Work on Midlands rail links will include an additional train every hour between central Birmingham and Worcester.

The first phase of the £1.75 billion Midlands Rail Hub, with an initial funding injection of £123 million, is ready to be set in to motion.

The project will boost rail service capacity and frequency for passengers while also improving more than 50 stations across the Midlands, covering seven million people.


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The plan is made possible thanks to reallocated HS2 funding.

Design work on the project is now set to begin, including preparing detailed infrastructure improvement designs and finalising operating plans for the new services.

Transport secretary Mark Harper said: "Today's announcement is part of the Government’s plan to invest in transport projects with reallocated HS2 funding, helping to growth the economy and better connect communities across the Midlands."

Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands and chair of the West Midlands Rail Executive, said: "Midlands Rail Hub will deliver a revolution in public transport for our region opening up more capacity on the routes in and out of central Birmingham which will allow us to run more services to more places both locally and nationally.

“This investment will not only better connect communities to convenient and rapid public transport services but also attract further investment into our region, delivering jobs, growth and greater prosperity."

Maria Machancoses, chief executive of Midlands Connect, said: "“This announcement marks a major milestone in this transformational, nationally significant project.

“The Midlands Rail Hub programme is the result of years of collaboration and determination by cross-party leaders from all corners of the Midlands.

"Today's £123m announcement is a clear sign of Government’s trust in our partnership - getting us closer to finally delivering much need east-west connectivity across the region."

With full delivery, the hub will increase services on most routes by between 50 per cent and 100 per cent.

The announcement of the funding coincides with the British Business Bank's launch of its £400 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund II.

The closer rail links in the Midlands is expected to generate economic growth and prosperity.