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Last Updated: Friday, 18 November 2005, 21:34 GMT
New trains and more rail services
Desiro train
Central and Silverlink will run more Desiro trains in the Midlands
New-style trains are to be used on more rail services in the West Midlands.

Passengers will travel on faster Class 350 Desiro services along the Trent Valley Line, from Rugby to Stafford.

The new timetable, from 11 December, will see more trains restored to Warwickshire and Staffordshire services, currently replaced by buses.

Central and Silverlink will run new direct services to London and Liverpool from Rugeley, Atherstone and Polesworth for the first time in years.

The Desiros can travel at 100mph and offer air conditioning, wider seats, advanced passenger information systems, CCTV, plus facilities for disabled passengers.

They are already used for some Birmingham to Coventry, Rugby and Northampton trains - and will be extended to more West Coast Main Line services.

'Punctuality and reliability'

The changes will also mean more trains - cut back in recent years for engineering work - on Trent Valley local services serving Stafford, Rugeley, Lichfield, Tamworth, Atherstone and Nuneaton.

Other changes will see Walsall to Birmingham New Street services extended to Birmingham International, providing direct trains to Birmingham International Airport and the NEC for the first time.

Steve Banaghan, managing director of Central Trains, said: "Passengers tell us that the punctuality and reliability of train services continues to be their number one priority.

"From 11 December important changes to the Central Trains timetable will consolidate and build upon recent improvements in operational performance."

Changes ahead

Central and Silverlink have the same parent company, and now share some services and trains on the West Coast Main Line - from London to the Midlands and the North West.

Silverlink used to run its own services into the West Midlands from London - offering slower services but cheaper tickets than rival Virgin.

It currently has no services north of Northampton, apart from a handful of combined serviced services with Central. It previously said it intends to restore trains as far north as Rugby when engineering work is completed.

Central Trains is set to disappear in next round of rail franchising, with services dispersed among neighbouring operators.

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