Sunday Shambles Train Service – Incomprehensible

There were angry scenes at Stratford upon Avon Railway Station on Sunday, 11 February 2024, as visitors were trying to go home after a weekend break, and residents were left without any train services to Birmingham for hours.

With the station booking office closed and the station facilities such as toilets also locked, there was no information as trains failed to turn up to form services towards Birmingham.

Peter Morris, Chair of the Shakespeare Line Rail User Group, has written to Ian McConnell, Managing Director of the train operator West Midlands Trains Ltd, expressing frustration at a situation that he describes “as incomprehensible as it is indefensible.”

Train services between Birmingham and Stratford upon Avon usually extend to Kidderminster or Worcester. On Sunday, a points failure at Worcester caused significant disruption to services meaning that services could only run as far as Droitwich. The Rail User Group is upset about why a problem at Worcester led to the cessation of services between Birmingham and Stratford upon Avon when there was no problem along that section of the line, which serves places such as Hall Green, Yardley Wood, Shirley, Wythall, Earlswood, Henley in Arden and Wilmcote and trains and crews were available.

“The decision led witness to trains standing idle in Birmingham Snow Hill station for the time it would have taken them to travel to Stratford and back. It would not have affected the train service between Birmingham and Droitwich,” said Peter Morris.

Peter Morris added, “The indifference shown towards hundreds of passengers on Sunday, particularly at Stratford upon Avon station, where many passengers were undertaking much longer planned journeys requiring forward connections to be made, was nothing less than a Sunday Shambles. Passengers were abandoned for hours without access to any information (Train displays continued to show services running when they were cancelled!), and there was no alternative transport provision.”

See the content of what Peter Morris has written to the MD of West Midlands trains.