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A map of the London Midland Network
London Midland Express route map
London Midland City route map
London Midland is a train operating company in the United Kingdommarker. Legally named London and Birmingham Railway Ltd., it is a subsidiary of Govia, and has operated the West Midlands Franchise since 11 November 2007.

Their services operate primarily on the West Coast Main Linemarker from London Eustonmarker and in the West Midlands region, replacing previous operators Central Trains and Silverlink (both subsidiaries of the National Express Group).


London Midland's services are divided between two sub-brands, London Midland Express and London Midland City.

London Midland Express

This sub-brand is used primarily for semi-fast services on the West Coast Main Linemarker (WCML). The main service pattern is as follows:

  • Birmingham New StreetmarkerLiverpool Lime Streetmarker. Every half hour, calling at either Smethwick Galton Bridge or Coseley (alternating to give each an hourly express service), Wolverhampton, Penkridge (hourly service), Stafford, Crewe, Winsford (hourly/two hourly service), Hartford, (hourly service, although service improves in the morning and evening peak), Runcorn and Liverpool South Parkway. Journey times vary between approx 1½ hours and 1¾ hours.

  • London Eustonmarker - Birmingham New Streetmarker. Every half hour to Northampton, calling at Watford Junction (hourly), Hemel Hempstead (hourly), Berkhamsted (hourly), Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley, Milton Keynes Central and Wolverton, with hourly extensions to Birmingham New Street, additionally calling at Long Buckby, Rugby, Coventry, Canley, Tile Hill, Berkswell, Birmingham International and Marston Green. Journey times are about an hour longer than Virgin trains' InterCity service.

  • London Eustonmarker - Milton Keynesmarker. Every 20 minutes to Tring, calling at Harrow & Wealdstone, Bushey, Watford Junction, Kings Langley, Apsley, Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted, with hourly extensions to Milton Keynes which call at Watford Junction, Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Tring, Cheddington, Leighton Buzzard and Bletchley. This service is complemented by an hourly Southern train service between Harrow & Wealdstone and Milton Keynes. At peak times, a new "Watford Shuttle" service has been introduced to take the pressure off other services. Calling at Harrow & Wealdstonemarker and Busheymarker.

  • London Eustonmarker - Crewemarker. Hourly, off peak, calling at Watford Junction, Milton Keynes Central, Northampton, Rugby, Nuneaton, Atherstone, Tamworth, Lichfield Trent Valley, Rugeley Trent Valley, Stafford, Stone, Stoke-on-Trent, Kidsgrove and Alsager. This semi-fast service replaced the old Virgin Trains service from December 2008. This coincided with the number of Virgin Trains off peak services calling at stations on the Trent Valley Line (and other parts of the WCML) being reduced. This again was controversial, as smaller towns have in effect been cut off from the Intercity rail network. This service takes longer than Virgin services did/do. During peak times, Virgin stops certain trains at one or two of the more major stations, so there is no peak service between the stations.

The brand is also used for two branches off the WCML:

It is a requirement of the franchise that Transport for London's Oyster Cards can be used on trains between London and Watford Junctionmarker. In the past, TfL have expressed interest in taking over the St Albans branch, and installing Oyster Card readers on the stations along it; however this route was included within the London Midland franchise.

London Midland City

A London Midland City Class 153 No.
153371 departs Bedford, with a service bound for Bletchley.

This sub-brand is used for local and commuter services around the Birmingham / Coventry Area, sponsored by Centro/ Network West Midlands, that were previously run by Central Trains. These services are:

Smaller stations

London Midland operate several "limited stop" stations, where only a handful of trains a day stop:

These include :

Former routes

In December 2008, London Midland discontinued the direct service between Walsallmarker and Wolverhamptonmarker. Usage on the route was low, but growing, and a campaign existed to keep the service. The service was a priced option with the new West Midlands Franchise, but the Department for Transportmarker decided not to provide funding from December 2008, and as a result the service ceased. London Midland advised that passengers should use a Travel West Midlands bus to make the journey. The rolling stock was re-allocated to run the new Worcester to Gloucester service.


The most recent performance figures for London Midland to be released by the ORR for the first quarter of the financial year 2009/10 are 89.4% Public Performance Measure. The MAA up to 30 June 2009 was 86.5%. These figures are very similar to the same period last year.

Rolling stock

Current fleet

London Midland’s fleet is currently composed of rolling stock inherited from Silverlink and Central Trains. They have finished refurbishing the existing Class 153, Class 170 and Class 323 multiple unit trains. They also intend to use automatic load-monitoring systems to measure how heavily their services are used, for the purpose of alleviating over-crowding.

The first of the 37 new Desiro units arrived in the UK in early October for testing at the Siemens Northamptonmarker depot. As of July 2009, they are all in service.

London Midland are to retain seven Class 321 EMU trains and these will feature on both the 'Abbey Flyer'marker Watford Junction - St. Albans Abbey branch line and Peak Hour Express services between Northampton-London Euston.

The two Class 139 railcars were due to enter service on the Stourbridge line with the start of the new timetable on 15 December 2008. However, delays in testing the units caused a delay in their introduction, with a replacement bus covering the route following the reallocation of the Class 153 originally used.. The two railcars finally entered full passenger service in June 2009
Class Image Type Cars per set Top speed Number Routes operated Built
mph km/h
Class 139 Parry People Mover diesel multiple unit 1 40 60 2 Stourbridge Town Branch Line 2008
Class 150 Sprinter diesel multiple unit 2/3 75 120 16 3 car
12 2 car
Snow Hill Lines 1981-86
Class 153 Super Sprinter diesel multiple unit 2 75 120 10 Bedford - Bletchley
Coventry - Nuneaton
Strengthening of any 150 or 170 services

1987 - 1988
Class 170 Turbostar diesel multiple unit 2/3 100 160 23 Hereford - Birmingham
Birmingham - Shrewsbury
Birmingham to Rugeley Trent Valleymarker via Chase Line

1999 – 2002
Class 321/4 electric multiple unit 4 100 160 7 Birmingham - Northampton
Birmingham International - Walsall
London - Milton Keynes
Watford Junction - St. Albans Abbey

Class 323 electric multiple unit 3 90 145 26 (16 more by 2014) Lichfield - Redditch (The Cross City Line)
Walsall - Birmingham International
Wolverhampton - Birmingham

Class 350/1 Desiro electric multiple unit 4 100 160 30 Liverpool - Birmingham
Northampton - Birmingham
London - Birmingham/Crewe

2004 - 2005
Class 350/2 Desiro electric multiple unit 4 100 160 37 London - Birmingham/Crewe (Replacing Class 321) 2008-2009

Future fleet

As part of its franchise agreement, London Midland is committed to a major programme of new rolling stock. London Midland have ordered fifteen 3-car and twelve 2-car Class 172 Turbostar units ordered from Bombardier Transportation, to replaced their Class 150s. Under the government's rolling stock plan, the Class 150s will be cascaded to other TOCs. (most likely Northern, East Midlands Trains and/or First Great Western)

Class Type Cars per set Number Introduced Notes
Class 172/2 Turbostar diesel multiple unit 2 12 Late 2010 Will replace the existing Class 150
Class 172/3 Turbostar diesel multiple unit 3 15 Late 2010 Will replace the existing Class 150

See also


  1. WebCHeck - Select and Access Company Information
  2. VT's timetables
  3. VT's timetables
  4. - London Rail Authority
  5. London Midland's route map and timetables
  6. [1]
  9. Delay to new Class 139 Parry People Mover service - London Midland press release, 05/12/08
  10. THE FLEET’S IN! - Parry People Movers, July 2009

External links

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