In 2012 the passenger service patterns were:
Services on this route are operated by Cross Country Trains. All trains go via Spetchley and none are routed via Worcester Shrub Hill.
Trains to and from Bristol and the West Country do not stop anywhere in Worcestershire and are operated mostly using four-car class 220 'Voyager' diesel multiple units or five-car class 221 'Voyager' diesel multiple units.
The basic service pattern is half-hourly. Trains to the South-west leave Birmingham New Street at xx:20 (xx:12 until 9th December 2012) and xx:42 and to the North-east leave Cheltenham Spa at xx:10 and xx:40 The trains take about forty minutes to travel between these two stations.
Trains between Cardiff and Nottingham are 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 call there in the afternoon, presumably to cater for commuter traffic to and from Birmingham New Street. Apart from these four trains the rest do not stop in the county. Trains to Cardiff leave Birmingham New Street at xx:30 and those to Nottingham leave Cheltenham at xx:57. If running on time the trains would pass each other near Spetchley.
In the March 2013 the following services normally operated with an HST 125 set with a class 43 diesel power car at each end:
Monday to Friday:
1V50 06:06 Edinburgh to Plymouth returning with 1E63 15:24 Plymouth to Leeds
1V44 06:00 Leeds to Plymouth returning with 1S51 12:24 Plymouth to Glasgow
1V46 06:32 York to Plymouth returning with 1S55 13:24 Plymouth to Edinburgh
Services on this route are operated by London Midland Trains using mostly class 170/5 two-car diesel multiple units or class 170/6 three-car diesel multiple units. The basic travel pattern is hourly with services leaving Birmingham New Street at xx:49 and Hereford at xx:40 (there are some minor variations). The time taken for the full journey is just over 90 minutes and four diesel multiple units are required to operate the service. Trains pass each other near Worcester. Two services in each direction stop at Barnt Green. From 10th December 2012 London Midland enhanced the Sunday services to provide more trains including the reintroduction after a gap of over forty years of a morning departure from Hereford to Birmingham New Street.
There is also a 'ghost' London Midland service which leaves Birmingham New Street 23.00 on Fridays only for Worcester Shrub Hill and Gloucester (1V30). The section of line between Worcester Shrub Hill and Gloucester sees no other scheduled London Midland services. The train is not in the printed Cross County Trains Nottingham & Derby to Bristol and Cardiff timetable which shows the last service between Birmingham New Street and Gloucester as departing at 22.12, nor does it appear in London Midland's timetable No.14 (Birmingham New Street/Moor Street to Worcester Shrub Hill and Hereford. However, it is 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. The train returns to Worcester as empty stock.
Services on this route are operated by First Great Western using either class 43 'HST 125' diesel multiple units, two-car class 165/1 diesel multiple units or three-car class 166 diesel multiple units. There are sixteen Monday-Friday trains from London Paddington with another starting from Oxford. Trains terminate at Worcester, Malvern or Hereford to no particular pattern. Services operate to totally different times on Saturdays (most trains go to Great Malvern or Hereford) and Sundays(rail replacement services at some times). From July 2012 class 180 five car 'Adelante' diesel units have replaced most of the class 165 and 166 units.
HST's are scheduled to operate the following services from London Paddington:
to Hereford at: 08:22 (1W00); 10:22 (1W02); 17:22 (1W07); 18:22 'Cathedrals Express' (1W08) and 19:22 (1W09).
to Worcester Shrub Hill at 15:51 (1W47); 17:50 (1W59); 19:48 (the 19:48 service is routed via Cheltenham) (1G88).
to Great Malvern at 21:48 (1W81) and 20:20 (1W75).
A similar situation occurs in the 'up' direction, except that the 15:22 (2Y84) departure from Great Malvern goes only as far Didcot Parkway.
The HST services to London operate at the following times:
from Hereford at 05:35 (1P21); 06:44 'Cathedrals Express' (1P26); 13:14 (1P56); 15:14 (1P65) and 21:51 (1P90).
from Worcester Shrub Hill at 05:11 (1P07) and 05:21 (the 05:21 service is routed via Cheltenham) (1L10).
from Worcester Foregate Street at 18:49 (1P79) and 19:59 (1P83).
from Great Malvern at 05:18 (1P13) and 06:47 (the 06:47 service is routed via Cheltenham) (1L28)
First Great Western operate seven trains (one every two hours) from various destinations to Great Malvern. Because these are slow trains and it is often possible to catch later trains and change to these train en-route the printed timetable (No.21) does not tend to show the full service. These Monday to Saturday services are:
06:00 Gloucester to Worcester Shrub Hill (2G79) and 06:49 Worcester Shrub Hill to Weymouth (2O70). (06:47 on Saturdays)
07:14 Gloucester to Great Malvern (2G80) and 08:50 Great Malvern to Westbury (2F97). (To/from Worcester Foregate Street on Saturdays).
07:23 Warminster to Great Malvern (2E17) and 10:50 (10:46 on Saturdays) Great Malvern to Brighton (1O98).
08:23 Southampton Central to Great Malvern (2M97) and 12:50 Great Malvern to Weymouth (2O90). (To/from Worcester Foregate Street on Saturdays).
09:00 Brighton to Great Malvern (1V94) and 14:50 Great Malvern to Weymouth (2O94).
12:27 Southampton Central to Great Malvern (2M98) and 16:48 Great Malvern to Westbury (2F99).
17:28 Warminster to Great Malvern (2E27) and 21:15 Great Malvern to Bristol Temple Meads (to (2T99).
20:41 Bristol Temple Meads to Worcester Shrub Hill (2E29) and 22:28 Worcester Shrub Hill to Gloucester (2G99) (not Saturdays).
On Sundays there is a 14:36 from Great Malvern to Weston-super-Mare (2T39) (arrives as 2E38 from Bristol Temple Meads at 14:16).
Most services were operated by three-car hybrid class 158 diesel multiple units, but class 150/1 and class 150/2 units are also operated.
Trains on this route are 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 is rare 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.
Chiltern Railways operates four services each weekday from Kidderminster to London Marylebone via Birmingham Snow Hill and Leamington Spa. These depart from Kidderminster at 06:09, 07:09, 07:30 and 08:09. From 10th December 2012 these trains run nonstop from Leamington Spa to Marylebone. The fastest of these services (06:09), despite numerous stops in the West Midlands reaches London in just two hours and twenty minutes
Frequent services on the branch from Stourbridge Junction are 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 are 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 are on the former Birmingham & Gloucester Railway with a few going through Worcester Shrub Hill to Round Oak, Brierley Hill or Handsworth. Most trains are conditional and the ones listed here are some of the daytime services that can usually be relied upon to operate from Mondays to Fridays:
6M81 04:45 Margam to Round Oak loaded covered vans. Operated by a DB Schenker class 66 diesel locomotive. This train passes Worcester at about 09:30 if running. The locomotive from this train returns to Margam with the train code No.6V07 (see below).
6M96 05:50 Margam to Corby loaded steel coil wagons. Operated by DB Schenker using a class 66 diesel locomotive. This conditional train arrives at Bromsgrove around 10:00 if running. This train is banked up the Lickey Incline.
6B36 07:32 Didcot to Ashchurch MoD stores train. Operated by DB Schenker using a class 66 diesel locomotive. Runs as required via the Stroud Valley line to Worcester (passing Ashchurch en-route) where the locomotive changes from one end of the train to the other. It then goes from Worcester to Ashchurch where it reverses into the depot. If running it can be seen in Worcester about 10.00. This train does not appear to run very often. his path is also used for trains to Long Marston.
4V38 08:22 Daventry to Wentloog Tesco containers train. The service which started operating on 28th February 2012 can usually be relied upon to run to time. It normally passes Abbotswood Junction at about 10:35am and runs every day except Saturday. Operated by a DRS livery class 66 diesel locomotive.
6V05 10:01 Round Oak to Margam empty covered vans. Operated by a DB Schenker class 66 diesel locomotive. This train passes Worcester at about 11.15 if running. This is about 45 minutes later than previously.
4V94 13:28 Doncaster to Portbury biomass covered wagons. This service which started operating in February 2012 using GBRf class 66/7 locomotives. Services, which were double headed, ceased on 18th May 2012, but re-started in July using a single class 66/7 locomotive. Runs very occasionally. The returning empty trains are not routed via the county.
4V06 08:53 Rugeley (or Ratcliffe) to Stoke Gifford empty coal wagons. Operated by Freightliner. This train runs frequently and if on time passes Abbotswood at about 11:45. This train can easily be confused with train code No.4V47 (below).
6E41 11:41 Westerleigh to Lindsey empty oil tankers. Operated by DB Schenker using class 60 diesel locomotives. The regular locomotive during June 2012 was No.60099.. The train passes Bromsgrove about 13:50 if running on its scheduled path. The balancing working 6V98 loaded tanks goes through Worcestershire during the night. 6E41 operates irregularly, often on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. The train passes Abbotswood Junction at about 12:40pm.
4E66 08:55 Margam to Redcar empty coal wagons. Operated by DB Schenker using a class 66 diesel locomotive. This train used to pass Bromsgrove at about 15:00 if running on time. From June 2011 this train was usually routed via Worcester and if running followed the 13:17 stopping train from Worcester Shrub Hill to Droitwich Spa. This train recommenced in March 2013 after last operating in July 2012.
6V67 03:53 Redcar to Margam loaded coal wagons (wagons loaded with coke). Operated by a DB Schenker class 66 diesel locomotive. This train passes Bromsgrove at about 12:15 if running. This train recommenced in March 2013 after last operating in July 2012.
4V47 15:25 (previously 11:15)Rugeley to Stoke Gifford empty coal wagons. Operated by Freightliner. This train runs frequently and if on time passes Bromsgrove at about 16:00.
6V92 10:18 Corby to Margam empty steel wagons. Operated by a DB Schenker class 66 diesel locomotive. This train passes Bromsgrove just after 14:00 if running on time.
6M41 11:55 Margam to Round Oak covered vans. Operated by a DB Schenker class 66 diesel locomotive. This train passes Worcester at about 16:50 running on time. An irregular working.
6Z97 14:38 Beeston to Cardiff Tidal loaded scrap wagons. Operated by a DRS class 66 diesel locomotive. This conditional train is scheduled to run on Mondays and Fridays) and passes Bromsgrove at about 16:30 if running on time. Infrequent.
6Z30 15:10 Handsworth to Cardiff Tidal loaded scrap boxes. Operated by a DRS class 66 diesel locomotive. This occasional working runs as required often on a Wednesday or Friday and passes Worcester at about 17:10 if running on time. Infrequent.
4V57 15:25 Rugeley to Stoke Gifford empty coal wagons. Operated by Freightliner. This train runs infrequently but if on time passes Bromsgrove at about 18:20. Often runs very late or not at all.
6V07 14:52 (previously 17.04) Round Oak to Margam loaded covered wagons. Operated by an EWS class 66 diesel locomotive. This train passes Worcester at about 16:00 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.
6O42 11:31 Halewood to Southampton car carrying train. This Fridays only conditional train which is the rarely seen passes Abbotswood Junction at about 16:45 if running. Operated by a DRS class 66 diesel locomotive.
Other trains seen from time to time include nuclear flask trains from Berkeley (occasional), Plymouth (very infrequent) and Bridgwater (weekly conditional) (operated by DRS), loaded steels coil, from Margam to Hartlepool or Corby (operated by EWS), cement empties from Westbury to Earles and the New Measurement Train. EWS operates occasional loaded coal trains from Portbury to Ferrybridge Power Station.
On Sundays, train code No.4V38 Daventry to Wentloog passes Abbotswood Junction at about 11am. Train code No.4E68 12:02 Redcar to Margam empty HTA hoppers sometimes operates. Loaded steel trains often runs in the evening from Margam to Hartlepool and Scunthorpe.