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New chairman for West Midlands Rail Executive

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The West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE), the partnership of 16 West Midlands local authorities that co-manages the West Midlands Railway franchise with the Department for Transport, has appointed a new chairman.

Cllr Mark Winnington, a Staffordshire county councillor was selected at the annual meeting and will now lead the organisation, for the second time, through the continued investment and transformation of the region’s rail network. He previously held the role from the WMRE’s foundation in 2015 to 2017.

At the same meeting, Cllr David Welsh, from Coventry City Council, was appointed vice-chairman.

(l-r) WMRE executive director Malcolm Holmes, chairman Cllr Mark Winnington and vice-chairman Cllr David Welsh.

Earlier this year, WMRE launched its thirty-year Rail Investment Strategy, with ambitious proposals for rail service improvements across the West Midlands resulting from an unprecedented level of investment and collaboration across the region. This will create a transformed rail network to support living, working and investing in the region while ensuring that the region’s infrastructure is ready for the future growth that will be created by the game-changing HS2.

Currently, the WMRE is working with rail industry partners on the West Midlands Rail Programme, the redevelopment of Perry Barr and University Stations and the reopening of stations on both the Camp Hill Line in Birmingham and the Wolverhampton to Walsall line in the Black Country.

Following his appointment, Cllr Winnington said: “This is a fantastic time to be chair of the WMRE. The region’s railways are entering a period of great positive change with new stations, improved services and billions of pounds of investment.

“There are 6.5 million prospective rail passengers in the West Midlands and our aim is to ensure they have the best possible experience.”

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