This route stretches from London to Carlisle, including the major towns and cities of the West Midlands and North West of England

The London North Western (LNW) route runs from London Euston in the South, through the West Midlands, the North West of England and Cumbria before joining with Scotland at Gretna. It is home to the West Coast Mainline – the busiest mixed use railway in Europe – and supports the major British cities outside of London.

Commuting by rail into Birmingham is forecast to grow significantly over the next 20 to 30 years – railway capacity will also need to increase to take more passengers. Journey times and frequency of services between major cities in the East and West Midlandsare holding back economic growth. London continues to grow and evolve with economic hubs expanding beyond the traditional city. Passenger numbers at London Marylebone station increased 20 per cent between 2011 and 2015.

Find out more about how we’re meeting these challenges on this page. Some of the significant projects we’ve recently completed across the route include redevelopment of Manchester Victoria, investment in Birmingham New Street to provide an iconic gateway to the West Midlands, and the launch of rail services from Oxford Parkway to London Marylebone – the first new rail connection of a major city to the capital in a century.

Main railway lines:

  • the West Coast Mainline between London Euston and the Scottish border
  • the Chiltern Mainline between London Marylebone and Birmingham Snow Hill.


We work closely with local communities to promote safety by the railway. Find out more on our community safety page.

Projects in London North Western

London North Western news

LNW route resources

Network Specification 2016 – London North Western
2 MB
Route Specification 2017 – London North Western
10 MB
Railway Upgrade Plan Update 2017 – London North Western
6 MB
West Midlands and Chilterns route study final
10 MB
West Midlands and Chilterns route study – Technical appendices
6 MB
Midlands strategy
3 MB
Chiltern and East West Rail strategy
2 MB