UK railway round-up

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

Grant Shapps: We aim to silence ‘endless torrent’ of train announcements

Grant Shapps

The “endless torrent” of announcements on trains will be scrapped, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said.

He has pledged to launch a “bonfire of the banalities” to make rail journeys in England quieter.

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Protesters plan ‘national day of action’ over HS2 rail expansion

Environmental activists are planning a “national day of action” to protest against the expansion of the HS2 high-speed railway – as the Bill for the project is laid out in Parliament on Monday.

The organisations Stop HS2 North and HS2 Rebellion will be joined by other groups and individuals to raise awareness of the environmental and financial impact of phase 2 of the railway.

Show some ambition, Burnham tells government over HS2 plans

Andy Burnham has called on the Government to “show ambition for the North” as he panned current plans in the HS2 bill laid in Parliament on Monday.

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The mayor of Greater Manchester said the extension of the high-speed rail line to Manchester without an underground station being built was the “wrong solution”.

London Transport Museum reveals exhibition to celebrate Caribbean contribution to transport history

A new exhibition Legacies: London Transport’s Caribbean Workforce will open at London Transport Museum, Covent Garden on 11 February where visitors will learn about the huge contribution that people of Caribbean heritage have made to transport history and present-day London. 

Swan rescued from tracks after blocking trains

An injured swan had to be rescued after it made its way onto the tracks at a station in west London, causing hours of delays.

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Rush-hour commuters had their journeys disrupted on Monday after the swan blocked two trains on the tracks at South Acton station.

Commuters still asked to wear masks despite law change

Commuter wearing mask

Legal measures requiring masks and Covid passes in England have been dropped, but commuters in some settings will still be asked to wear face coverings.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the success of the vaccine programme, coupled with a better understanding of treatment for the virus, is “allowing us to cautiously return to plan A, restoring more freedoms to this country”.

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Union welcomes inquest into death of rail worker Belly Mujinga

Union leaders have welcomed the decision for an inquest into the death of railway worker Belly Mujinga.

Ms Mujinga, who worked in Victoria Station in central London, died with coronavirus in April 2020.

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.

  • RMT STRIKE ACTION: There is planned strike action every Friday and Saturday night between 2030 and 0429 the following morning until Sunday 19 June.
  • DISTRICT LINE: Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 January, no service between Earls Court and Richmond / Ealing Broadway. Replacement buses operate.
  • NORTHERN LINE: From Saturday 15 January until mid May 2022, no service between Moorgate and Kennington due to major upgrade works. 
  • PICCADILLY LINE: Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 January, no service between Kings Cross St Pancras and Northfields / Uxbridge.
  • WATERLOO & CITY LINE: Service operates between 06.07 and 10.13 and between 15.23 and 19.11 on weekdays only. 

Our transport network has never been cleaner. Imperial College London 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 your 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.

  • NORTHERN LINE: From Saturday 15 January until mid May 2022, no service between Moorgate and Kennington due to major upgrade works. 
  • WATERLOO & CITY LINE: Service operates between 06.07 and 10.13 and between 15.23 and 19.11 on weekdays only. There is no service on Saturdays and Sundays.

London Overground

LONDON OVERGROUND: Saturday 29 January, until 0615, no London Overground service northbound from West Croydon to Sydenham.

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

Railway Reads

From the history of steam through to 21st century rail transport news, we have titles that cater for all rail enthusiasts. Covering diesels, modelling, steam and modern railways, check out our range of magazines and fantastic subscription offers.

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About the Author

Shannon Butcher