UK railway news roundup

Coronavirus

Coronavirus continues to cause chaos in the rail and transport industry. Services are being slashed as demand collapses, social distancing measures are introduced and events and runnings are postponed. Here’s this week’s roundup:

UK rail services to be reduced as demand plummets

UK rail services to be reduced as demand plummets

Rail services in the UK will be reduced from next week as demand dramatically drops during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said it had agreed with rail operators across the country to scale back timetables from Monday as people change their travel habits to help stop Covid-19 spreading.

40 London Underground stations to close

London Underground
Photo: Nick Ansell / PA Wire

Up to 40 stations on the London Underground network are to close as the capital attempts to reduce the effect of the coronavirus outbreak.

Transport for London (TfL) announced there would be a partial shutdown of the network from this morning, and night Tube and bus services will be significantly reduced.

Buses in the capital will be reduced and people are being urged “not to use public transport for anything other than essential journeys”.

London Underground stations facing closure:
  • Bakerloo Line: Lambeth North, Regents Park, Warwick Avenue, Kilburn Park, Charing Cross
  • Central Line: Holland Park, Queensway, Lancaster Gate, Chancery Lane, Redbridge
  • Circle Line: Bayswater, Great Portland Street, Barbican
  • District Line: Bow Road, Stepney Green, Mansion House, Temple, St James’s Park, Gloucester Road
  • Jubilee Line: Swiss Cottage, St John’s Wood, Bermondsey, Southwark
  • Northern Line: Tuffnell Park, Chalk Farm, Mornington Crescent, Goodge Street, Borough, Clapham South, Tooting Bec, South Wimbledon, Hampstead
  • Piccadilly Line: Caledonian Road, Arsenal, Covent Garden, Hyde Park Corner, Bounds Green, Manor House
  • Victoria Line: Pimlico, Blackhorse Road

Sadiq Khan urges Londoners to avoid unnecessary travel

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “People should not be travelling, by any means, unless they really, really have to. Londoners should be avoiding social interaction unless absolutely necessary, and that means they should be avoiding using the transport network unless absolutely necessary.

“London will get through these extraordinarily challenging times, and ensuring the capital’s critical workers can move around the city will be crucial.

“Frontline staff across our health and care service – as well as those ensuring Londoners stay safe and can access food and other essentials – should be commended for their hard work.

“We owe it to them to do whatever we can to help them do their jobs effectively.

“I’m urging Londoners to only use public transport for essential journeys. Everyone should follow this and the other advice to help keep themselves and each other safe.”

TfL said it would also be gradually reducing the frequency of services across the network from Monday, “to provide a service for critical workers to get to where they need to – ensuring that remaining services are not overcrowded”.

Coronavirus: London Underground sees big slump in passenger journeys

London Underground

The London Underground saw a 19% fall in passenger journeys last week compared with the same period in 2019 because of coronavirus, Transport for London (TfL) announced this week.

The figures align with smaller falls in passenger numbers in recent weeks, as public awareness of coronavirus and risk of infection grows.

Transport for London says the key drivers of the reductions are:

  • A “significant” fall in visitors to London, detectable on parts of the Tube network connecting London airports with the the centre of the capital.
  • Employers asking staff to work from home as part of their efforts to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

A statement from TfL forecasts a possible loss of £500 million in revenue as a result of the fall in demand for public transport services, though it stresses that in an “evolving situation” the financial impact is difficult to predict.

“This is an evolving situation and the financial impact is difficult to predict. This will depend on the duration and severity of the spread of the Covid-19 virus. TfL’s current forecast, based on government scenarios, suggest that this could be a reduction in passenger income of up to £500m,” TfL said.

West Somerset Railway postpones first services of the season

West Somerset Railway has announced the postponement of the first running services of the season amid the coronavirus outbreak.

West Somerset Railway has announced the postponement of the first running services of the season amid the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement, West Somerset Railway said: “It is with real regret that we have decided to postpone the first running services of the season. 

“Our staff and volunteers were really looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the railway, and did want to open, but following the most recent Government advice, we have concluded we cannot operate the service.

South Devon Railway services suspended

South Devon Railway (SDR) has chosen to suspend all railway services with immediate effect until mid-May.

In a statement, SDR said the decision is a direct result of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The railway is following the latest Government health advice in restricting people’s movements and gatherings.

National Railway Museum to temporarily close

The National Railway Museum has released a statement announcing its temporary closure from 17 March.

Following detailed discussions with the Government, the museum is closing until further notice, but are inviting people to access their incredible collections online.

In a statement, the National Railway Museum said: “Our mission is to inspire futures. But right now we need to focus on today and on the health and welfare of our visitors and colleagues as the nation comes together to deal with the threat of coronavirus.

“Following discussions with the Government we have decided that from this evening (17 March) and until further notice, we will close all five of our museums in the Science Museum Group to the public.”

Talyllyn Railway café and shop to remain open

Talyllyn Railway has announced that its café and shop will remain open, despite Government advice.

In a statement on the Talyllyn Railway Facebook page, the business said: “The UK Government have not told any business to close, so our staff are still here and the Cafe and Shop are open from 9am to 3pm.” Talyllyn Railway is, however, taking certain measures to comply with current advice.

Statesman Rail and Saphos Trains cancel tours for “wellbeing of customers”

Rail tour promoters Statesman Rail and Saphos Trains have cancelled all trains due to operate between 20 March and 10 May due to coronavirus.

In a statement, Statesman Rail said: “As a professional travel promoter, we take the current situation regarding the Covid-19 virus very seriously and as everyone is aware the situation has become more serious and widespread since our last statesman was issued on 10 March.

“The health and wellbeing of our valued customers and employees is of paramount importance and for that reason we have made some further temporary amendments to our ‘Terms & Conditions of Booking and Travel’.

The Great Central Railway Model Event 2020 is cancelled

The Great Central Railway Model Event will not be going ahead this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

The latest update from The Great Central Railway said: “It is with great regret we have decided to cancel the 2020 Great Central Railway Model Event to be held from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st June.

“Due to the nature of this event, we feel we have a responsibility to act in the best interest of our visitors, exhibitors, traders and staff with the predicted peak of the virus being towards the end of May.”


Get your weekend service updates:

National Rail Service Indicator

Click here: www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/indicator.aspx

London Northwestern Railway

Coronavirus is affecting London Northwestern Railway services, click here to get updates.

Merseyrail

Coronavirus is affecting Merseyrail services, click here to find out more.

Northern

Coronavirus is affecting Northern services, find out more.

South Western Railway

Coronavirus is affecting South Western Railway services.

Southern

Coronavirus is affecting Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink services until further notice.

Line closed between Lingfield and East Grinstead until Monday 30 March.

Thameslink

Coronavirus is affecting Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink services until further notice.

Line closed between Lingfield and East Grinstead until Monday 30 March.

TransPennine Express

Coronavirus is affecting TransPennine Express services.

Transport For London Status Updates

Overground updates: tfl.gov.uk/tube-dlr-overground/status/

From today, Friday 20 March, the Waterloo & City line will be closed and there will be no Night Tube or Night Overground services until further notice.

From Monday 23 March, we will also gradually reduce other services across the TfL network.

Our extensive night bus service will continue, in order to provide critical workers with a reliable night option as they continue to support the city throughout Covid-19.

These measures allow us to keep helping critical workers make their essential journeys, and keep the most used stations and services open and running.

For the latest information on what we’re doing to tackle Coronavirus on our network, check back to our Covid-19 page: https://tfl.gov.uk/campaign/coronavirus-covid-

Bakerloo line

From 23:00 on Saturday 21 until 09:30 on Sunday 22 March, there will be no service between Stonebridge Park and Harrow. This is due to Network Rail engineering work. Use local buses and plan your journey.

Metropolitan line

On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 March, there will be no service between Wembley Park and Aldgate. This is due to track replacement work. Use alternative Tube or local bus routes.

Northern line

On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 March, there will be no service between Moorgate and Kennington. This is due to Bank station works. Use alternative Tube or local bus routes.

London Overground

Network Rail is carrying out work which will affect the following London Overground services.

On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 March, there will be no service between:

New Cross Gate and Crystal Palace/West Croydon. Rail replacement buses will run between New Cross Gate and West Croydon via Crystal Palace

Romford and Upminster. Use local bus routes 165, 248 or 370

Euston and Watford Junction between 23:00 on Saturday and 09:30 on Sunday. Use local buses and plan your journey

On Sunday 22 March, there will be no service between Liverpool Street and Enfield Town/Cheshunt (via Seven Sisters)/Chingford until 10:15. Use alternative Tube or local bus routes. Rail replacement buses will run between Hackney Downs and Enfield Town/Cheshunt, and also between Hackney Downs and Chingford.

From Monday 23 until Thursday 26 March, there will be no service between:

Hackney Downs and Enfield Town/Cheshunt (via Seven Sisters) after 22:30 each night. Use alternative Tube or local bus routes. Rail replacement buses will run between Hackney Downs and Enfield Town/Cheshunt

Sydenham and West Croydon after 23:30. The last two trains to West Croydon, from Highbury & Islington (23:17) and from Dalston Junction (23:38) will not run. Use local buses to continue your journey

DLR

On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 March, there will be no service between Bank and Shadwell. This is due to Bank station works. Use local bus route 15 to Tower Hill to access the District line at Tower Hill. Alternatively, use DLR services to Tower Gateway and walk to nearby Tower Hill station.

TfL Rail

On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 March, there will be no service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. This is due to track work, overhead line enhancement and Crossrail station works. Rail replacement buses will run between Stratford and Romford, and between Newbury Park and Shenfield.

See an overview of planned track closures for the next six months: https://tfl.gov.uk/status-updates/planned-track-closures

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