In 2011 the following passenger service patterns applied:
Services on the route were operated by Cross Country Trains. All trains went via Spetchley and none were routed via Worcester Shrub Hill.
Trains to and from Bristol and the West Country did not stop anywhere in Worcestershire and were operated mostly using four-car class 220 'Voyager' diesel multiple units or five-car class 221 'Voyager' diesel multiple units. The following services normally operated with an HST 125 set with a class 43 diesel power car at each end:
Monday to Saturday unless noted
1V44 06:00 Leeds to Plymouth;
1V54 06:32 Dundee to Plymouth (from Glasgow at 07:00 on Saturdays)
1E73 17:23 Plymouth to Leeds
1V46 06:32 York to Plymouth (Monday to Friday)
1E:63 15:23 Plymouth to Leeds (Monday to Friday)
1V58 09:00 Glasgow to Penzance (Saturdays only)
The basic service pattern was half-hourly. Trains to the South-west left Birmingham New Street at xx:12 and xx:42 and to the North-east leave Cheltenham Spa at xx:10 and xx:40 The trains took about forty minutes to travel between these two stations. If running on time the trains would pass each other near Spetchley.
Trains between Cardiff and Nottingham were operated using two-car class 170/1 diesel multiple units, two-car class 170/5 diesel multiple units or three-car class 170/6 diesel multiple units. Two Nottingham bound trains stop at Bromsgrove in the morning and two Cardiff bound trains called there in the afternoon, presumably to cater for commuter traffic to and from Birmingham New Street. Apart from these four trains the rest did not stop in the county. Trains to Cardiff left Birmingham New Street at xx:30 and those to Nottingham left Cheltenham at xx:57. If running on time the trains would pass each other near Spetchley.
Services on this route were operated by London Midland Trains using class 170/5 two-car diesel multiple units or class 170/6 three-car diesel multiple units. The basic travel pattern was hourly with services leaving Birmingham New Street at xx:49 and Hereford at xx:40 (there were some minor variations). The time taken for the full journey was just over 90 minutes and four diesel multiple units were required to operate the service. Trains passed each other near Worcester.
There was also a 'ghost' London Midland service which left Birmingham New Street 23.00 on Fridays only for Worcester Shrub Hill and Gloucester. The section of line between Worcester Shrub Hill and Gloucester saw no other scheduled London Midland services. The train was not in the printed Cross County Trains Nottingham & Derby to Bristol and Cardiff timetable which showed the last service between Birmingham New Street and Gloucester as departing at 22.12, nor did it appear in London Midland's timetable No.14 (Birmingham New Street/Moor Street to Worcester Shrub Hill and Hereford. However, it was shown in First Great Western's timetable No.22 (Bristol to Worcester and Great Malvern) and in Table 57 on the Network Rail web site. There was no return service.
Services on this route were operated by First Great Western using either class 43 'HST 125' diesel multiple units or three-car class 166 diesel multiple units. There were fourteen weekday trains from London Paddington with others starting from Oxford. Trains terminated at Worcester, Malvern or Hereford to no particular pattern. A similar situation occured in the 'up' direction with all arrivals from London returning with the next scheduled departure.
First Great Western operated seven trains (one every two hours) from various South coast destinations to Great Malvern. Because these were slow trains and it was often possible to catch later trains and change to these train en-route the printed timetable (No.21) did not tend to show the full service. These services were actually:
07:15 Gloucester to Great Malvern and 08:26 Great Malvern to Westbury (runs only to Worcester Shrub Hill on Saturdays).
07:23 Warminster to Great Malvern and 10:51 Great Malvern to Brighton. During Monday to Friday (until 9th December 2011) this train was operated by a South West Trains class 158 two-car diesel multiple unit.
08:23 Southampton Central to Great Malvern and 12:51 Great Malvern to Weymouth (during much of 2011 this service was sometimes operated by an Arriva Trains Wales class 150/2 diesel multiple unit). It ran only to Worcester Foregate Street on Saturdays.
09:00 Brighton to Great Malvern and 14:51 Great Malvern to Weymouth
12:27 Southampton Central to Great Malvern and 16:49 Great Malvern to Southampton Central (this service was normally operated by a class 153 single car railcar). On Saturdays this train was operated using a South West Trains class 158 two-car diesel multiple unit.
15:28 Warminster to Great Malvern and 18:51 Great Malvern to Weymouth
17:28 Warminster to Great Malvern and 21:15 Great Malvern to Gloucester
During the winter 2011 timetable these services produced a variety of types of diesel multiple units. Most services were operated by either two-car or three-car hybrid class 158 diesel multiple units. The 12:22 from Southampton Central was often operated using a single car class 153 railcar. The 09:00 service was operated by a hired Arriva Trains Wales class 150/2 diesel multiple unit. First Great Western class 150/0 diesel multiple units also operate to a random pattern.
Trains on this route were operated by London Midland Trains using two-car or three-car class 172 diesel multiple units (class 150 diesel multiple units until the autumn of 2011). An intensive service of commuter trains operates to Stourbridge Junction with many trains continuing to Kidderminster, Worcester Shrub Hill or Great Malvern. Trains formations often run as two units coupled together to make four or five car trains. Some trains also include a single car class 153 railcar in their consist, but this was rwere following the transfer of many of the class to other operators. Many services run to or from Dorridge and other locations on the lines to Leamington and Stratford on Avon.
Frequent services on the branch from Stourbridge Junction were operated by London Midland Trains using one of two class 139 single-car diesel railcars (the other can be found in the shed at Stourbridge Junction).
Six trains per hour run on this route with two per hour being extended to Redditch. All services were operated by London Midland Trains using three-car class 323 electric multiple units.
A full list of freight services can be found in the Freightmaster Quarterly publication. Most of the only regular freight trains were on the former Birmingham & Gloucester with a few going through Worcester Shrub Hill to Round Oak, Brierley Hill or Handsworth. Most trains were conditional and the ones listed here were some of the daytime services that can usually be relied upon to operate from Mondays to Fridays:
6M60 04:00 Exeter to Bescot load china clay wagons (Saturdays only). Operated by EWS using a class 66 diesel locomotive. this train passed Bromsgrove at about 10:15 if running on time. this train was banked up the Lickey Incline.
6M96 05:50 Margam to Corby loaded steel coil wagons. Operated by EWS using a class 66 diesel locomotive. this conditional train arrived at Bromsgrove around 10:00 if running. This train was banked up the Lickey Incline.
6B36 07:32 Didcot to Ashchurch MoD stores train, ran as required via the Stroud Valley line to Worcester (passing Ashchurch en-route) where the locomotive changed from one end of the train to the other. It then went from Worcester to Ashchurch where it reversed into the depot. If running it could be seen in Worcester about 10.00. this path was also used for trains to Long Marston.
6V05 09:23 Round Oak to Margam empty covered vans. Operated by a class 66 diesel locomotive. this train passed Worcester at about 10:20 if running.
6V67 03:53 Redcar to Margam loaded coal wagons (wagons loaded with coke). Operated by a class 66 diesel locomotive. this train passed Bromsgrove at about 12:00 if running on time.
6E41 11:41 Westerleigh to Lindsey empty oil tankers. Operated by EWS using class 60 diesel locomotives. The regular locomotive during the first three months of 2011 was No.60015 'Bow Fell'. The train passed Bromsgrove about 13:50 if running on its scheduled path. The balancing working 6V98 loaded tanks went through Worcestershire during the night. 6E41. this train operated irregularly, usually Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The Saturday train passed Bromsgrove about 12:30, and the weekdays train often ran early.
4E66 08:55 Margam to Redcar empty coal wagons. Operated by EWS using a class 66 diesel locomotive. this train passed Bromsgrove at about 15:00 if running on time. From June 2011 this train was routed via Worcester and if running on time followed the 13:17 stooping train from Worcester Shrub Hill to Droitwich Spa
6V92 10:18 Corby to Margam empty steel wagons. Operated by a class 66 diesel locomotive. this train passed Bromsgrove just after 14:00 if running on time.
4V47 11:15 Rugeley to Stoke Gifford empty coal wagons. Operated by Freightliner. this train ran infrequently but if on time passed Bromsgrove at about 14:00.
6Z97 13:43 Beeston to Cardiff Tidal loaded scrap wagons. Operated by a DRS class 66 diesel locomotive. this train was scheduled to run on Mondays and Wednesday (also sometimes ran on a Friday) and passed Bromsgrove at about 16:30 if running on time.
6M41 11:51 Margam to Round Oak empty covered vans. Operated by a class 66 diesel locomotive. this train passed Worcester at about 16:50 running on time. An irregular working and seemed never to run on a Wednesday.
6Z30 15:10 Handsworth to Cardiff Tidal loaded scrap boxes. Operated by a DRS class 66 diesel locomotive. this train ran conditionally on Wednesdays and Fridays only and passed Worcester at about 18:00 if running on time.
4V57 15:25 Rugeley to Stoke Gifford empty coal wagons. Operated by Freightliner. this train ran infrequently but if on time passed Bromsgrove at about 18:20. Often ran very late.
6V07 17.04 Round Oak to Margam loaded covered wagons. Operated by an EWS class 66 diesel locomotive. this train passed Worcester at about 18.10 if running on time. A Saturday only working that left Round Oak at 14:26 had ceased to run by the end of June 2011.
6Z90 09:20 Stockton to Cardiff Tidal loaded scrap boxes. Operated by a DRS class 66 diesel locomotive. this train ran on Fridays only and passed Bromsgrove at about 18:30 if running.
Other trains seen from time to time included nuclear flask trains (operated by DRS), loaded steels coil, from Margam to Hartlepool or Corby (operated by EWS) and the New Measurement Train. There were no daytime freight trains on a Sunday.