PRESENT) T Thompson (Chairman), I Jackson, D James, V Wasdell,
P Cousins, P Martin, G Hudson, R Hartley, A Hutchinson, R Rathbone, J Woodcock, R Hockney, R Henshaw, B Eisner, P Cole, A N Other. Guest Fay Easton – West Midlands Railway
APOLOGIES D Dixon, J Adams, R Patching, D Bathurst, P Sheridan, P. Bates
Fay Easton (F.E) – West Midlands Railway (WMR) gave an update on the following issues: –
Lichfield City L.E.D lights and more seats to be installed. Ticket barriers manned from first to last train being considered but no final decision yet.
Lichfield Bid Team have submitted small application for Bike Marking Project under Customer and Communities Fund. No one has adopted station yet but U3A contact to be forwarded to F.E. as they might be interested.
Lichfield Trent Valley Lifts should be operational soon but no firm opening date yet. Promise that we will be given advance notice.
Shenstone Whist appreciating Car Parking charges were causing parking problems in neighbouring streets, there was little chance of WMR reducing or scrapping charges. Funding might be available to provide Cycle Racks. Will investigate whether application has been made for Step Free Access for Lichfield bound platform.
Cross City Class 323’s Refurbishment (including Disabled Toilets) program will possibly be complete by 31st December 2019. If there are any units without Disabled Toilets after 31st December 2019, they will be coupled with a unit having a Disabled Toilet to form a 6-coach train. There are problems with the automated public address system on some trains but this will be fixed.
December 19th Timetable change and recent disruption Cross City Line will revert to 2 t.p.h. terminating at City and 2 t.p.h. continuing to Trent Valley. Paddy Martin stated that a preliminary search on National Rail timetable website suggested that the 2 t.p.h. stopping at Shenstone would terminate at City, therefore depriving Shenstone of its direct connections at Trent Valley. F.E promised to investigate and confirm.
F.E. agreed that recent cancellations and poor punctuality was unacceptable. WMR believe that December timetable changes (Cross City and other routes) and simplified staff rosters will improve punctuality and reduce cancellations due to lack of available crew. WMR believe that with the December changes, they will have sufficient drivers and guards.
There will be more 6 coach diagrams on the Cross-City line from December, in response to numerous complaints about overcrowding on some busy peak services currently formed of 3 coaches.
Chairman’s Report – Summary of Current Projects Following a request from Railfuture West Midlands, our secretary, John Adams had prepared a Summary of Current Projects. The meeting agreed it was a good summary and formally approved and adopted it.
Chairman’s Report – Meeting with W.M.R.E. on Lichfield to Burton. A summary of the meeting had been circulated prior to meeting. In response, David Dixon had sent letter to our Chairman stating that he believed a basic Lichfield-Burton- Derby D.M.U. service was possible without reinstating Bay Platform at Burton and Platform 4 at Lichfield Trent Valley, which would significantly reduce capital investment required. Meeting agreed with this sentiment and feel further dialogue with W.M.R.E required.
Chairman’s Report – Attendance at First Trenitalia West Coast Partnership Stakeholder Meeting Some timetable changes in December 20 but bigger changes in December 22, when fleet slightly expanded with new trains replacing Super Voyagers. Following correspondence with our Chairman, First have indicated that introduction of half hourly service to Liverpool in December 22 might give them an opportunity to stop additional trains at Lichfield.
Chairman’s Report – Attendance at Rail Engineering Lecture on Hydrogen Fuel Cell Trains Lecture given by representatives from Birmingham University and Porterbrook. Test train currently running on military lines and they are looking for approval to run on Network Rail lines. They believe it is an option for reducing C02 emissions on lines where electrification cannot be justified. Although technically feasible, there are some doubts as to commercial viability in current climate.
Treasurer and Membership Bank balance has decreased in month due to Annual Website Maintenance fee and WCR250 Conwy expenses. 42 members.
Publicity and Website Aim to develop Website to make it more useful for members and non- members. Article in City Life or Lichfield Mercury to be considered to raise awareness of the group.
A.O.B. – Proposal to convert Lichfield to Anglesea sidings track to cycle way & footpath. There is a meeting on 3rd December in Council Offices to discuss this proposal. As there is risk this would prevent conversion back to railway, at least one member of group should attend.
A.O.B – Cross City Line closed Friday 27th Dec & Saturday 28th Dec between Lichfield and Blake St. Line closed for installation of bridge over Southern Relief Road. Replacement bus service will be provided between Lichfield Trent Valley and Blake St.
Next Meeting 16th December