West Midlands Railway will begin running to a new timetable from next week as part of the rail industry’s commitment to operate regular train services during the coronavirus outbreak.
With passenger numbers continuing to fall and increased numbers of rail staff self-isolating, the operator – along with sister company London Northwestern Railway - has announced further changes will come into effect on Monday 6 April.
The latest timetable has been designed to keep as many services running as possible if part of the network has to close due to the increased impact of COVID-19.
Julian Edwards, managing director of West Midlands Railway, said:
“The rail industry is facing our biggest challenge in peacetime. We are working together to operate a regular service for our key workers and those making only the most essential journeys.
“With increased numbers of rail workers entering self-isolation due to coronavirus and a big drop in passenger numbers, now is the right time to make further changes to our service. As the government has made clear, people should only use the train for essential journeys.
“I would like to pay special tribute to our front-line staff, including drivers, conductors, dispatchers, station teams, engineers, cleaners and those in our control centres. Their hard work and dedication to keeping the trains running are helping key workers save lives.”
The new timetable, which will be available to view at www.wmr.uk/coronavirus from tomorrow (Friday), has been built in ‘chunks’ to reduce the length of journeys taken by an individual train.
The frequency of trains has been reduced on some routes. All journeys between Birmingham New Street and London Euston will now involve a change at Northampton.
Some routes will no longer receive a West Midlands Railway service, including:
- Worcester to Hereford (no alternative direct operator)
- No trains will call at Bearley and Claverdon (served by Chiltern Railways)
To check live journey information visit www.wmr.uk/plan and follow @WestMidRailway for updates.
About West Midlands Trains
For further information on this release, call our press office on 03300 955150 or email email@example.com
West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.
- London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast mainline to and from London Euston.
- West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street.
The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26.
West Midlands Trains operates 1,300 services a day, manages 150 stations and provides over 80 million passenger journeys a year. Over the course of the franchise, West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades. This will include 400 new train carriages across the network and space for an extra 85,000 passengers into Birmingham and London at peak times.
The franchise is a joint venture between Abellio (70.1% share) and East Japan Railway Company / Mitsui & Co., Ltd (29.9% share in a 50:50 split). Abellio is the international passenger transport subsidiary of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. In the UK, Abelllio operates ScotRail and Greater Anglia train services, Merseyrail services in a joint venture with Serco and buses through Abellio London. For more information visit www.abellio.com
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