UK railway news round-up

Britain’s rail infrastructure budget has been cut by £1 billion following the Chancellor’s Spending Review. Here’s this week’s news round-up:

Government to cut £1bn from rail infrastructure budget

rail infrastructure budget

Britain’s rail infrastructure budget has been cut by £1 billion following the Chancellor’s Spending Review.

Rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris said Network Rail’s funding for enhancements during 2019-2024 is £9.4 billion.

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This is down nearly 10% on the figure of £10.4 billion which rail regulator the Office of Rail and Road previously calculated was the budget for the five-year period. Click here to see more.

Rail service punctuality declines as passengers return

Rail engineering works cut

Rail punctuality has declined since demand increased following the end of the first COVID-19 lockdown, new figures show.

Some 79.3% of stops at stations were made within a minute of the schedule across Britain between July and September, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) said.

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This is down from 86.4% during the previous three months. Click here to see more.

Railway worker dies after being crushed by machinery

A railway worker has died after being crushed by machinery while working at a rail depot.

The 53-year-old man from Eastleigh died after the incident at the Long Welded Rail Facility in the Hampshire town, which happened on Monday.

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Paramedics were called to the Eastleigh Railway Depot at 2.50pm after receiving reports that the worker had been injured while using a piece of machinery. Click here to see more.

Crossrail gets £825 million more Government funding

Elizabeth Line - Crossrail

London’s delayed and over-budget Crossrail project has been given £825 million more Government funding, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

The Cabinet minister said he is “committed to getting Crossrail delivered”.

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Writing on Twitter, he described the loan as “a fair deal for taxpayers across the UK”. Click here to see more.

Northern rail network makes final Pacer train journey

Final Pacer journey

A railway network has bid a final farewell to its fleet of Pacer trains after more than three decades of service.

The outdated carriage made its final Northern journey from Kirkby to Manchester Victoria on Friday.

It marked the end of more than 35 years of service – clocking 300 million miles – in the north of England. Click here to see more.

Rail engineering work cut to smooth Christmas journeys

Lifting hundreds of miles of roadworks and shortening rail engineering work are among measures aimed at avoiding Christmas travel chaos unveiled by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

The closure of London King’s Cross station on Christmas Eve for major engineering work has been postponed from the afternoon until the end of service, to ease congestion for people making getaway journeys.

The West Coast Main Line will reopen earlier than planned on December 27, allowing a full Sunday service to run from 10am rather than midday. Click here to see more.

Rail passengers told to book early for Christmas travel

People planning Christmas train travel are being urged to book “as early as possible” to avoid being denied boarding.

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) issued the warning ahead of its release of tickets for the festive period on Friday.

The operator, which runs trains on the East Coast Main Line between London King’s Cross and Scotland, expects its Christmas Eve services to quickly sell out. Click here to see more.

World’s first digital LED train opens at Watercress Line

Hampshire’s Watercress Line is hosting a unique Christmas spectacular this month with the world’s first digital LED train.

Steam Illuminations at Watercress Line sees the S15 class steam locomotive 506 pull the digital LED train, created using thousands of fully controllable colour mixing LED lights. Click here to see more.

Norfolk’s Berney Arms named Britain’s least used railway station

Berney Arms named Britain’s least used railway station

Berney Arms in Norfolk was Britain’s least used railway station in the past year, the Office of Rail and Road said.

Just 42 passengers used the isolated station between April 2019 and March 2020.

This was down 90% on the previous 12 months as the lines serving the station were closed for most of the period due to signalling upgrade work. Click here to see more.

Latest service updates

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 – Grand Central services have now resumed with a reduced timetable following the suspension of services during the national lockdown.
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 – Hull Trains services have now resumed with a revised timetable following the suspension of services during the national lockdown. The latest timetable can be downloaded here

Transport For London Status

The Government is asking everyone to help control the spread of coronavirus by trying to reduce journeys during this new period of national restrictions. If you need to travel, for example to work, for education or other legally permitted reasons, then you can, but you should walk or cycle where possible. Please plan ahead and if possible travel during quiet times.

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.

Northern line – From Saturday 5 until Sunday 6 December, there will be no service between Charing Cross and Kennington, and no Northern line services will stop at Kennington. Use alternative Tube or local bus services. 

No Night Tube or London Overground Night Service and limited Night Bus services are running.

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

London Overground

Due to engineering work, on Sunday 6 December, there will be no service between Surrey Quays and Clapham Junction. Rail replacement bus service M will run between Canada Water and Clapham Junction.

From Monday 7 until Thursday 10 December, there will be no service between Sydenham and West Croydon after 22:15. Use Southern Railway services, rail replacement buses or local buses.

No Night Tube or London Overground Night Service and limited Night Bus services are running. Check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time.

See an overview of planned track closures for the next six months.

See the latest status updates on London Overground, DLR, TfL Rail and Trams

Rivers

River bus services for Thames Clippers, City Cruises and Thames River Sightseeing, have returned to operating passenger service. Please plan ahead and check before you travel.  

Metros around the country

West Midlands Metro

There are no new service information updates.

Tyne & Wear Metro

Some services are cancelled due to driver availability. Please leave extra time for your journey. Sorry for the inconvenience caused. Details of affected journeys can be found here.

To keep safe, plan your journey in advance, avoid travelling at busier times if you can, wear a face covering unless exempt, stay apart from others and wash your hands frequently.

For more timetable information visit nexus.org.uk

Manchester Metrolink

National coronavirus restrictions, 5 November–2 December: 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.

Merseyrail

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, services are now operating between 07:00 and 19:00 Monday to Saturday.

This was based on staff availability to provide a reliable service to key workers and those making essential journeys.

Sunday services will still operate between 08:00 and 20:00.

Sheffield Super Tram

Due to the ongoing impact of the Coronavirus pandemic we are having to make short notice changes to our services, with effect from Saturday 7 November.

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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