PLANS that could see Worcester have an extra train an hour travelling to Birmingham and Hereford have moved to the next stage.

Earlier this year we reported on Midlands Connect submitting the plan for the extra train, which is included as part of a variety of upgrades for the region's network, to the Department of Transport asking for an initial £25m for an outline business case.

READ MORE: £2bn network upgrade plan could see an extra train an hour travel from Worcester Foregate Station

The plan for the extra train an hour to and from Birmingham and Hereford has now been included in the wider rail programme, Midlands Engine Rail.

That scheme is a £3.5 billion improvement programme to transform the region's rail network, launched today by the transport body.

Civic and business leaders are now calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to back Midlands Engine Rail and fund the next stage of its development, which would cost £45.5 million over the next three years.

It is also proposed the programme is delivered in stages from 2022.

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Sir John Peace, chairman of Midlands Connect and Midlands Engine said: "In the Midlands, more people are travelling on the railways than ever before.

"We now need investment from Government to allow our people, businesses and infrastructure to reach their full potential, and to drive a further boost in passenger numbers.

"My message to the Prime Minister is clear; it's time you made a long-overdue commitment to the future of our rail network."

Worcester MP Robin Walker has previously said he would support the bid for funding for more trains, but also called for West Midlands Trains to deal with overcrowding as the immediate priority.

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