UK railway round-up


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

E-tickets soar as Trainline continues Covid bounceback

The proportion of customers choosing to buy electronic train tickets has nearly doubled in the past two years, seller Trainline said as it slowly recovers from the pandemic.

The switch to digital was clear on Thursday as the business said that 41% of the tickets it sold in the three months before Omicron hit were e-tickets.

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Northern service and railway damaged after vandals throw log at train

Train operator Northern and Network Rail are appealing for information after a group of individuals threw a log into the path of an oncoming train near Bolton.

The incident, which happened on the Manchester side of Farnworth Tunnel, happened just before 6:30 pm, Monday 14 March.

Crossrail to run empty trains for weeks to ensure ‘flawless’ service

Crossrail will operate empty trains for several weeks to ensure the service is “absolutely flawless” when it opens, the boss of Transport for London (TfL) said.

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Andy Byford, London’s transport commissioner, told reporters he does not want the launch of the capital’s new railway to be reminiscent of the botched opening of Heathrow’s Terminal 5.

Network Rail investing £83m over Easter to improve train services for passengers

Network Rail is asking passengers to check before they travel this Easter as it prepares to invest £83m on 530 projects to upgrade the railway.

While the majority of the network – over 95% – will be unaffected by the engineering works taking place, there will be disruption on some routes, so passengers are urged to plan ahead.

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Watercress Line is ready to reopen for an exciting season

Hampshire’s popular Watercress Line is getting back on track for an exciting season of events when it reopens tnis Saturday (March 19).

A series of special activities is planned, from the family-friendly Days Out With Thomas, now featuring Sir Topham Hatt, and three new entertainment shows, to nostalgia days – such as War on the Line, a 1950s and 1960s weekend, and a Vintage Vehicles event, displaying locomotives, cars, motorbikes and tractors.

Services resume after winter works at GWSR 

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway has welcomed back travellers over its 14-mile Cotswold line between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway.

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Today’s reopening for the 2022 season was a week later than originally planned, as a number of significant winter engineering works were being completed.

Latest Service Updates

Gatwick Express  –  Gatwick Express services will be reinstated from April 3rd 2022.
Hull Trains – Hull Trains are currently running a reduced service, in line with passenger demand and current government advice.

Transport For London Status

If you need to travel this weekend, here are planned works that may affect your journey.

Our transport network has never been cleaner. Imperial College London run monthly tests for coronavirus on the transport network and found no trace. You can read their recently published report.

Air continuously flows through all our trains, trams and buses. For example, on average, air in a Tube train changes every few minutes. Buses are fitted with air extraction and ventilation systems and we also leave windows open throughout the passenger area to keep a flow of fresh air.

Please continue to walk or cycle part of your journey where possible. If using public transport, travel during quieter times if you can. This will make social distancing easier. The quieter times to travel are:

  • Between 08:15 and 16:00 and after 17:30 on weekdays
  • Before noon and after 18:00 on weekends

Our TfL Go app can help you plan your journey and show the quieter times to travel. 

You must continue to wear a face-covering over your nose and mouth at all times when on the transport network, unless exempt. The overwhelming majority of people are complying with this requirement, and the British Transport Police, the Metropolitan Police and our own officers are on the network to check compliance. Fines of up to £6,400 exist for anyone who does not comply. 

Please also wash or sanitise your hands before and after travel.

London Underground Status

Due to the coronavirus, the following service changes will be in place until further notice. Please plan ahead and check before you travel.

  • RMT STRIKE ACTION: There is planned strike action every Friday and Saturday night between 2030 and 0429 the following morning until Sunday 19 June. 
  • DOCKLANDS LIGHT RAILWAY: Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 March, no service between Shadwell and Bank, please use Tower Gateway station instead.
  • NORTHERN LINE: From Saturday 15 January until mid May 2022, no service between Moorgate and Kennington due to major upgrade works. 
  • TFL RAIL: Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 March, no service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. Please use London Underground connections between Liverpool Street and Stratford. Replacement buses operate.
  • WATERLOO & CITY LINE: Closed on weekends and public bank holidays.

London Overground

  • Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 March, no service between Surrey Quays and New Cross, please use New Cross Gate station instead.
  • Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 March, no service between Highbury & Islington and Dalston Junction.
  • Sunday 20 March, no service between Wandsworth Road and Clapham Junction, trains are diverted to/from Battersea Park for Southern connections to Clapham Junction.
  • Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 March, no service between Romford and Upminster.
  • Saturday 19 March, no service between Camden Road and Stratford. Replacement buses operate.
  • Sunday 20 March, no service between Gospel Oak and Stratford. Replacement buses operate between Hampstead Heath and Stratford.
  • Sunday 19 March, until 0800, no service between Gospel Oak and Barking.

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

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