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Birmingham train transfers and ticket times? AWC to West Midlands

I've purchased a train ticket from London to Stratford Upon Avon that includes a transfer from Avanti West Coast to West Midlands Rail - involving a transfer from Birmingham New Street to Birmingham Moor Street. It is difficult to figure out what is going on with this ticket. In one view, it seems to say, we'll arrive at Birmingham New St. station at 11:56. It appears we could then walk to Moor Street, where we'll catch our next train at 12:39. However, it also includes a step that says 12:31 train or walk? (it's unclear) from Birmingham New Street to Birmingham Moor St to catch the 12:39, which just seems impossibly close. Can anyone explain how these transfers from Avanti to Midlands work? I'm nervous about missing this 12:39 train due to that connection.

Posted by
6461 posts

It is under 400 yards from New Street to Moor Street, at street level- well signed.

So the 1231 to 1239 is the time it would take to walk it, with a bit of an allowance in hand. Most of the walk is covered from the weather as well, in a sort of tunnel, although "tunnel" gives the wrong impression.

See a map here of the route- https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Moor+Street+Queensway,+Birmingham/@52.4788593,-1.8966515,17z/data=!4m6!3m5!1s0x4870bc85e85ee5ed:0x74835b63f92f98bc!8m2!3d52.4803296!4d-1.8917699!16s%2Fg%2F1tyzyfdq?entry=ttu

The other thing to bear in mind is that, if this is an Advance (Specific train) ticket it is only the Avanti portion of the ticket which is train specific. The Moor Street to Stratford portion is non time specific. So if the Avanti train was late you are allowed to use any later train from Moor Street. The next is at 1255, then 1339 and twice an hour all day.

In the very, very unlikely event that a Ticket Inspector said you were on the wrong train just tell him you were on the 1156 Avanti arrival, and he can check on his phone that the Avanti indeed was late.

This is a plan of New Street Station- https://www.networkrail.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Birmingham-New-Street-Station-Map.pdf

I know it says 600 metres- no way is it 600 metres. The sign at Moor Street says either 280m or 380 metres (can't remember which) which is far closer to the mark.

The key to navigation is the huge mechanical bull (the bull sign between yellow numbers 19 and 22). Find that and you can't get lost. Also there are lots of signs in the station to guide you.
Moor Street is a small station- very easy to navigate.

Posted by
22 posts

thanks for this. I was concerned about the specific ticket requirements. Since I can't attach a screenshot, here's what the list of stops on the ticket looks like, which might explain my confusion a bit more. Why would I take a train transfer at 12:31 that arrives at the exact time that the next train leaves, and can i just skip that step w/out somehow messing up my ticket for the 12:39 train?

London Euston
10:40
Avanti West Coast (seat numbers to the right)
11:56
Birmingham New Street
12:31
(no seat reserved)
12:39
Birmingham Moor St
12:39

West Midlands Trains (no seat reserved)

13:34
Stratford Upon Avon

Posted by
33130 posts

you could walk there and back in that time.

Your question isn't really about the two train companies, it is about getting from one station to an adjacent one. It doesn't matter who is running the trains (except of course that one of them is a company I worked for before retirement so by definition it is far superior).

New Street Station is the main long distance and commuter station in Birmingham. It has 13 platforms plus extra ends so it is pretty big. You will likely arrive around platform 5 or 4. But no matter which platform you come in on you need to go up. There are escalators, lifts (elevators) and stairs. Follow the crowd and use the pictograph signs.

First storey up is the station concourse - you'll need your ticket to go through the ticket barrier - and there are some shops, restaurants (food court style) and ways out to the centre of Birmingham and over the road to the Bullring mall. Up one more time gives you even more restaurants, a supermarket and shops. Follow the passage to cross the road (you might not notice), and pop out into the top floor of the Bullring. Make your way the length of the Bullring, dropping 2 flights down by escalator and go out the doors at the far end. Cross (carefully) the road in front of you using the pedestrian crossing lights and you are at Moor Street Station. Down the ramp (usually the further platform but check because both of the two platforms of Moor Street Station are bi-directional. You may need your ticket to get in. If you are on the wrong platform there are lifts and stairs to a bridge over the tracks....

10 to 15 minutes if you don't stop for a meal or retail therapy. If you do stop for a meal or retail therapy there is a train to Stratford upon Avon twice an hour.

Your itinerary estimates an 8 minute walk, probably crossing the street from the from of New Street Station and walking along the pavement (sidewalk) through a vehicle tunnel. I much prefer the slightly more complicated and slightly slower, but much nicer route through the shopping mall. With 35 minutes you should have plenty of time.

Does this make any sense or have I made it too complicated?

by the way, Stuart types more quickly than I

Posted by
22 posts

I'm not at all worried about how to walk from one station to the other between 11:56 and 12:39. I'm worried about why the ticket appears to include a rail transfer from New Street to Moor Street at 12:31 that arrives at the exact time that the next train leaves. It just doesn't make any sense. This is a specific ticket, but can I just ignore that part, skip the rail transfer and still get the 12:39 train from West Midlands after walking between the two stations? Or maybe this isn't actually a rail transfer at all, and just a bizarre suggestion that I would wait to go to the next station on foot until the very last minute?

Posted by
33130 posts

there is no rail transfer. It is impossible. There is no rail route unless you go several miles west then go upstairs to a different line then back to Moor Street which is across the street from New Street.

Who issued the ticket? A third party or WM trains or Avanti West Coast or a different railway?

I used to work at New Street - and at Moor Street - and believe me, there is no rail connection.

Please type exactly what it says on the ticket about that. I didn't see it in the other list of your ticket. Or are you looking at an itinerary which says different to what is exactly on the ticket.

I know you don't know me or Stuart , but we both know what we are talking about. I worked in and around there on the same train companies for decades. Stuart has travelled through many times. No train connects the two stations.

Posted by
22 posts

I absolutely believe you that there is no rail transfer. My ticket itinerary just makes it look like there is one from 12:31-12:39 with "no reserved seat" listed right next to it. The itinerary that I listed is as close to what I see on my ticket as I could reproduce by typing. The ticket was issued by Avanti West Coast.

Posted by
6461 posts

I agree that the ticket is not well worded.

It seems to assume you know something you don't.

Put simply you have to walk between the two stations, whether down the street as I prefer, or through the shopping centre as Nigel prefers- there is (and never was) any rail link between the two stations.

To be honest I think it is silly for them to phrase it that way- just set off walking when you arrive at 1156- why wait 35 minutes to start the walk?

Yes Moor Street does have automatic ticket gates these days.

I actually really like Moor Street- it is a modern working station but was beautifully restored 20 odd years ago to look like it did in the 1930's with lots of period features. There is a really nice Art Deco styled cafe at Moor Street station itself (before the ticket barriers). Totally recommend that if you have time.

Posted by
22 posts

thanks for this, very helpful. I'll add that when I double-checked this by looking at the booking in my Avanti account, the itinerary says to "ride one calling point" between New Street Station and Moor Street Station, which also makes it seem like this is some sort of rail transfer, until you expand the view and it says "walk." What a weird way to write an itinerary! I wonder if this can be chalked up to AI?

Posted by
33130 posts

well, Avanti's native language is Italian, they are owned by Trenitalia.

Posted by
8594 posts

Maybe it's an artifact of the ticketing system, where in most cases it would not be a walking transfer, and this is the one exception.

PS Moor Street station is the coolest rail station there is. Just like in the movies.