Fastest journey1hr 21m
The fastest way to travel by train from London to Birmingham is on Virgin Trains services. These depart every 20 minutes from London Euston on weekdays (less often on Sundays) with most trains reaching Birmingham New Street in about 85 minutes. London Midland also run directly from Euston to Birmingham New Street, but that company's trains are very much slower; they always take over two hours for the journey.
There is also an alternative route to Birmingham Moor Street which leaves from Marylebone station in London. Trains on this line take just under two hours, so the service is slower, but the journey takes in much better scenery and there are often cheaper fares available on this second route, which is run by Chiltern Railways.
Whichever route you choose for your journey from London to Birmingham, bookings open generally about 2 to 3 months in advance of travel. It pays to book your ticket a few weeks prior to travel if you are keen to secure a bargain fare. If you do not mind a slower journey on a less comfortable train, then cheaper fares are often still available on the London Midland services even just a few days prior to travel.
London to Birmingham
The Virgin Trains services to Birmingham all leave from London Euston station. Euston wins no marks for architectural charm, but Virgin Trains will soon have you on your way to England’s second city. The Virgin services to Birmingham New Street generally make three intermediate stops on the way. The much slower London Midland trains on the same route all make over a dozen stops along the way.
The journey cuts through the Chiltern Hills, then runs north through tame agricultural country to reach the West Midlands. Almost all trains on this route stop at Coventry and Birmingham International (for the airport) before reaching New Street station in the very heart of Birmingham.