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London Northwestern Railway to increase services from September

Press release   •   Aug 24, 2020 09:30 BST

Thousands of extra seats are being introduced on London Northwestern Railway (LNR) services from next month as passenger numbers across the rail network continue to rise.

The new timetable, which comes into effect from Sunday 6 September, will see available space increased in time for the return of schools and workplaces across the region. It returns the capacity on LNR services to near pre-Covid levels.

All rail operators significantly reduced services in March in response to the pandemic, with passenger numbers dropping by 95% at the height of the lockdown. Services have been stepped up twice since May and with increased numbers travelling, LNR is once again adding more trains as part of a timetable focused on capacity and reliability.

The enhanced timetable is the most significant step up in rail capacity since lockdown and will see the introduction of longer trains running modular routes to boost reliability.

Among the key changes are:

  • Introduction of longer trains on many services to and from London Euston, including 12-carriage services from Milton Keynes and Watford Junction
  • Capacity at Watford Junction before 7am will be increased to adjust to earlier working patterns for London commuters
  • Services from Liverpool will continue to operate hourly, terminating at Birmingham rather than London Euston to improve reliability and will be doubled to form eight-carriage trains
  • More services begin and end their journey at Northampton, creating increased reliability and aiding social distancing
  • Peak services have been reinstated on the Marston Vale Line and Abbey Line from today (Mon 24 Aug) following suspension due to the impact of coronavirus

Lawrence Bowman, customer experience director for London Northwestern Railway, said:

“This timetable is the most significant step up in our capacity since lockdown. We’re adding thousands of extra seats to give our customers the space to travel with confidence.

“We’ve taken all the aspects which made our lockdown timetable work so well and expanded them as increasing numbers of customers continue returning to the railway. This simpler timetable aims to be more reliable for passengers with longer trains to help social distancing wherever we can.

“We know that coronavirus will continue to impact our lives and workplaces for some time to come but by creating a resilient, flexible timetable we can help our customers adjust to their new normal.”

Passengers are also being reminded that wearing a face covering is compulsory on trains and in stations unless exempt for medical reasons. Non-compliance is punishable by a fine from the British Transport Police.

The new timetables are in journey planners now - see www.lnr.uk/plan for details.

Notes to Editors

  • Between April and July 2020, under a modular lockdown timetable, on average 95% of West Midlands Trains services arrived on time (Public Performance Measure).

About West Midlands Trains

For further information on this release, call our press office on 03300 955150 or email press.office@wmtrains.co.uk

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 Main Line to and from London Euston.
  • West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street and Birmingham Snow Hill.

For more information on these services visit westmidlandsrailway.co.uk or londonnorthwesternrailway.co.uk

The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26. 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. 

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