This week’s roundup of news from the UK railway industry.
Rail fares increased across UK despite low demand for travel
Rail passengers in England and Wales have been hit by above inflation fare rises despite the collapse in demand.
Ticket prices have increased by around 2.6%, leading to accusations that the UK Government is “pricing the railways out of existence”.
Severn Valley Railway Spring Steam Up to go ahead as planned
The Severn Valley Railway (SVR) has announced that its Spring Steam Up event will go ahead in April, although the railway will not be able to open in time for Easter as originally planned.
The announcement follows the Government’s statement setting out its roadmap to recovery for the coming months.
The railway will restart its public services from April 12, in line with government restrictions. Click here to see more.
Thousands of rail staff to be trained to help disabled passengers
Tens of thousands of railway staff are being trained in understanding disabled passengers’ needs, according to the rail regulator.
By the end of the year nearly 30,000 staff will have received training on issues such as effective communication and how to support disabled people wanting to travel, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) said.
Hull Trains announces restart date but also redundancies
After suspending operations during the third national lockdown, open access operator Hull Trains has said it will restart a limited timetable from April 12, but added it was having to make just over a quarter of its workforce (26%) redundant.
The company suspended services for the third time from January 9, and April’s restart, based around the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, will mean customer demand will be monitored carefully as the business builds back up with a reduced service. Click here to see more.
Network Rail invest millions into Chiltern main line improvements
Almost 2.5km of railway track is being replaced along the Chiltern main line as the rail industry works to build back better after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Network Rail is investing more than £2.2m to renew track in several locations between London Marylebone and Bicester.
This is to get the line in the best possible condition and ready for passengers when coronavirus travel restrictions can be eased. Click here to see more.
Stubborn cat causes delays to London to Manchester service
A cat had a lucky escape at London Euston station after it was spotted on the roof of an Avanti West Coast train which was about to speed to Manchester.
Seen curled up and frightened, the cat was sat on top of the 125mph Pendolino service at 8.30pm on March 2 while it was stationed at a platform. Fortunately the misplaced kitten was seen before the train was meant to set off at 9pm.
To rescue the cat the train was taken out of service and another one made available for passengers to continue their journey, with only a slight delay. Click here to see more.
No plan to detect track fault that caused train derailment – report
Network Rail failed to devise a plan to detect the track failure which led to a train derailment despite previous incidents, investigators said.
Cracks in fastenings designed to hold rails in place were not apparent in visual inspections before a freight train came off the tracks in Eastleigh, Hampshire, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) found. Click here to see more.
CrossCountry – Train services are now able to run normally between Bristol Parkway and Newport.
Gatwick Express – Gatwick Express services remain suspended until further notice. Southern and Thameslink are still running to and from Gatwick Airport, and will provide journey options to both London and Brighton.
Grand Central – Following the Government decision to impose a national lockdown on 4 January 2021 and a national “Do Not Travel” recommendation, Grand Central have taken the decision to suspend their services until the end of Friday 26 March. You can find more information here.
Great Western Railway – The railway line has now reopened between Bristol Parkway and Newport following an engineering problem that occurred earlier this month on a bridge near Patchway.
Hull Trains – The latest timetable can be downloaded here.
To help stop the potential spread of coronavirus, the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments have decided that the wearing of face coverings when travelling by train or other public transport is compulsory in all parts of Britain. So, if you travel by train, make sure you bring a face covering to wear.
We will continue to run as much of the network as possible and will update our website with any service changes. Please check before you travel.
We’re doing all we can to make sure those who need to travel can continue to use public transport safely and everyone must continue to take the simple steps of good hand hygiene, wearing a face covering in stations and for your whole journey, and social distancing wherever possible.
Due to Crossrail works the following services will be affected. Please check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time.
|Circle Line: Minor delays due to train cancellations.|
Waterloo & City Line: No service until further notice.
Hammersmith and City Line: Severe delays due to train cancellations. Tickets are being accepted on local buses.
See the latest status updates on London Underground, including a map of closures.
No service between Romford and Upminster while we fix a faulty train at Romford. London Overground tickets are being accepted on London Underground via any reasonable route.
Until Tuesday 6 April, late evening weekday trains at 2303 2333 and 0048 from Liverpool Street to Chingford will not run due to staff shortage.
Until Friday 14 May, we will temporarily be running a reduced service during peak times on weekday London Overground services to and from Bush Hill Park and Enfield Town. There will now be two trains per hour throughout the day in place of the standard four trains per hour peak service. The following trains will not run: Liverpool Street to Enfield Town at 06:45, 07:15, 07:45, 08:07, 08:45, 16:15, 16:45, 17:15, 17:45, 18:15 and 19:22. Enfield Town to Liverpool Street at 06:54. 07:24, 07:54, 08:24, 08:54, 09:24, 17:07, 17:37, 18:07, 18:37 and 19:07. In addition, trains at 08:00 from Liverpool Street to Cheshunt and at 08:43 from Cheshunt to Liverpool Street will not run. This is due to a shortage of staff.
Until Friday 14 May, a reduced weekday service operates between Richmond and Stratford. Two trains operate per hour between Richmond and Willesden Junction, continuing to Stratford. Six trains operate per hour between Willesden Junction and Stratford, with four of these trains an hour operating to/from Clapham Junction.
Check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time.
Metros around the country
As part of our ongoing investment to upgrade existing infrastructure, essential works will be taking place from 20:30 on Saturday 20 February until the end of service on Sunday 21 February.
National lockdown: Stay at home. Only use public transport for essential purposes. Avoid travelling at busier times if you can, wear a face covering (unless exempt), open train windows to help with ventilation, stay apart from others and wash or sanitise your hands frequently.
For more timetable information visit nexus.org.uk
Stay at home and avoid travel, except for work, education, or other legally permitted reasons.
Following the latest government announcement, we want to reassure customers that still need to travel with us during lockdown that we will be operating a full service during this time.
We are currently working towards reintroducing passenger services on a line-by-line basis this morning with the aim of running our timetabled service from approximately midday. Services may be subject to delay and passengers are advised to continue checking @merseyrail on Twitter and the website before they travel.
Due to the ongoing impact of the Coronavirus pandemic we are having to make short notice changes to our services.
All routes will operate to the current timetables but services will end at around 8pm every day. There will be no service on any routes after around 8pm.
The current frequencies of service are unchanged;
YELLOW & BLUE: Up to every 15 minutes during the day, every 20 minutes at other times and on Sunday
PURPLE: Every 30 minutes
TRAM TRAIN: Every hour
Please be aware that due to the short notice of these changes, timetables on tram stops may be incorrect until updated information can be posted. Additionally, some journey planning tools and websites may also offer incorrect journey information.
The first tram and last tram will run at their usual time, but customers should expect trams to operate every 15 minutes during the day with this being kept under constant review.Enjoy more of The Railway Magazine reading every month. Click here to subscribe.