West Midlands Railway is to introduce a revised timetable from next week designed to keep essential workers moving.
The operator says the move will build resilience into the train service as more rail workers begin self-isolating. The reduced timetable reflects the fall in demand for rail travel due to coronavirus.
With the Government advising against all non-essential travel and many people entering self-isolation, there has been a major fall in rail users over the last week.
In response, WMR and sister company London Northwestern Railway, will reduce the number of trains running on the network from Monday 23 March.
Julian Edwards, managing director of West Midlands Railway, said:
“Revising our timetable is the most effective way of making sure we continue to run a regular, reliable service to keep people moving in these exceptional circumstances.
“Like every employer in the country we have a number of our staff currently in self-isolation and attempting to continue with our regular timetable would be impossible.
“Although demand for rail travel has dropped, we know there are many thousands of people who need to keep moving, including NHS workers and others involved in delivering essential public services. That is why our front-line staff will continue coming to work in order to deliver this timetable and help keep the country moving.”
The reduced timetable, which is currently being finalised, equates to just over half the usual weekday level of service across the West Midlands Trains network.
Passengers should visit www.wmr.uk/coronavirus for the latest information and to see a copy of the timetable when it is available.
Online journey planners will be updated with the new train times by Sunday afternoon – visit www.wmr.uk/plan for live travel information or follow @WestMidRailway on Twitter.
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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