There is still a train builder in UK – its at Doncaster and its called Wabtec. There was a train builder in Birmingham called Metro Cammell – but they were allowed to quietly close. The loss of Birmingham’s train builder was in contrast to the noisy barks that accompanied the death of car maker Rover (since reborn).

In the Midlands it seems we can drop anything from the railways with barely a simper. If you think that is wrong, the chance to take action has arisen.

Please think about whether it is reasonable for a train service between two West Midlands centres to be withdrawn. If it is not, then add your postal address to the words below and send to your MP (find yours and how to contact them at and to Geoff Hoon (Transport Minister)

You only have this one chance. Here is an idea for text:

In December 2008, the Walsall-Wolverhampton passenger rail service will be withdrawn.
It is a vital link for many Walsall and Wolverhampton residents, providing a quick and reliable connection between the two boroughs and giving much needed access to connecting rail services. Existing bus services take over 40 minutes to cover the 15-minute rail journey.

Thanks to the increase in reliability and punctuality on the Walsall-Wolverhampton line, the number of people taking advantage of this service has risen significantly to 60,000 per year. The planned withdrawal will result in a great opportunity lost to build on this success further.

I urge you to think what measures can be taken to retain and develop this service. The service could even operate using older trains usually only hired out to train enthusiasts.

John Hall