The number of people using West Midlands Trains rose by nearly three million last year.

The operator, which runs services across the region, saw 77.7 million passenger journeys in 2018, according to data published by the Office of Rail and Road today.

That up from 74.8 million in 2017 - a rise of 2.9 million in all.

It is the sixth successive rise in passenger numbers, from 60.9 million in 2012.

A number of rival operators saw figures drop in a chaotic year for trains.

South Western - which was hit by strikes in November and December - saw 1.1 million fewer passengers in 2018 compared to 2017.

 

Northern, which also saw strikes in December and ran a reduced Saturday service before Christmas, was down by 4.7 million.

East Midlands Trains was down by nearly 500,000 passengers, too.

Great Western Railway had 3.8 million fewer passengers - although that was largely because TfL took over some of the company’s services out of Paddington in May.

Overall, though, the number of journeys by train across the UK went up by 25 million to a total of 1.74 billion in 2018.

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Among the operators seeing the biggest growth was Govia Thameslink Railway, which carried 335.0 million passengers in 2018, up by 17.8 million compared to 317.2 million the previous year.

The figures show that, in the last quarter of 2018, 35.8 per cent of all train passengers used a season ticket, 33.7 per cent an off-peak ticket, 24.9 per cent an anytime ticket, and 4.2 per cent an advance ticket.

 

Total revenue was up by 5.9 per cent in the quarter.