DECEMBER 10 will see the London North Western name return to the West Coast Main Line when the Abellio/JR East/Mitsui joint venture assumes control of the West Midlands franchise.
The current London Midland branding will be replaced by London Northwestern on the operator’s long-distance semi-fast routes from London Euston to the West Midlands and north-west England.
Local services around Birmingham will gain the new West Midlands Railway branding. The latter is the responsibility of West Midlands Combined Authority, with the two operations remaining separate to enable the possibility of devolution between the areas.
The identity changes will be the first hint of almost £1billion of investment by Abellio and its Japanese partners in the franchise, £680m of which will be spent on 81 new Bombardier ‘Aventra’ EMUs and 26 CAF two/three-car DMUs.
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