PLANS to provide four trains per hour in each direction between Bromsgrove and Birmingham have been delayed for a second time.

Funding to electrify the Bromsgrove line and extend Birmingham's Cross City line was secured back in 2010, with the work expected to take place between 2011 and 2014.

The scheme was expected to be completed by January, but the date was later revised to May.

Now further changes to Network Rail's works schedule have delayed the project once again, meaning the extra trains won't be in operation until the end of July.

Cllr Luke Mallet, of Bromsgrove District Council, said the delays were 'hugely frustrating' for passengers.

He said: "We need urgent assurance as to when Bromsgrove residents will have the train service they have waited for for so long.”

The electrification work is expected to be finished by the beginning of May, but West Midlands Railway will then need to train its drivers on the upgraded route.

A full service, including the existing diesel services, would then come into operation by Sunday, July 29.

A spokesman for the operator said: "The extension and electrification of the Cross-City Line to Bromsgrove will provide four trains per hour in each direction, quadrupling the current number of services calling at the station.

“Along with the recently opened new Bromsgrove station, it is providing passengers with a much better railway in and out of Birmingham.

“We apologise for the slight delay for the full service to be introduced but are confident the much-improved train service will be worth the wait.”