Passenger Rail Services to Halve From Monday

By Gary Cutlack on at

The government and the rail industry have decided there's no point running empty trains all the time in order to try to show coronavirus who's boss, and have agreed to virtually halve the number of trains that run across the nation from Monday 23.

Many early morning and late evening services will survive so that key workers can continue to get about the place, but the daytime timetables are to be scythed, thanks to the government agreeing to waive or simply ignore rail franchise rules that demand a certain number of services are operated.

The idea is that fewer services means fewer frontline staff about the place risking infection and more workers able to take over should colleagues become unwell. It'll also free up space for freight services, helping replenish the bog roll and tinned peach shelves of the nation. Network Rail explained: "Our move to a reduced timetable balances current significantly reduced levels of demand with the need to reduce the number of people required to run the network, which will help to ensure there are enough staff to keep services running over the coming weeks and months." [National Rail via GOV]