Monday 21 May 2018
First electric train travels between Birmingham and Bromsgrove
The first ever electric train has travelled between Birmingham and Bromsgrove.
The West Midlands Railway train made the historic journey last night (Sunday 20 May) to test the newly installed overhead power lines, ahead of a full electric service being introduced later this summer.
The upgrade and electrification of the railway to Bromsgrove by Network Rail is part of the Railway Upgrade Plan. When the work is completed, West Midlands Railway is to operate an extra three trains every hour. Currently the town has two trains per hour in the peak and just one train per hour off-peak.
The testing also marks the permanent switch on of the overhead power lines, which carry 25,000v of electricity, 24 hours a day. Local communities are being urged to be well aware of this additional safety hazard and the added danger it poses should anyone choose to trespass on the railway.
Richard Dugdale, senior sponsor for Network Rail, said: "Passengers will soon be travelling on electric trains between Birmingham and Bromsgrove which will provide a better, greener, more reliable service.
"The Railway Upgrade Plan is delivering significant improvements across Britain. Bromsgrove with its new station and electric train service is reaping the benefits.
"Electric trains mean overhead power lines along the railway are live, 24 hours a day. I would urge everyone to remember this and never put themselves or others at risk by trespassing on the railway."
Richard Brooks, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, said: “There is still more work to be done but the test train is a major step towards giving Bromsgrove the extra services the town needs. These are exciting times for the region. Rail travel in the West Midlands has never been more popular. We are investing almost £1 billion to create more and better journeys, helping to shape and support the region’s economy and identity.”
Engineers from Network Rail and West Midlands Railway were on board the test train as it made three return trips between Birmingham and Bromsgrove.
For timetable and travel information visit www.nationalrail.co.uk.
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About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.