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Train strike Dec 7 Birmingham

We are arriving for two days in Birmingham for Comic Con event in Telford. Staying at Birmingham airport hotel. Suggestions on getting to Telford on Saturday night by 8 pm. I understand trains are striking on Saturdays only this month. Taxi might be too exorbitant and hard to find? A local Brit told me trains are running as normal on Sunday which is most important day to get to Telford by 9 am. Advice? I have already prepaid lots of money for Comic Con!

Posted by
33329 posts

There was discussion here a few weeks ago about the strike. It only affects West Midlands Trains, and London Northwestern Railway, which are the same company with two different names and train and uniform colours.

Use http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/planjourney/search to plan your journey. Put in BHI for Birmingham Airport and TFC for Telford Central (I assume that Oakengates is less convenient - I don't know where your event will be) and see what comes up.

It does not affect - other than higher than normal number of passengers on the trains when the others are cancelled - the hourly Transport for Wales trains leaving Birmingham International at xx:09 and taking 50 minutes to Telford Central. All the other trains marked on the website with a yellow triangle are those unlikely to run because of the strike.

The strike is pretty strong - most cancellations do get cancelled, and in addition to the high level of support in the striking union the train drivers who are not striking are refusing to cross the picket lines. WMT and LNR provide most of the train services at BHI and the wider Birmingham area so on Saturdays the missing trains do make a huge impact. WMT when not striking carry the bulk of passengers from Birmingham to Telford and Shrewsbury.

I'd aim for the 18:09 departure from Birmingham International which gets to Telford Central at 18:59, an hour before your 8pm requirement. If I were more cautious I'd be an hour earlier.

I'm confused by you staying at the airport yet needing to get to Telford for 8pm (20:00). And then back again, and then back to Telford by 0900 on Sunday?

The Sunday trip is much more problematical. Trains in the UK usually taper off and end overnight, and Sundays are days when many fewer trains run, and they start much later in the morning.

There won't be the strike on Sunday morning but the trains will be asleep. The first scheduled train from International to Telford isn't until 08:55 arriving Telford Central at 10:15. It is a WMT service throughout and involves a change of trains at Birmingham New Street including a change of platform (New Street is a very large main station). The first direct service isn't until 09:51 arriving 10:49.

Can you clarify your plans a little?

Posted by
47 posts

I added a last minute trip to Telford on to the end of a trip to Sicily with a tour company. I found out that the Comic Con in Telford was happening and that I’ve event I’m attending on Sunday. I was able to get tickets to the event and tickets to see the celebrities I want to see on Sunday, but all accommodations in Telford were booked by that time. I wish I had gotten into Telford. So my travel agent suggested Birmingham. I have the possibility to move my hotel I think if that would help within Birmingham. Then, I found out a group of people I correspond with about the celebrities I’m going to see are having a get-together dinner in Telford the night before (Saturday). I already have my flight into Birmingham on Saturday afternoon (can’t change that). The dinner in Telford is at 8. It is optional, but I’d really like to meet these people I’ve only corresponded with online. SUNDAY is the event and the gates open at 11. So it’s critical I get there in time to enter the event at 11. (Too complicated to explain—and there’s much I don’t know about how the event is run to tell you more). I’m way out of my comfort zone trying to accomplish this anyway without the complications of the train situation mucking with my sanity!! I appreciate your information. I also have one lady from the group I’m trying to meet on Sunday who was looking into it for me as well. Here’s what we said: (There is now one train per hour running to Telford from B'ham New Street, leaving at 20 mins past the hour, but you would have a problem getting back because the train from Telford only goes as far as B'ham New Street. The man at the station says there is no train to B'ham International.  There may be a bus but he didn't know for sure. You could get a taxi to the Airport but it would be quite expensive. There is a tel no for passenger enquirers. 03457 114141) Another thought I had was to ask the concierge at our hotel in Birmingham. Our travel agent booked us into a Hilton just because we get points, but we also could cancel that reservation now and book something closer to New Station, but that’s a minor detail at this time. Being in Telford would have solved a lot of problems except for the flight getting there. And my ticket home to USA is Dec 10 and we are staying near Heathrow the night before. So I will take a train from Birmingham to London on the 9th.

Posted by
47 posts

PS we arrive at Birmingham International airport at 4:50 pm on the 7th.

Posted by
33329 posts

There are hotels rooms on Booking dot com for those 2 nights, in or near Telford, I don't know any of them, they are independents.

There will also be rooms in Shrewsbury, not far away.