UK railway news roundup

This week’s roundup of news from the UK railway industry.

‘Pingdemic’ hits rail services across UK

Rail operators and Transport for London (TfL) are cutting services because of the rising number of staff self-isolating.

Reduced timetables have been introduced on railways across England in an attempt to improve reliability after a spate of last-minute cancellations.

A record 689,313 alerts were sent to users of the NHS COVID-19 app in England and Wales in a week, new figures show.

TfL has announced no London Underground trains will run on the Circle or Hammersmith and City lines this weekend as more than 300 members of staff are self-isolating.

It warned there will also be changes to the District and Metropolitan lines, and short notice cancellations elsewhere.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway spearhead new ‘Love Your Railway’ campaign

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) is spearheading a new national campaign to shine a light on the important work that heritage railways in the UK do.

The NYMR is collaborating with over 35 other heritage railway organisations for the ‘Love Your Railway’ summer campaign from July 26 to September 5, 2021.

The aim is to highlight heritage railways’ work with regards to conservation, education and research, as well as showing how they have been affection by the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out why the NYMR is optimistic and excited about the summer ahead.

‘Fatigued’ train driver with history of safety errors narrowly avoided crash

A fatigued train driver with a history of safety blunders passed a stop signal and narrowly avoided a head-on crash with another train, an investigation has found.

The man was operating a Chiltern Railways service when the near-miss happened in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, on June 21 last year, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said.

Read the full RAIB report into the signal passed at danger and subsequent near miss at Chalfont & Latimer station.

Rail unions call public meeting over future of Eurostar

Rail unions have called a public meeting aimed at boosting support for the future of the Eurostar train service.

Officials fear the future of Eurostar is uncertain and want the Government to offer more backing to the service and its workers.

Leaders of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA), Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) and drivers’ union Aslef will join environmental campaigners at the online meeting on August 4.

Eurostar train
Photo: Eurostar

‘Hidden’ Lake District railway station restored to feature Murder On The Orient Express set cafe

A “hidden” Lake District railway station will be revived this week with a dining experience on a Hollywood movie restaurant carriage as its centrepiece.

Members of the public can take their seats in a replica French SNCF steam train featured in the 2017 film Murder On The Orient Express, which was directed by and starred Kenneth Branagh, and also featured Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer.

The two-year project to transform Cumbria’s Bassenthwaite Lake station, where the last train pulled out in 1966, began when local couple Di and Simon Parums purchased the site.

Mrs Parums, 54, said the station was always part of her life as she enjoyed childhood summer holiday visits to her grandparents, Archie and Gladys Wedgwood, who lived nearby.

Latest service updates

Gatwick Express – Gatwick Express services remain suspended until further notice.
Hull Trains – Hull Trains are currently running a reduced service, in line with passenger demand and current government advice.

Transport For London Status

If you need to travel this weekend, here are planned works that may affect your journey.

Our transport network has never been cleaner. Since September, Imperial College London has run monthly tests for coronavirus on the transport network and found no trace. You can read their recently published report.

Air continuously flows through all our trains, trams and buses. For example, on average, air in a Tube train changes every few minutes. Buses are fitted with air extraction and ventilation systems and we also leave windows open throughout the passenger area to keep a flow of fresh air.

Please continue to walk or cycle part of your journey where possible. If using public transport, travel during quieter times if you can. This will make social distancing easier. The quieter times to travel are:

  • Between 08:15 and 16:00 and after 17:30 on weekdays
  • Before noon and after 18:00 on weekends

Our TfL Go app can help you plan your journey and show the quieter times to travel. 

You must continue to wear a face covering over your nose and mouth at all times when on the transport network, unless exempt. The overwhelming majority of people are complying with this requirement, and the British Transport Police, the Metropolitan Police and our own officers are on the network to check compliance. Fines of up to £6,400 exist for anyone who does not comply. 

Please also wash or sanitise hands before and after travel.

London Underground Status

Due to the coronavirus, the following service changes will be in place until further notice. Please plan ahead and check before you travel.

Metropolitan Line: Minor delays due to train cancellations.

London Overground

Severe delays between Stratford and Richmond / Clapham Junction while we respond to an electrical fault. GOOD SERVICE to all other routes.

Check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time.

Metros around the country

Tyne & Wear Metro

For more timetable information visit nexus.org.uk

Manchester Metrolink

England has now moved to the next step of the Government’s Roadmap out of Lockdown. The main change from Monday 29 March is that ‘Stay at home’ regulations have been lifted. Further details can be found on the Government’s COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021 page.

Nottingham Express Transit

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.

Merseyrail

There are no incidents reported.

Sheffield Super Tram

Stagecoach Supertram, SYPTE and Tramlines have issued travel advice for visitors to the Tramlines festival taking place this weekend (Friday 23 to Sunday 25 July).   

A normal tram service is planned to continue to run throughout the day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the area so people can travel to the venue and others can make their journeys as normal.

However, a joint decision has been made between Supertram, SYPTE and Tramlines not to run evening trams in the area of the festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening. All services will terminate at Shalesmoor from around 9 pm on Friday and Saturday and 8 pm on Sunday. This is because Supertram has reduced staff resource at the current time, primarily due to a surge in employees being contacted with a self-isolation instruction through the NHS Test and Trace system.

Edinburgh Trams

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.

Glasgow Subway

The Subway is running as normal.

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