New Midland train brands on track
THE Midlands rail network will see two new brands appear next month as franchises start.
London Northwestern will replace West Coast services currently operated by London Midland when its franchise contract ends in December.
The name is a nod to the London and North Western Railway company which was once the largest railway in Britain and the predecessor of the current West Coast Main Line.
All remaining London Midland services around Birmingham will be rebranded as West Midlands Railway.
The franchise, currently operated by London Midland, will be taken over on December 10 by a joint venture between Dutch firm Abellio, East Japan Railway Company and Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co.
The venture is called West Midlands Trains. It was awarded a nine-year tenure in August.
West Midlands Trains said the introduction of two brands would enable potential devolution of the regional network to the West Midlands Combined Authority.
London Northwestern would remain under the remit of the Department for Transport for future retender.
London Northwestern and West Midlands Railway will have a shared management board while being aligned to their specific regional and route requirements.
The current changes are part of the near £1 billion investment into the network over the lifetime of the tender which includes £680 million on new trains, to be built by Bombardier in Derby and Spanish firm CAF, along with £70 million on new depots.
> The West Midlands Railway livery