During late 2011, London Midland introduced a fleet of 27 brand new trains onto services running through Birmingham Snow Hill.
The class 172 trains - built in the Midlands - represent an investment of £93 million, and are the latest improvement for the Snow Hill lines, which have already benefited from resignalling, new station signage, help points, CCTV and station refurbishment works.
The new trains have replaced a fleet which was over 25 years old and have brought a range of benefits to London Midland customers on the Snow Hill lines (which cover Worcester to Leamington Spa and Stratford-Upon-Avon).
- Air conditioning
- Spacious carriages that are 3 metres longer than the ones they replace
- Larger entrance and exit areas to make getting on and off quicker and easier
- Comfortable spacious seating with 4 seats across instead of 5
- Quieter engines and carpets throughout to further reduce noise, for a quieter journey
- A dedicated wheelchair space and a fully accessible toilet with baby changing facilities
- Wheelchair accessible toilet
- Tinted windows to reduce glare inside the train
- Corridor connections at the end of each train to enable passengers and the conductor to walk between trains at busy times when more than one joined together
- Selective door opening facility to enable long trains to call at short platforms
- GPS-based audio-visual information screens to provide details of approaching stops.
- CCTV inside the train - and at the front of the train to record trespassers and other incidents
During peak times, many trains now run with extra carriages - that's another 1,600 seats each weekday.
Thanks to £80million of new track and signalling, the Snow Hill line is now one of the most reliable in the Midlands, with around 90% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of schedule.
We've freshened up all our stations, giving some of our waiting rooms and toilets a makeover along the way. We're alson investing in step-free access to make it easier for those wheelchairs and buggies.
Further improvements include:
- More ticket machines at Henley-in -Arden, Droitwich Spa, Blakedown, Whitlocks End, Hartlebury, Kidderminster, Cradley Heath, Rowley Regis
- Introduction of a brand new smartcard ticketing system called 'the key' which will see the replacement of season tickets with high tech reusable smartcards
- Refurbished facilities at Stourbridge Junction, Shirley, Worcester, Small Heath, Stratford-upon-Avon (major redevelopment planned)
- Bigger car parks at Whitlocks End, Kidderminster
- New live train running information systems at Hagley, Blakedown, Henley-in-Arden, Stratford-upon-Avon
- New help points at all stations
- Resignalling and track replacement on Birmingham to Stratford/Leamington Spa lines to improve reliability (£80m project)
- New waiting shelters at Small Heath and Stratford-upon-Avon
- Better security at stations with automatic ticket gates at Birmingham Moor Street and Birmingham Snow Hill. Also CCTV at Henley-in-Arden.
The future of the Snow Hill lines
Future upgrades include a major redevelopment of Snow Hill station, plus a new station at Stratford-upon-Avon as part of a £9 million project to help improve services on the line.