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George Eliot shines

Published on Friday, 27th April 2018

Last night the George Eliot statue in Nuneaton joined other iconic Midlands’ landmarks in turning orange.

The transformation was part of a showcase by West Midlands Railway (WMR) to publicise the Company’s commitment to transforming rail travel across the region.

Other Midlands monuments in the spotlight included the Bull at the Bullring in Birmingham, the Lady Godiva statue in Coventry, Stratford upon Avon’s Jester, the Hive in Worcester, the Clock Tower in Lichfield, the New Art Gallery in Walsall and the Thomas Telford Statue in Telford. All were illuminated or wrapped in WMR’s recognisable orange brand colour to remind passengers of the robust railway links across the Midlands. 

Since taking over the franchise in December 2017, West Midlands Rail has unveiled an investment package of £1 billion. This includes £700 million investment in new and refurbished trains; £70 million into new and existing depots to improve train reliability; 20,000 extra seats for rush hour passengers in Birmingham and standing room for 50,000 more commuters in new, metro style carriages. Additionally, passengers across the region will benefit from more late night and Sunday services and more services to London from Walsall and Wolverhampton.

As a railway service managed locally for local residents, the regional takeover marks a move for WMR to embed itself into the heart of the Midlands community. The increasingly-devolved services available to passengers will aim to establish WMR as the go-to network for travel, whether it’s for work purposes or leisure.

Alan Franks, Managing Director of the Council said:

“We really welcome the improvements to rail services across the Midlands. 

“Our exceptional strategic location here in Nuneaton and Bedworth brings particular significance to our local railways - we are so well connected to other parts of the UK and our Borough railway stations are the choice of convenience for commuters for miles around. 

”The George Eliot statue is an iconic monument and perfect to showcase Nuneaton’s importance in the regional rail network.” 


Richard Brooks, Customer Experience Director at West Midlands Railway, said: 

“We’re proud to continue to drive change as the West Midlands’ dedicated railway operator. Turning the region orange is our way of showing residents our pledge to continue upgrading railway services, while fuelling and feeding the West Midlands economy through continued investment.

“Collaboration will be essential going forward and we’re lucky to have so many stakeholders within the region who share the same vision of a transport brand especially for the West Midlands.

“We aim to provide the best journey experience for all of our customers, so we’re excited to continue our work in transforming railway services and creating a brand that we all can really be proud of.”

To celebrate the regional light up, morning commuters were greeted this morning Friday, 27 April with coffee cups and redeemable coffee vouchers at station platforms across the network.


George Eliot statue