2 September 2021
Changes to services
Some (but not all) Stratford-upon-Avon-Dorridge-Birmingham services have now been reinstated. Please check your connections before travelling. Click here for times.
23 August 2021
Please be advised that the Annual General Meeting of the Shakespeare Line Promotion Group will take place on Wednesday 22 September 2021 at the Memorial Hall, Station Road, Henley in Arden, commencing at 1920hrs.
Speakers will be Fay Easton from West Midlands Trains, Peter Sargant from West Midlands Rail Executive and Angela Okey, Chair of Friends of Henley in Arden Station.
Formal business, including the election of the committee and officers, will take place, and there will also be a coffee/tea interlude. Questions will be most welcome. Face masks optional.
The meeting will finish no later than 21.25hrs to enable those attending to catch the 21.42hrs train service back towards Birmingham.
31 July 2021
Changes to train services from 2 August 2021
Considerable changes to the timetable will be mace with effect from 2 August 2021, due to staffing problems caused by the COVID self-isolation requirement. Services on the Snow Hill routes will be reduced, entailing the loss of direct trains between Solihull and Stratford-upon-Avon. Some Chiltern trains will make additional stops at Widney Manor, Lapworth, Acocks Green, Olton, Small Heath, Dorridge and Tyseley. Passengers with valid rail tickets to/from stations in the Solihull area will also be able to use the X20 (Stratford-Solihull-Coventry) bus service operated by Johnsons of Henley. Click here for the timetable. Rail replacement buses will also be in operation. This information is provided in good faith, but please check departures before travelling: click here for times. It is hoped that these changes will only be temporary.
1 July 2021
The latest edition of West Midlands Trains Business Update is now available. Please click here.
18 June 2021
A hybrid train for Chiltern?
Chiltern Railways are testing a HybridFLEX train, i.e. a unit which can be powered either by a diesel engine or by batteries. If successful, it could be the first such unit to enter service in the UK and could well be seen on services in the Midlands. Click here for details.
3 June 2021
Potential reinstatement of direct Coventry-Leicester services
Midlands Connect has published a report on the reinstatement of direct services between Coventry and Leicester. Click here to access it.
23 March 2021
Friends of the Shakespeare Line website goes live!
Friends of the Shakespeare line now has its own dedicated website. Just click here.
18 January 2021
Approval for business case funding for new stations
The WMCA has approved a full business case for new stations ay Darlaston, Willenhall, Moseley, King’s Heath and Hazelwell and agreed a total project budget of £61.4m. Perry Barr station interchange has also been approved,
Friends of the Shakespeare Line
4 October 2020
SLPG Launches Friends of the Shakespeare Line
It’s incredible to think that in 1969, and again in 1984, the then British Rail tried to close the railway line between Birmingham and Stratford upon Avon. Our predecessor organisation, the North Warwick Line Defence Committee, led the fight and stopped the proposed closures, indeed in 1969, closure was stopped within only two days of the last timetabled train! read more.
Community Rail Officer for the Heart of England appointed
Julia Singleton-Tasker has been appointed as Community Rail Officer for the Heart of England Community Rail Partnership and started in her new role on Monday 6th January.
Having come from a background of working with different communities through teaching and personal training, Julia is looking forward to working with local communities and businesses to enhance the services already provided and to find opportunities to enthuse people about volunteering and communicating the benefits of having a station and a railway to be proud of.
She said: “I am looking forward to being a part of this exciting new phase for Community Rail in the Heart of England. The benefits in other areas of the country provide a very positive picture for the future of Community Rail.”
Julia will be working with the three TOCs, the County, Borough and District Councils, West Midlands Rail Executive, and the established rail user groups under the guidance of a steering group. ACoRP – the Association of Community Rail Partnerships – will be providing her with invaluable expertise and training as she starts her new role.
Julia will be formally based at Warwickshire County Council but will be spending a lot of time out and about working with the communities and partners around the 37 stations in the partnership.