UK railway news roundup


Despite the costs and the unprecedented coronavirus crisis affecting the UK railway network, HS2 is beginning its search for contractors and suppliers – one week after companies were given the green light to enter the construction phase.

HS2 begin search for lift and escalator suppliers

HS2 begin search for lift and escalator suppliers

The search for contractors to design, build and maintain almost 300 state-of-the-art lifts and escalators for HS2’s four major new stations has begun.

168 lifts and 128 escalators will need be fitted in the high speed rail project, providing easy access to hundreds of thousands of people who will be using HS2 services every day.

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All the new stations being built in London and Birmingham will be zero carbon in terms of day-to-day operation, and fully accessible, with step-free access from street to train.  

This comes just a week after companies in the UK were given the green light by the government to begin construction works for HS2.

Coronavirus: Transport for London furloughs 7,000 workers

Transport for London (TfL) is to furlough 7,000 staff whose work has been reduced or paused amid “massive financial challenges” caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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TfL’s income has been badly affected during the pandemic, and about 7,000 employees will be put on the government’s furlough scheme.

London’s transport commissioner Mike Brown said fares, which are TfL’s main revenue, had plunged by 90%. Read more on this developing story here.

Pete Waterman urges public to support East Lancashire Railway

Pete Waterman

The president of the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society, Peter Waterman is urgently appealing for the public to donate to the East Lancashire Railway Support Fund.

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The support fund will allow the railway, and its 800 volunteers, to reopen after COVID-19 forced the charity to close its doors. 

A music mogul and famous train enthusiast, Waterman says it has “taken 30 years to build the railway to what it is today” but with no income, no volunteers and just three members of staff not furloughed, it will struggle to open again post-lockdown. Read about the appeal here.

Translink spreading hope with #ChasetheRainbow campaign

Translink campaign

Translink is delivering messages of optimism and unity by giving two trains a makeover in support of the #ChaseTheRainbow movement.

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Northern Ireland’s public transport operator has recently unveiled the massive ‘Trainbows’, transforming NI Railway trains into moving symbols of hope for people as they see them travelling across the network.

Translink announced their support for the campaign by using its vehicles, bus shelters, billboards and social media to display inspiring ‘rainbows of hope’ while also encouraging important safety advice to stay home and save lives during the COVID-19 crisis. Read the full story here.

New Wales training centre for railway signallers opens after four weeks

Newport Signalling centre

An old depot in Newport, south Wales, has transformed into a state-of-the-art training centre in just four weeks to ensure it has enough skilled railway signallers across Wales and the west throughout the coronavirus crisis.

In these unprecedented times, signallers play an essential role in keeping trains moving key workers and transporting vital goods, but require specialist training to allow them to do the job safely and efficiently.

Network Rail recently appealed for retired signallers, or those who have moved to other careers in the railway industry, to volunteer to provide cover at signal boxes and control centres if some current signallers fall ill or need to self-isolate during the COVID-19 outbreak. Read the full story here.

Latest service updates

Latest National Rail service updates

Check all services for reduced timetables.

Gatwick Express – Gatwick Express services suspended until further notice
Grand Central – Grand Central service suspended until further notice
Hull Trains – Hull Trains service temporarily suspended until further notice

Transport For London Status

Our services are for essential journeys only. Our message to everyone else is stay at home, don’t travel, save lives.

The number of people using Tube and rail services has fallen dramatically by around 95% and the number of people using buses by around 85%. This is important to stop the spread of coronavirus.

It is vital that everyone continues not to travel unless your journey is essential and does not return to the transport network.

Our staff are working hard to support the NHS and protect all Londoners. Please help them and continue to follow the instructions not to travel for as long as it takes to defeat coronavirus.

Stay at home. Don’t travel. Save lives.

London Underground Status

There are no planned track closures this weekend, but some stations are temporarily closed.

London Overground Status

From Monday 27 until Thursday 30 April, there will be no service between Surrey Quays and Clapham Junction after 23:00 each night. This is due to Network Rail track work. Use local bus routes 35, 37 or 381.

TfL Rail Status

On Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 April, there will be no service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. This is due to track work, overhead line enhancements and Crossrail station works. Rail replacement buses will run between Stratford and Romford, and between Newbury Park and Shenfield.

Buses and roads

We are running a reduced service on all bus routes. Due to the following works, some buses may be diverted or stop short of their normal destination. Make sure you check before you travel.

Kidbrooke – From Saturday 25 April, bus route 178 will no longer serve Henley Cross. Please use alternative stops M (towards Lewisham) and L (towards Woolwich) on Kidbrooke Park Road. Both stops are approximately 250m away and fully accessible via a step-free ramp. This is due to Kidbrooke Station Square development works.

Shoreditch – Until 30 September 2020, Shoreditch High Street will have a contra-flow reducing the width of the carriageway in both directions between Holywell Lane and New Yards Inn. This is due to Shoreditch Village development works.

London Bridge – Until 31 October 2020, London Bridge is closed to general traffic (except buses, licensed taxis, motorcyclists and cyclists). Diversions are in place and there are changes to the junction either side of the bridge. Please take extra care when driving while all users, including pedestrians, get used to the new layout.

Santander Cycles

The following docking stations will be out of service this weekend:

  • Queen’s Gate, Kensington Gardens
  • London Zoo, The Regent’s Park
  • Albert Gate, Hyde Park
  • Hyde Park Corner, Hyde Park
  • Triangle Car Park, Hyde Park
  • Serpentine Car Park, Hyde Park 
  • Palace Gate, Kensington Gardens
  • Black Lion Gate, Kensington Gardens
  • London Zoo Car Park, The Regent’s Park
  • The Tennis Courts, The Regent’s Park
  • Hoxton Station, Hoxton – due to a power outage
  • Kensington Gore, Kensington – due to a power outage
  • Nesham Street, Wapping – due to a power outage
  • Eaton Square, Belgravia – due to a power outage
  • Paddington Green Police Station, Paddington – due to a power outage
  • Orsett Terrace, Bayswater – for utility works

West Midlands Metro

In response to current demand, from Monday April 27th, we will provide the following service:

From Monday to Saturday, trams will operate every 15 minutes from the start to the end of service.

  • The first trams travelling the full route will leave Wolverhampton St George’s at 05:15 and Library at 05:10
  • The last trams travelling the full route will leave Wolverhampton St George’s at 23:30 and Library at 23:40

On Sundays, trams will continue to operate every 15 minutes from the start to the end of service.

  • The first trams travelling the full route will leave Wolverhampton St George’s at 07:55 and Library at 08:00
  • The last trams travelling the full route will leave Wolverhampton St George’s at 22:55 and Library at 23:00

You can view full timetables using the links below:

Monday to Saturday Temporary Timetable  Sunday Temporary Timetable

Tyne & Wear Metro

Travel only if absolutely essential.

Trains are running to a reduced frequency. A train every 24 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes on an evening. Please leave extra time for your journey.

Manchester Metrolink

Do not travel unless it is absolutely essential – stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

Train, tram and bus services have been reduced, but services are still running for key workers.

NHS staff and social care workers are being offered free Metrolink travel for essential work journeys when they are unable to drive, cycle or walk to work. This will be introduced from Saturday 11 April.

If you have to make an essential journey, check timetables before you travel.

A small number of TfGM school bus services are running to schools which remain open, and are free for the children of key workers to use.

Nottingham Express Transit

The number of people travelling has reduced as people follow government advice and avoid non-essential use of public transport. We recognise however that some people still need to travel and you need certainty from us on what services we can provide. As of Tuesday 24 March 2020, a Sunday timetable will operate throughout the week:

6AM – 7AM: every 15 minutes
7AM – 7PM: every 10 minutes
7PM – 11PM: every 15 minutes


Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are now operating a reduced timetable. Trains will now operate a 30-minute service on all lines between 07:00 -19:00 Monday to Saturday, with a limited additional service from 19:00 to 22:00 on some lines. Trains will operate between 08:00 – 20:00 on Sundays. Please remember our services are for key workers and essential journeys only. Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives.

Blackpool Transport

Tram services are currently suspended until further notice with service 1 and other bus routes alternatives to the tramway.

Sheffield Super Tram

From Wednesday 01 April 2020

Monday – Friday summary of service:
• Yellow Route – up to every 30 mins between 06:00 and 09:00, then an hourly service between 09:00 and 22:00
• Blue Route – up to every 30 mins between 06:00 and 09:00, then an hourly service between 09:00 and 22:00
• Purple Route – hourly service between 06:00 and 22:00
• Tram Train – hourly service between 06:30 and 18:30

Saturday summary of service:
• Yellow Route – hourly service between 06:00 and 22:00
• Blue Route – hourly service between 06:00 and 22:00
• Purple Route – hourly service between 06:00 and 22:00
• Tram Train – hourly service between 06:30 and 18:30

Sunday summary of service:
• Yellow Route – hourly service between 08:00 and 22:00
• Blue Route – hourly service between 08:00 and 22:00
• Purple Route – hourly service between 08:00 and 22:00
• Tram Train – hourly service between 08:30 and 18:30

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.

Glasgow Subway

The Subway is running as normal.

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