The UK’s West Midlands Railway has introduced a new railway timetable to provide regular services to passengers during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The timetable will be effective from 6 April.
The move was implemented by the company and London Northwestern Railway due to reduced passenger numbers and more staff opting to self-isolate.
The new timetable aims to offer as many rail services as possible if a part of the rail service is forced to close as the outbreak intensifies.
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West Midlands Railway MD Julian Edwards 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 timetable is set up in ‘chunks’ to decrease the length of an individual train journey.
West Midlands Railway has reduced the train frequency on some of the routes. Additionally, Birmingham New Street – London Euston train journeys will have a changeover at Northampton.
The route from Worcester to Hereford will not have a West Midlands Railway service and the route is not served by any alternative direct operator.
Bearley and Claverdon will also not receive any WMR service and are served by Chiltern Railways.
Earlier this week, transport tech firm Zipabout said that the currently reduced rail timetable in the UK does not meet passenger demand.