Latest news

Suspension of services in June 2022

No trains will operate between Solihull and Birmingham from 20 to 23 June 2022, due to engineering work at Tyseley. This will affect services on the Shakespeare Line. Rail replacement buses will be in operation. Please click here for the latest information.

Added on 11 May 2022


Chiltern Railways launches a new “Delay Repay” scheme

Chiltern Railways has launched a  new ‘delay repay’ scheme on its website, allowing commuters to make compensation claims whenever their journey is delayed by more than 15 minutes. Click here  for details.

Added on 11 May 2022


Latest issue of West Midlands Trains Business Update available now

The latest edition of the West Midlands Trains Business Update is now available. Click here to read it. It contains several articles of direct relevance to the Shakespeare Line.

Added on 10 May 2022

New timetables from 15 May 2022

New timetables will come into effect across the rail network on 15 May 2022. For information on West Midlands Trains, please click here. For information on Chiltern Railways services, please click here.

Added on 3 May 2022

Special Shakespeare Express trains to run from 23 April 2022

The ever-popular Shakespeare Express trains from Birmingham to Stratford-upon-Avon will recommence on Saturday 23 April 2022. Please click here for details.

Added on 8 March 2022

27 December 2021

New memorial benches at Henley-in-Arden

Several new benches have been installed at Henley-in-Arden station. Click  here for the story.

6 December 2021

A new timetable will come into effect on 12 December. Please click here for information on West Midlands Trains and here for information on Chiltern Railways.

27 November 2021

Music Maps

The Shakespeare Line has received considerable publicity as a result of the launch of a West Midlands Trains sponsored project known as music maps which are to be placed at 30 stations across the West Midlands network. The first of these fis at Hall Green station and features UB40.

All those that fought so hard to keep this railway line open over 50 years ago and again over 30 years ago but who are no longer with us would be so pleased to see where we are today and that such an event took place on our line with such joy.

For more on this story, click here.

28 October 2021

User groups protest about unreliability and cancellations

The Shakespeare Line Promotion Group, the Solihull and Leamington Rail Users’ Association, the Cotswold Line User Group and the Stourbridge Line User Group have joined forces to make a formal protest about the current high level of cancellations and unreliability. The text of the letter is published below.



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.