The group behind the new West Midlands franchise have today announced that the west coast service will be called London Northwestern.
Abellio, JR East and Mitsui have chosen the name as a tribute to the London and North Western Railway – formerly the largest in Britain and seen as the ancestor of today’s West Coast Main Line.
Starting on 10 December, the new franchise will replace London Midland’s services in the region following the appointment of a new operator in August.
Although the west coast will be run by the newly created Northwestern, other services, operating around Birmingham, will fall under the remit of West Midlands Railway. This second brand was started by the West Midlands Combined Authority and the two will remain separate to enable the possibility of devolution between the areas.
Under this potential system, the new franchise would remain under the control of the DfT but West Midlands CA would take control of the other brand. Both new brands will have a shared management board.
The changes are part of nearly £1bn of investment into the network over the next nine years, including £680m announced earlier this month for Bombardier and CAF to develop 100 new trains.
“We are delighted to bring the London Northwestern brand to a whole new generation of passengers, and it seems apt during a time of record investment into the railways,” commented Dominic Booth, Abellio UK’s managing director.
This announcement is the culmination of a process which began in August last year with the release of the West Midlands invitation to tender (ITT)."
Not sure where "And" went?!!
Unless we can get them to sponsor us.