trains on the London Euston to Birmingham New Street line as well as up to Liverpool Lime Street via Crewe. It is planned to replace all 350/2 with Class 730 "Aventura" trains.

LNWR Class 350

London Northwestern Railway 350406 arriving at Birmingham New Street Station from London Euston (August 2020). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

CHILTERN RAILWAYS

Chiltern Railways has Class 68, Class 165, Class 168 and Class 172.

Class 68

They were built between 2013 and 2017. Chiltern Railways has sub-leased 14 Class 68 diesel locomotives from Direct Rail Services on the Chiltern Mainline between London Marylebone and Birmingham Moor Street or Birmingham Snow Hill (sometimes as far as Kidderminster). Behind them are Mark 3 coaches with a Driving Van Trailer at the back. The Class 68 replaced the Class 67 (which they used from 2010 to 2014, which used to be used by Wrexham & Shropshire).

Class 68

Chiltern Railways 68009, Titan at Birmingham Moor Street Station (January 2016). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Class 165

These have been in service since 1991. Chiltern Railways has had them since the mid 1990s taking over from Network SouthEast. Today in the West Midlands Region, they are used on the Leamington Spa to Stratford-upon-Avon line, as well as Leamington Spa to Birmingham Moor Street. They were refurbished in 2003 and 2005. Another refurbishment took place in them in 2015.

Class 165

Chiltern Railways 165019 at Birmingham Moor Street Station (February 2014). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Class 168

The Class 168 Clubman trains are used on the Chiltern Mainline between London Marylebone and Birmingham Moor Street / Snow Hill. They entered service back in 1998. They were refurbished inside and out during 2013. You can get down to London in 90 minutes, with stops at Solihull, Warwick Parkway and Leamington Spa in the West Midlands region. The more comfortable way and more scenic route down to the capital. Some trains stop at Wembley Stadium if a football match is on there (so the trains can get quite full on those days).

Class 168

Chiltern Railways 168216 at Birmingham Snow Hill Station (September 2013). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Class 172

Chiltern Railways has 4 two car Class 172 trains, usually attached at the back of their Class 168's, on the routes between Birmingham Snow Hill and London Marylebone.

Class 172

Chiltern Railways 172 101 at Birmingham Snow Hill Station (December 2017). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

AVANTI WEST COAST

Avanti West Coast took over from Virgin Trains in December 2019, and inherited trains of the following classes: Class 220, Class 221 and Class 390.

Class 390

The Class 390 Pendolino's have been in service on the West Coast Mainline from 2002 onwards. Operated by Virgin Trains from 2002 until their franchise ended at the end of 2019. Avanti West Coast took over. They were built by Alstom. They were refurbished by Avanti in 2020. This is the fastest route from Birmingham New Street to London Euston (until HS2 eventually opens which Avanti might be running in the future), but the most expensive.

Avanti West Coast Class 390

Avanti West Coast 390 127 departing for London Euston from Birmingham New Street (August 2020). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

CROSS COUNTRY TRAINS

Cross Country Trains has Class 170, Class 220 and Class 221. They also have some old Intercity 125 trains which was Class 43.

Class 220

These entered service in 2001 with Virgin Trains CrossCountry, but transferred to Cross Country Trains in 2007. They replaced the then 20 year old Intercity 125 trains. All trains goes through Birmingham New Street. They are also known as Voyager.

Class 220

Cross Country Trains Class 220 passing the site of Harborne Junction (February 2016). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Class 221

The Class 221 Super Voyager trains entered service in 2002 with then operator Virgin Trains, used on the Cross Country and West Coast Mainline. Cross Country Trains inherited them from Virgin Trains Cross Country in 2007. They used to be able to tilt, but this was disabled in 2008.

Cross Country 221 New St

Cross Country Super Voyager 221128 at Birmingham New Street Station (August 2016). Photography by Elliott Brown

Project dates

25 Mar 2019 - On-going

Passions

History & heritage, Construction & regeneration, Photography
Transport, Environment & green action, Business & enterprise, Travel & tourism, Modern Architecture

Contact

(for further information)

Jonathan Bostock

0121 410 5520
jonathan.bostock@ freetimepays.com