West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern have announced it will be staffing some of its automatic station gatelines from first to last train each day from 31 October.

The train operator says this is part of a drive to improve customer service, provide additional reassurance to passengers and reduce ticketless travel on the rail network.

From 31 October staff will be in place alongside the automated ticket barriers all day at Birmingham Snow Hill, Five Ways and University. London Northwestern staff will also be placed alongside the ticket barriers at Northampton, Milton Keynes Central, Bletchley, Hemel Hempstead, Watford Junction and London Euston.

Passengers will need a valid ticket to pass through the stations throughout the day and are reminded that they should always purchase a valid ticket before boarding trains. Ticket purchasing facilities are usually available at all stations, either from a staffed ticket office and/or ticket vending machine (TVM). Tickets can also be purchased via the West Midlands Railway or London Northwestern apps.

If facilities are unavailable and customers don't wish to purchase online, then they should make themselves known to the conductor on the train, who will be able to sell them a ticket before they get to their destination.

Brenda Lawrence, Head of Stations at West Midlands Railway said, "These changes will help us to provide better customer service and improved security at some of our busiest stations", with Johnny Wiseman, Head of Stations at London Northwestern adding: "We also want to support our fare paying customers by reducing ticketless travel on our trains, whatever time of day they are travelling. Passengers can help reduce unnecessary delays at stations by ensuring they always have a valid ticket for their journey. There are now a number of ways to do this, and we don't want anyone to get get out."