Coronavirus: West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern issue updated timetables

West Midlands Railway will begin running to a new timetable from Monday 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 timetables 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)

The new Northwestern timetable, which will be available to view at www.lnr.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 London Northwestern Railway service, including:

  • The Abbey Line between Watford Junction and St Albans Abbey
  • The Marston Vale line between Bletchley and Bedford
  • Stations between Stafford and Crewe via The Potteries (larger stations served by alternative operators)

Photo credit: West Midlands Railway