UK railway news roundup


This week’s roundup of news from the UK railway industry.

Here’s the latest service updates.

Pioneering locomotive Green Arrow returns to Doncaster

The pioneering locomotive Green Arrow has rolled back into Doncaster almost 75 years on since it left the famous Doncaster Plant Works.

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Thanks to a partnership between the National Railway Museum and Doncaster Council, Green Arrow completes the line-up of locomotives in Danum Gallery, Library and Museum by joining No. 251 in a superb new rail heritage centre.

Together with an array of rare artefacts from the famous Doncaster Grammar School Railway Collection and other fascinating rail exhibits, the rail heritage centre will be a ‘must be seen’ exhibition when the building opens later this year, subject to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to find out more.

Network Rail chair claims weekend engineering works could end

Network Rail

Weekend rail closures could be scrapped if demand for leisure travel surges when lockdown restrictions ease.

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Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy said there is “no point” in carrying out engineering work on dates when trains would be packed. His organisation normally carries out much of its maintenance and upgrade work requiring line closures over weekends and public holidays, to minimise the number of passengers affected. Click here to find out more.

PM under fire for claiming Transport for North budget not cut by 40%

Prime Minister Boris Johnson. NUMBER 10/CREATIVE COMMONS
Photo: Creative Commons

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing calls to set the record straight after claiming there has not been a 40% cut to Transport for the North’s budget.

Board papers for the transport body, which aims to boost connectivity in the North of England, said core funding from the Government would drop from £10 million in 2020/21 to £6 million in 2021/22. Mr Johnson was asked by Labour former minister Dame Diana Johnson how the cut fitted with his plan for “levelling up” the North.

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The Prime Minister replied: “There has been no such cut. We intend to invest massively in Northern Powerhouse Rail, in railways in the North and across the entire country.”

But this is contrary to a funding letter Transport for the North says it received from the Department for Transport on January 4, despite having requested further funding. Click here to find out more.

HS2 bosses insist project will not be a ‘rich man’s railway’

HS2 will not be a “rich man’s business class railway”, according to the boss of the firm developing the project.

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Mark Thurston, chief executive of HS2 Ltd, said the ticketing structure will ensure trains can be used by “all working people”. The level of HS2 fares and whether trains will have first class compartments has not been decided. Click here to find out more.

Investigation launched into death of railway worker hit by train

A railway worker who died after being hit by a train in south-west London has been named as Tyler Byrne from Hampshire.

Measures to “protect staff” were planned for an inspection carried out by a railway worker who was struck and killed by a train, investigators have said.

Tyler Byrne, 30, from Aldershot, Hampshire, was working on the tracks in south-west London on February 9 when he was hit by a South Western Railway train travelling at around 76mph, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said.

He was one of four Network Rail personnel inspecting moveable sections of track between Surbiton and Weybridge. Here’s a statement from the RAIB.

Railway Benefit Fund announces ‘Railway Family Week’ fundraiser

Railway Benefit Fund

The Railway Benefit Fund (RBF) is staging a week-long fundraising event designed to bring together the Railway Family in support of colleagues in need.

Railway Family Week, from April 26 to May 2, will feature a range of fundraising events to support rail workers across the UK.

The Railway Benefit Fund, founded in 1858, have introduced a fundraising challenge: aptly named The 1858 Challenge. Fundraisers can do it alone or together virtually with friends, colleagues and family as part of Railway Family Week. Click here to find out more.

Latest National Rail service updates

CrossCountry – Train services are now able to run normally between Bristol Parkway and Newport.
Gatwick Express – Gatwick Express services remain suspended until further notice. Southern and Thameslink are still running to and from Gatwick Airport, and will provide journey options to both London and Brighton.
Grand Central – From Saturday 9 January until Sunday 28 February, Grand Central service will be suspended, as a result of the national restrictions that are in place. You can find more information here.

Great Western Railway – The railway line has now reopened between Bristol Parkway and Newport following an engineering problem that occurred earlier this month on a bridge near Patchway.
Hull Trains – The latest timetable can be downloaded here

Transport For London Status

To help stop the potential spread of coronavirus, the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments have decided that the wearing of face coverings when travelling by train or other public transport is compulsory in all parts of Britain. So, if you travel by train, make sure you bring a face covering to wear.

We will continue to run as much of the network as possible and will update our website with any service changes. Please check before you travel.

We’re doing all we can to make sure those who need to travel can continue to use public transport safely and everyone must continue to take the simple steps of good hand hygiene, wearing a face covering in stations and for your whole journey, and social distancing wherever possible.

London Underground Status

Due to Crossrail works the following services will be affected. Please check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time.

Waterloo & City Line: No service until further notice.
Bakerloo Line: Severe delays between Queen’s Park and Harrow & Wealdstone due to train cancellations. GOOD SERVICE on the rest of the line. Tickets are being accepted on local buses.
Northern Line: Severe delays between Camden Town and Morden, via Bank only, while we fix a signal failure at Stockwell. Tickets are being accepted on local buses, Thameslink, and Southeastern. GOOD SERVICE on the rest of the line.

See the latest status updates on London Underground, including a map of closures.  

London Overground

No service between Romford and Upminster while we fix a faulty train at Romford. London Overground tickets are being accepted on London Underground via any reasonable route.

Until Friday 26 February, late evening weekday trains at 2303 2333 and 0048 from Liverpool Street to Chingford will not run due to staff shortage.

Until Friday 26 February, we will temporarily be running a reduced service during peak times on weekday London Overground services to and from Bush Hill Park and Enfield Town. There will now be two trains per hour throughout the day in place of the standard four trains per hour peak service. The following trains will not run: Liverpool Street to Enfield Town at 06:45, 07:15, 07:45, 08:07, 08:45, 16:15, 16:45, 17:15, 17:45, 18:15 and 19:22. Enfield Town to Liverpool Street at 06:54. 07:24, 07:54, 08:24, 08:54, 09:24, 17:07, 17:37, 18:07, 18:37 and 19:07. In addition, trains at 08:00 from Liverpool Street to Cheshunt and at 08:43 from Cheshunt to Liverpool Street will not run. This is due to a shortage of staff.

Until Friday 26 February, a reduced weekday service operates between Richmond and Stratford. Two trains operate per hour between Richmond and Willesden Junction, continuing to Stratford. Six trains operate per hour between Willesden Junction and Stratford, with four of these trains an hour operating to/from Clapham Junction.

Check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time.

Metros around the country

West Midlands Metro

As part of our ongoing investment to upgrade existing infrastructure, essential works will be taking place from 20:30 on Saturday 20 February until the end of service on Sunday 21 February.

Tyne & Wear Metro

National lockdown: Stay at home. Only use public transport for essential purposes. Avoid travelling at busier times if you can, wear a face covering (unless exempt), open train windows to help with ventilation, stay apart from others and wash or sanitise your hands frequently.

For more timetable information visit

Manchester Metrolink

Stay at home and avoid travel, except for work, education, or other legally permitted reasons.

Nottingham Express Transit

Following the latest government announcement, we want to reassure customers that still need to travel with us during lockdown that we will be operating a full service during this time.


We are currently working towards reintroducing passenger services on a line-by-line basis this morning with the aim of running our timetabled service from approximately midday. Services may be subject to delay and passengers are advised to continue checking @merseyrail on Twitter and the website before they travel.

Sheffield Super Tram

Due to the ongoing impact of the Coronavirus pandemic we are having to make short notice changes to our services.

All routes will operate to the current timetables but services will end at around 8pm every day. There will be no service on any routes after around 8pm.

The current frequencies of service are unchanged;

YELLOW & BLUE: Up to every 15 minutes during the day, every 20 minutes at other times and on Sunday

PURPLE: Every 30 minutes

TRAM TRAIN: Every hour

Please be aware that due to the short notice of these changes, timetables on tram stops may be incorrect until updated information can be posted. Additionally, some journey planning tools and websites may also offer incorrect journey information.

Edinburgh Trams

The first tram and last tram will run at their usual time, but customers should expect trams to operate every 15 minutes during the day with this being kept under constant review.

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