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Partnership launches to deliver a better integrated and more locally accountable West Midlands rail network

27 November 2023
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West Midlands Rail Executive and Great British Railways Transition Team have formally started work to deliver a more locally accountable and integrated rail network in the West Midlands

West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) and Great British Railways Transition Team (GBRTT) have formally started work to deliver a more locally accountable and integrated rail network in the West Midlands.

The industry-leading collaboration, which brings the railway and wider-region together, supports the ambitions outlined in the Trailblazer Deeper Devolution Deal which was agreed between West Midlands Combined Authority and Government in March this year.

The partnership will give local leaders even further influence over the railway, ensuring that it meets the needs of West Midlands’ communities and rail customers. It will integrate rail into the wider West Midlands transport network with bus and tram, allowing customers to plan and pay for journeys seamlessly.

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Through West Midlands’ existing Swift platform, a fully integrated multi modal fares and ticketing structure will be delivered. A pilot agreement for a new pay as you go ticketing offer will be announced soon. Other changes to make buying rail tickets simpler and easier to understand are also being worked on.

Mal Drury-Rose, Executive Director of the WMRE said: “I am excited by this partnership which will deliver enhanced local accountability and influence and therefore enable rail to better serve the people of the West Midlands.

We’ve made significant progress on integrating West Midlands Railway with other public transport services through our existing partnerships with DfT and the rail industry. However this new GBRTT/WMRE partnership will go one step further – improving customers’ experience at stations, on trains and as they move between bus and tram.”

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The partnership will:

  • develop and implement opportunities to improve the customer experience, looking across the station and on-board experience (e.g. customer information, wayfinding and branding)
  • make it easier for customers to make end-to-end public transport journeys across the West Midlands
  • ensure the railway can support the wider-region and constituent local authorities’ future plans for transport, housing and health to help deliver economic growth

Rufus Boyd, Interim GBRTT Lead Director, said: “GBRTT’s vision for a future guiding mind for rail is to bring different parties together so that decisions about train services are made in partnership with people who know what's best for their region.

“This new partnership with the West Midlands is an example of that vision, and brings together key organisations involved in the wider region's transport. As well as enabling people to make and pay for journeys seamlessly across trains, buses and trams, this improved connectivity and joint approach can unlock jobs, housing and economic growth across the wider region."


Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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