Kenilworth residents can look forward to the start of new and expanded services to the town’s railway station this week.
The new services, headlined by the addition of Sunday operations, are set to start on May 19 only a couple of weeks after the one-year anniversary of the re-opening of the Kenilworth Railway Station.
The new services will offer more seats for the public and new direct services from Coventry to Nuneaton from the Kenilworth station.
Fraser Pithie, a Kenilworth resident who is a features writer for The Railway Magazine, said: “The new Sunday services are a great step in the right direction and it’s certainly an incremental change within a year of Kenilworth’s station opening.”
The services not only include additional Sunday operations through the town, but a change in the type of trains. Two Class 172/0s will be introduced on the line, which will replace the 31-year-old Class 153s, which currently operate as single carriages to and from Coventry.
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Jane Fisher, transition and projects director for West Midlands Railway, said: “These Class 172/0 trains will significantly improve the experience for our passengers, with more carriages, more seats and a newer train to cater for the growing popularity of the route.”
Mr Pithie added: “The extended train service from Kenilworth will enable connectivity with a wider range of longer distance services.”
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Graham Hyde, who co-founded the station advocacy group, ‘ASK – A Station for Kenilworth’, said the additional services bring newer and faster trains with two coaches instead of just one.
Mr Hyde added: “The changes happening on Sunday May 19 are a good improvement on what we have now, not withstanding the fact we still only have one train per hour in each direction. People should note though that these improvements come with some subtle changes to the times of the trains leaving Kenilworth.”
But even with the expanded services station advocates say there’s still room for improvement to the services.
Mr Pithie added: “The key need for the station to move forward is to improve the frequency of train services. A half-hourly train service would be ideal and where such ‘turn-up-and-go’ train services exist high levels of patronage quickly follow and continually grow.”