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UK rail companies such as FirstGroup, Greater Anglia and Transport for Wales have announced that they will operate with a reduced timetable amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The four rail franchises of FirstGroup; namely Avanti West Coast, Great Western Railway, South Western Railway and TransPennine Express have introduced new timetables which will help in providing a service to essential workers.

The timetables came into effect on 23 March.

These measures have been implemented after the limited, local variations that were made to service based on the availability of employees.

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Due to the measures, around half of the services will be operational even though there may be variations ‘route by route’.

Hull Trains has also implemented a reduced timetable.

First Rail MD Steve Montgomery said: “FirstGroup’s train operators, along with the rest of the rail sector, play a vital role in keeping key workers moving, allowing them to do the essential jobs they do.

“The impact of latest government advice to deal with the coronavirus on our own staff, and on passenger levels, means that we are proactively moving to new reduced timetables, to ensure that we can continue to run a sustainable service for as long as we need to.”

Greater Anglia has implemented a service that is similar to the Sunday service in addition to services in the start and end of the day.

Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express, operated by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) have also transitioned to a revised train timetable to provide services to essential workers.

Transport for Wales has also decided to reduce services from 23 March.