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West Midlands and North West

Quarter 2 Update

'We’re committed to working together as an industry throughout the region and across the network. A good example of this is the Grand Rail Collaboration which is a forum based around the West Midlands, and sees industry partners such as train operators, Network Rail, who look after the rail infrastructure and Transport Focus, the independent watchdog for transport users come together. Four work streams have been set up to take ideas forward, focussing on customers and their needs post-pandemic. CrossCountry are leading on the recovery group and contribute towards the collaboration, customer information and customer experience workstreams. Together we are looking to build, back, better for passengers.

We continue to work with our stakeholders and Network Rail to support infrastructure upgrades, including those on the West Coast Mainline and the resignalling project at Birmingham New Street station. Investment in better technology is vital to the future of rail and its recovery. The consistency these works will deliver will improve performance and the experience for customers.

Cleaning is also high on our agenda. Using feedback from stakeholders and our colleagues we’ve improved our cleaning facilities at Manchester. Platform level cleaning storage at Piccadilly has been secured to improve productivity, delivering the enhanced cleaning on board our trains passengers expect. Before this change our cleaners were back and forth up seven flights of stairs to get to their equipment, so having this more convenient location will help them to conduct their duties more efficiently.

Although the region centres around the large cities of Birmingham and Manchester, community rail is something we are passionate about. Making sure local people are connected with rail is vital for recovery. We are working with our community partners to introduce new audiences to rail who may have become disconnected, or just need extra reassurance to use public transport. This Summer we are naming one of our trains to commemorate those who lost their lives at the tragic Hixon rail disaster of 1968. The local Staffordshire village have really appreciated the rally around from the industry to reconnect them to the railway. Colleagues including myself have been volunteering in the memorial garden, and donations industry wide have meant that the church window overlooking the garden can also be replaced. There are many projects in the pipeline across the region which I am really looking forward to. Keep an eye out on our Community Hub page for further developments.'

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