UK railway news roundup



Time to read

15 minutes

This week, world renowned artist Banksy returns with a graffiti-like piece on the London Underground, plus we have the latest exciting reopening announcements following nearly four months of closures.

Banksy creates face mask-themed work on London Underground


World-renowned artist Banksy has produced an art piece to highlight the importance of face masks – painted inside a Circle Line service carriage.

A video unveiled on Banksy’s Instagram page showed a man – presumed to be the artist – disguised as a cleaner and holding spray paint and stencils.

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The piece has since been removed by Transport for London (TfL) cleaning crews, with a TfL source telling the BBC that a strict no graffiti policy meant the artwork “was treated like any other graffiti on the network.” Take a look for yourselves here.

National Railway Museum & Locomotion announce return

National Railway Museum

The National Railway Museum in York and Locomotion in Shildon, County Durham have announced plans to reopen to the public this summer.

Locomotion will reopen on Tuesday, July 28, and the National Railway Museum will reopen the following week on Tuesday, August 4.

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Both sites have undergone a rigorous cleaning regime prior to reopening and additional site-wide cleaning will continue to take place each day. Check out the full details.

Successful trial for steam to return at Kent & East Sussex Railway

A trial of the new measures at the Kent & East Sussex Railway was a steaming success. This means everything is in place for the summer season to start this weekend.

Dozens of railway volunteers and members went on Sunday’s test trips to make sure all the essential COVID-19 protections are working.

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The railway’s general manager Shaun Dewey said: “The season was due to start in April 2020, but the lockdown meant we had no choice but to stay closed until now.” Read the full story here.

New LED passenger information screen on trial at London Waterloo

London Waterloo screens

London Waterloo is trialling full-colour, high-definition customer information display screens to provide passengers with better quality train running information.

This is the first time a full colour LED display has been installed at one of Network Rail’s managed stations solely to provide customer information in a trial which is due to last until December 2020.

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The LED display was installed in June by Network Rail engineers for easy-to-read, up-to-the-minute journey and passenger information; including details of onward transport connections when there is disruption. Read the full story here.

Competition launched to shape Britain’s future railway stations

Competition launched to shape Britain’s future railway stations

Network Rail and RIBA Competitions have launched an international competition to shape the future of Britain’s railway stations.

The competition will provide architects, engineers and designers the chance to improve the travel experience for the millions of passengers who use Britain’s railway, and leave a lasting legacy on station design. Do you have what it takes? Click here for more details.

Latest service updates

Latest National Rail service updates

Gatwick Express – Gatwick Express services suspended until further notice.
Grand Central – Grand Central services restart from Sunday 26 July.
Hull Trains – Hull Trains service temporarily suspended until further notice.
Transport for Wales – Buses replace trains between Swansea and Llanwrtyd until approximately Tuesday 4 August.

Transport For London Status

We are using hospital-grade anti-viral cleaning products in all public areas across the network.

Key interchanges are being cleaned throughout the day, and there is an enhanced regime across our entire fleet to ensure regularly touched surfaces are clean. Check our guidance on safer travel before your journey.

To ensure everyone’s safety, when using public transport you must wear a face covering over your mouth and nose for your entire journey, unless you are exempt. The police and TfL’s enforcement officers, if necessary, will refuse entry, ask people to leave, issue fines or prosecute if you do not comply.

When planning your journey try travelling outside of our busier periods between 05:45-08:15 and 16:00-17:30 on weekdays. Follow the social distancing signage in place across the network, keeping your distance from other passengers wherever possible.

Stay alert to the latest Government advice on how to stay safe as restrictions on travel are gradually eased. If you can, try including walking or cycling as part of your journey. We have lots of online tools to help you plan your cycling journey and  walking journey, plus walking times between Tube stations and walking times between shops and attractions in West End.

There are currently no Night Tube or London Overground Night Service and limited Night Bus services running. Please plan your return journey ahead of time.

London Underground Status

District line – Due to engineering work on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July, there will be no service between Tower Hill and West Ham. Rail replacement bus service DL6 will run. 

Hammersmith & City line – Due to engineering work on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July, there will be no service between Hammersmith and Barking. Use alternative Tube and local or replacement bus services.

Piccadilly line – Due to engineering work on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July, there will be no service between Hounslow Central and Heathrow (All terminals). Rail replacement bus service PL1, PL2 and PL3 will run.

If you can, try walking or cycling part of your journey. Consider walking between stations using our walking map. Plan your journey ahead of time.

See the latest status updates on London Underground, including a map of closures.

London Overground

Due to engineering work, the following London Overground services will be affected. 

On Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July, there will be no service between:

  • Highbury & Islington and New Cross Gate. Rail replacement bus service X will run between Dalston Kingsland and New Cross Gate. Or use Tube, DLR or local bus services 
  • New Cross Gate and Crystal Palace or West Croydon. Use alternative Southern Rail services
  • Surrey Quays and Clapham Junction. Rail replacement bus service M will run between Canada Water and Clapham Junction
  • Liverpool Street and Enfield Town. Use local bus or Tube services. Rail replacement bus service L1 will run between Seven Sisters and Enfield Town
  • Liverpool Street and Chingford. Use Tube services. Rail replacement bus service L3 will run between Hackney Downs and Chingford
  • Liverpool Street and Cheshunt. Rail replacement bus service L2 will run between Seven Sisters and Cheshunt. Or use Greater Anglia services

On Sunday 19 July, there will be no service between South Tottenham and Barking until 10:45. Use local bus or Tube services. Rail replacement bus service T will run between Walthamstow Central and Barking.

From Monday 20 July to Thursday 23 July, there will be no service between, Surrey Quays and Clapham Junction after 23:15. Use local buses.

On Friday 24 July, there will be no service between:

  • Liverpool Street and Enfield Town from 21:45 to 23:45. From then services will resume as usual. Rail replacement bus service L1 will run between Hackney Downs and Enfield Town
  • Liverpool Street and Cheshunt from 21:45 until 23:15. From then services will resume as usual. Rail replacement bus service L2 will run between Hackney Downs and Cheshunt
  • Hackney Downs and Chingford after 22:30. Use Tube services. Rail replacement bus service L3 will run between Hackney Downs and Chingford

See an overview of planned track closures for the next six months.

See the latest status updates on London Overground, DLR, TfL Rail and Trams, including a map of closures and information about rail replacement buses.


On Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July, due to engineering work, there will be no DLR service between: 

  • Bank, Tower Gateway and Canning Town, Canary Wharf. Rail replacement bus service A will run between Tower Gateway and Canning Town.

Stratford and Canary Wharf (via Bow Church and Poplar). Use local Tube or bus service 108.


Check website for status.

Buses and roads

All London buses are now taking payments after enhanced safety measures were installed across the fleet to protect drivers and customers from coronavirus. Customers are now required to touch in with Oyster, contactless or concessionary cards on all buses, entering through the front doors on most buses as we return to traditional front-door boarding.

Temporary bus capacity limits have now increased. Double-decker buses now carry up to 30 passengers, while single-deckers can carry either 11 to 14 passengers depending on their size. Signs on buses clearly mark these new passenger limits, and bus drivers can allow more passengers on board if they are travelling in household groups. Check for more information relating to your route.

Due to the following works, some buses may be diverted or stop short of their normal destination. Make sure you check before you travel.

A10 Bishopgate corridor – In July, as part of our Streetspace for London programme, there will be changes made to the streets surrounding Liverpool Street Station, along the A10 Bishopsgate corridor and all the way up to Shoreditch Highstreet Station. These changes include introducing bus and cycle only access to some streets from Monday to Friday 7am-7pm and will enable travellers to walk, cycle and use public transport while maintaining a safe social distance. 

If you are driving through the area, but not stopping locally, please consider an alternative route to avoid delays to your journey. If you cannot avoid the area, please stay on the Inner Ring Road, rather than local streets, if possible. Please also drive carefully around these busy spaces, while pedestrians, cyclists and other traffic get used the layout changes. 

Kingston – From 6 July until 14 August there will be a series of overnight lane restrictions on the A3 between Hook Underpass and the Kingston Bypass. Works will take place Monday to Friday from 22:00 until 05:00. This is due to essential maintenance work. Please plan ahead and check before you travel, for the latest information please visit status updates.

Shoreditch – Until 30 September 2020, Shoreditch High Street will have a contra-flow reducing the width of the carriageway in both directions between Holywell Lane and New Yards Inn. This is due to Shoreditch Village development works.

London Bridge – Until 31 October 2020, London Bridge is closed to general traffic (except buses, licensed taxis, motorcyclists and cyclists). Diversions are in place and there are changes to the junction either side of the bridge. Please take extra care when driving while all users, including pedestrians, get used to the new layout. 

Drivers using Blackfriars Bridge or Tower Bridge should expect queues while crossing the river. Travel outside of peak times and use alternative river crossings including Vauxhall, Westminster and Lambeth bridges where possible for an easier journey. This is for essential maintenance works being carried out by the City of London Corporation. Please visit our London Bridge works page for more information.

Check whether your bus is affected.

See the latest status updates on road travel.

Santander Cycles

The following docking stations will be out of service this weekend:

  • Northumberland Avenue, Strand
  • Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington
  • Nevern Place, Earls Court
  • Paddington Green Police Station, Paddington

Find out how to hire a Santander Cycle.

Find your nearest Santander Cycles docking stations.

Metros Around The Country

West Midlands Metro

While government advice is to only use public transport where alternative travel options such as walking, cycling or driving are not available, we remain committed to providing a regular, robust, and above all safe service for those who need it.

The following frequency is in operation:

  • The frequency of service Monday to Saturday will be:
  • Start of service until 06:30 – Trams every 15 minutes
  • Between 06:30 and 20:00 – Trams every 12 minutes
  • From 20:00 until the end of service – Trams every 15 minutes
  • The first trams travelling the full route will leave Wolverhampton St George’s at 05:15 and Library at 05:07.
  • The last trams travelling the full route will leave Wolverhampton St George’s at 23:27 and Library at 23:34.
  • Trams are every 15 minutes on Sundays

You can view the full timetables here:

Monday to Saturday temporary timetable
Sunday temporary timetable

Tyne & Wear Metro

Trains are running to all destinations, however the following services have been cancelled due to staff availability and the pandemic. Please leave extra time for your journey. Trains that are operating are running to the usual weekday timetable until about 8.00pm when the frequency reduces to a train every 30 minutes, 15 minutes through Newcastle city centre.

When travelling on Metro wear a face covering, this is mandatory, stay apart from others and wash or sanitise your hands regularly.

When we are running a good service the status will show as ‘No Metro disruptions’. Any delays (less than 15 minutes) to service will be announced via the station PA system and passenger information boards. If delays occur resulting in trains running more than 15 minutes later than advertised the status will be updated by an automatic travel alert system.

For more information visit

Manchester Metrolink

Help keep yourself and everyone safe when you’re outside the home by thinking about how and when you travel and following safety guidance.

Consider all other travel options before using public transport, including cycling and walking.

Plan ahead, allow extra time for your journeys and be patient when travelling.

If you are travelling, avoid the busiest times and routes.

On public transport, you must wear a face covering unless you are exempt – if you don’t, you may be unable to travel and you could be fined £100. Read our face coverings guidance.

Keep your distance from others, clean your hands frequently and use contactless payment.

You can sign up for TfGM travel updates  here.

Nottingham Express Transit

It is now mandatory to wear a face covering on public transport. This could be a mask, a scarf or a bandana– the important thing is the covering fits well and covers your mouth and nose.

While national guidance is to use public transport only if you have no other option, we recognise that some people still need to travel. We are currently operating a Sunday timetable seven days a week, and are reviewing our service levels daily as restrictions ease.

6AM – 7AM: every 15 minutes
7AM – 7PM: every 10 minutes
7PM – 11PM: every 15 minutes

Should further timetable changes become necessary we will provide notice to all passengers via our website, newsletters and social media channels.


From Sunday 5 July timetable changes will be made and additional services will run across our network. These changes to services are being put in place to support the expected increase in passenger numbers, as more people begin to make journeys across the City Region. A summary of changes can be found below:

Monday to Saturday Services

  • Southport line – services will return to running every 15 minutes throughout the day.
  • Hunts Cross line – services will return to running every 15 minutes throughout the day.
  • Kirkby line – a 30 minute service will run all day.
  • Ormskirk line – a 30 minute service will run all day.
  • Chester & Ellesmere Port line – a 30 minute service will run on both lines with a 15 minute service running between Hooton and Liverpool city centre stations.
  • New Brighton line – a 30 minute service will run all day.
  • West Kirby line – a 30 minute service will run all day.

Sunday Services

  • Southport line – a 15 minute service will run between 10:00 and 19:00 and every 30 minutes in the morning and evening.
  • Hunts Cross line – an hourly service will run all day.
  • Kirkby line – an hourly service will run all day.
  • Ormskirk line – an hourly service will run all day.
  • Chester & Ellesmere Port line – an hourly service will run all day on both lines with an additional hourly shuttle service between Ellesmere Port and Hooton stations which provides connections to and from Liverpool city centre.
  • New Brighton line – a 45 minute service will run all day.
  • West Kirby line – a 45 minute service will run all day.

Evening services vary in frequency, full timetable information can be found below or by using the journey planner.

Current timetable information can be found here.

You can help to keep yourself and others safe by following our latest travel advice. Please remember that face coverings must be worn at all times on the Merseyrail network. 

Blackpool Transport

Tram services are currently suspended until further notice with service 1 and other bus routes alternatives to the tramway.

Sheffield Super Tram

As more people in England return to work, the government advise to only travel if your journey is necessary. Trams are here if you need them and play a vital role in allowing people to make necessary journeys.

The safety of customers and employees is priority, so in line with government guidance, we’ve put further measures in place to help our customers practise social distancing and travel safely on our services.

Check our latest timetables before you travel. Don’t forget that revised timetables are in operation and that Rail Replacement works are taking place.

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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