In The News: 17th March

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It will come as no shock that the news dominating the papers today is about the uncertain times that lie ahead with the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Some of the UK’s rail services could be axed due to the coronavirus outbreak after the number of train passengers fell by a fifth over the past week.

That’s according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps who is due to meet rail companies this week according to an interview on BBC Radio 4.

Transport for London has seen a 19% reduction in passengers on the Tube, with its current forecast, based on government scenarios, suggesting this could be a reduction in passenger income of up to £500m.

The Evening Standard reports that Tube chiefs have held emergency talks with union leaders in an effort to keep vital services running during the outbreak.

Last week the drivers’ union Aslef voted for strike action in a row over pay, but now its district organiser said the situation is ‘rapidly changing’.


Elsewhere, and the University of Birmingham’s Transient Aerodynamic Investigation facility, based in Derby’s Rail Technology Centre business park, has reopened following a £1.5 million renovation and upgrade.

The TRAIN rig is a unique facility allowing researchers to examine the aerodynamic effects created by moving vehicles and the impact on their surroundings.


Finally and a pioneering video system is set to dramatically improve safety and performance on the railways in Wales and across the Borders.

Transport for Wales has partnered with One Big Circle Ltd to fit smart cameras on trains to automatically record, analyse and report vegetation risks on the Wales and Borders routes.

Photo credit: Vudi Xhymshiti / Shutterstock.com