Call for night rail services between Rugby and Birmingham to help with airport and concert journeys

Rugby Train Station
Rugby Train Station

Campaigners have called for night rail services to be introduced between Rugby and Birmingham International, Birmingham New Street, Coventry, and beyond.

They argue that the current service is unattractive for staff arriving for early shifts and for passengers needing to arrive at the airport in time to check in for the first flights from Birmingham Airport at 6am, resulting in many people deciding to drive instead.

This initiative will be a boon to those with early check-ins and late-night concerts alike

Stephanie Clifford, Rugby Rail Users Group chair

The first service from Rugby does not arrive until 6am and rail campaigners say this provides insufficient time for check in for an early flight.

Executives at Stansted Airport, which competes with Birmingham in the European short-haul market, have called for the new operator of rail services there to operate a 24-hour a day rail service between Stansted and London Liverpool Street when the new East Anglia franchise comes into operation.

Campaign for Rail has urged for a similar requirement to be put into the new West Midlands rail franchise which is planned to begin in mid 2017.

Rugby Rail Users Group chair Stephanie Clifford said: “Birmingham Airport and the NEC are big attractions for people from Rugby. This initiative will be a boon to those with early check-ins and late-night concerts alike. Rugby Rail Users Group wholeheartedly supports this proposal.”

Demand for services to Birmingham International could increase when the Resorts World leisure and entertainment complex opens for business later this year.

Ian Jenkins of Campaign for Rail said: “With Stansted pushing for a 24-hour rail service it is important Birmingham is not left behind.

“Meanwhile the various projects coming to completion around the Airport and NEC site mean it is vital to have good rail links. The NEC and Resorts World have a unique competitive advantage, being connected to a major regional airport and the national rail network. We hope our suggestions will be given serious consideration.”