London Midland rail chaos set to be over by the weekend

Months of chaos on the West Midlands rail network caused by staff shortages is set to come to an end on Sunday.

Trains have been delayed due to snow
Trains have been disrupted due to snow

Hundreds of trains have been cancelled by London Midland, which runs services through the Black Country and Staffordshire, since the start of October, forcing commuters to make other arrangements.

The firm has been having to give daily updates about its services after more than 30 drivers left within a short space of each other.

A driver has to give three months notice to leave but training their replacements can take a year.

However, a new timetable is set to be launched on Sunday which company bosses say will bring the problem to an end.

London Midland spokesman Daniel Skaife said: "The new timetable will kick in which gives us an opportunity to look at the way work is rostered so we can resolve the issue."

Seven new train drivers will also be starting work this month which will also help to ease the problems.

The company cancelled 22 trains as a result of the issue yesterday and one has been cancelled today.

However since October hundreds of services have been cancelled, including almost 100 services which were scrapped last week alone.

Among the services which have been hit are those which run between Wolverhampton and Walsall via Birmingham New Street.

The staffing shortages on London Midland trains have dragged down rail punctuality as well.

Figures released last month by Network Rail show London Midland was only able to run 82.7 per cent of trains on time in the mid-autumn 2012 period compared with 86 per cent in the same period of 2011.

London Midland is currently considering a compensation scheme for season ticket holders.

However, passengers who buy individual tickets are able to claim refunds if their services are affected.