Crowding at railway stations

UK railway news roundup

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

Complaints as rail timetables mark Duke of Edinburgh’s death

Prince Philip website

The decision for online train journey planners to greyscale their websites to mark of respect following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death has led to complaints that they are now difficult to read.

The decision by National Rail Enquiries (NRE) and individual rail operators to remove colours from their websites goes beyond Government guidance for the period of national mourning, which only suggests organisations use “black edging or black banners”.

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Have you experienced difficulties using rail timetables since some were greyscaled?

Rail services ramped up as lockdown rules ease in England

Crowding at railway stations
Photo: PA Media

Industry body the Rail Delivery Group has said more than 1,000 daily weekday services have been added to timetables since mid-February.

The rise means nearly 18,000 services ran from April 12, when non-essential shops, pub beer gardens and outdoor visitor attractions were allowed to reopen in England. A more significant uplift is planned for May.

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Severn Valley Railway and Railcam launch livestream camera network

Severn Valley Railway footage

The Severn Valley Railway (SVR) is launching an exciting new service for supporters and visitors – a network of livestream cameras with a round-the-clock feed showing rolling stock movements at key locations along the line.

The camera feeds will go live on the SVR’s official YouTube channel at 9am on April 14, 2021.

Cutting crowding would boost public transport demand, survey suggests

Less crowding is the main measure that would increase the use of buses and trains, a new survey suggests.

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Some 30% of people questioned said having more personal space onboard services would encourage them make more use of public transport.

This was ahead of cheaper single or day tickets (29%), better routes (29%), and more frequent services (26%), according to the poll of 2,129 UK adults commissioned by Campaign for Better Transport.

Swanage Railway reopens with social distancing measures

Photo: Andrew PM Wright

Steam services have resumed across the Dorset countryside with the reopening of the popular Swanage Railway.

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Featuring assigned seating and social distancing measures, trains between Norden, Corfe Castle and Swanage have resumed as the Government eased lockdown restrictions.

April 12 saw Southern Railway 1940s Battle of Britain class Bulleid Pacific No. 34072 257 Squadron haul the first steam train out of Swanage since December 29, 2020.

Long-running dispute over guards on South Western Railway settled

South Western Railway strike
Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Railway workers have accepted a deal to end a long-running dispute over guards on trains.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) on South Western Railway (SWR) voted to back an agreement, which draws to a close one of the longest-running industrial disputes in decades.

Latest service updates

Gatwick Express – Gatwick Express services remain suspended until further notice.
Hull Trains – Hull Trains services have resumed operation and 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 staff shortages in our Control Room, there could be disruption to services on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines, as well as the District line between High Street Kensington and Edgware Road, and the Piccadilly line between Uxbridge and Rayners Lane. This could also affect Chiltern Railways services at times.

This could mean a reduced service, or no service at other times. Because of this, please plan ahead and check before you travel.

Circle Line: Severe delays due to train cancellations.

Waterloo & City Line: No service until further notice.

Until further notice, there will be no Night Tube or Night Overground service, and limited Night Bus services.

Please check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time.

London Overground

No service between Romford and Upminster
Use local bus routes.

Until further notice, there will be 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 further notice, a reduced service operates. 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

Tyne & Wear Metro

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

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

As restrictions ease, we’re increasing some of our services from Monday 12 April. Yellow route services will go back to the normal timetable and evening and Sunday services will increase on the Blue route.

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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About the Author

Sam Hewitt

Let off some steam...