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Rail matters in the West Midlands. It's vital that we have rail services across our region that are fit for the future and able to support our ambitious plans for growth and economic prosperity; helping commuters get to work, businesses and communities to connect with each other and welcoming visitors to the heart of the country.
In the past we haven't had the influence we needed to make the right local decisions about local rail services. That's changed now, with overall responsibility for the regional rail network moving from Whitehall to the West Midlands. Today West Midlands Rail Executive is providing the leadership and drive to shape better rail services for the future by working with government, train operators, rail regulators and other partners to deliver the improvements that West Midlanders want and need.
We don't operate the trains, but we work closely with the organisations providing train services to support their plans for making services better - and we hold them to account when things go wrong. We're made up of local authorities from across the region, which means that local councillors sit on our board and can make sure the views and issues raised by the local people they represent can steer our plans. Our work is championed by the Mayor of the West Midlands who is committed to delivering a new, golden era for our local trains.
We're developing a thirty year strategy focused on delivering a revolution in rail services across the region. This will see us transforming travel through more frequent services, new trains, extra seats, free wifi, smart ticketing and better train stations. We want West Midlanders to feel proud of their local stations, trains and the service they get when they're a passenger on a train in the region.
We've got big challenges ahead to make sure everyone in the West Midlands benefits from HS2, advances in new technology that can make travel easier for all and the opportunities we have to drive a step change in rail services across the region. But the West Midlands deserves the best possible rail service and that's what we're determined to provide.