UK railway news roundup


This week sees a big step forward for HS2 as planning permission for what will be the UK’s largest ever newly built railway station gets the go-ahead. Plus fly-tipping is becoming a growing problem in Scotland.

HS2: ‘Largest new railway station ever’ plans approved

HS2 Old Oak Common

The HS2 west-London super hub, Old Oak Common, has had its planning application approved by the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation.

Work can now progress on building what is set to be the largest new railway station ever built in the UK. The station will feature 14 platforms, six of which will be for high speed services. It will also have an 850m long station box, with a volume to fit 6,300 Routemaster buses.

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The artist impressions indicate the station will feature many modern design elements, such as interlocking curved roof forms, designed to support the open environment with natural ventilation in a bid to reduce long-term energy consumption. Read the full story here.

Crowd control measures introduced at railway stations

Man on phone at railway station

New measures have been introduced on trains and railway stations amid fears of crowds forming as more people return to work in England.

Rail operators are running more frequent services this week, after operating reduced services due to the COVID-19 since March.

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Network Rail said it will introduce 3,000 more trains per day, but capacity will be constrained to 10 to 13% of normal levels. The increase will put them at similar levels to a Saturday timetable, but it is still some way off the usual weekday when 24,000 trains run. Read the full story.

Appeal after rise in fly-tipping across Scotland’s Railway

Appeal after rise in fly-tipping across Scotland’s Railway

Network Rail is urging illegal dumpers to clean up their act after an increase in fly-tipping on Scotland’s Railway.

With recycling centres closed during the COVID-19 lockdown, more rubbish is now being illegally abandoned on the rail network.

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Over 30 incidents have been reported across Scotland’s Railway since March, with tonnes of waste being left on railway embankments or blocking access roads and gates. Read the full story here.

Nene Valley Railway to re-open Overton refreshment kiosk

The grounds of the Nene Valley Railway's Overton station are smartly maintained, as seen here on September 8, 2019. GARETH EVANS
The grounds of the Nene Valley Railway’s Overton station are smartly maintained, as seen here on September 8, 2019. GARETH EVANS

The Nene Valley Railway (NVR) has announced it is to re-open its refreshment kiosk at Overton station this coming weekend – Saturday and Sunday May 23/24.

The intermediate station, which is located between Peterborough and Wansford, serves the popular Ferry Meadows country park. Trains services on the line remain suspended. Read the full story here.

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Video: Stamford model railway show goes ‘virtual’

Beal Street OO gauge model layout
Beal Street OO gauge model layout

The Market Deeping Model Railway Club (MDMRC), which organises the Stamford model railway show, has gone ‘virtual’ this year with an online exhibition.

MDMRC’s annual exhibition generated international headlines for the wrong reasons last year when four teenagers who had been drinking vodka in the build-up to their GCSE examinations broke into the venue, the sports hall at the Welland Academy in Stamford, Lincolnshire, and began playing football, smashing irreplaceable layouts and causing destruction estimated at £80,000 before they were arrested. Read the full story here.

Latest service updates

Latest National Rail service updates

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

In line with Government advice, everyone who can work from home should continue to do so. Please continue to avoid public transport, where possible, to free up the limited space available to those who have no alternative way to travel.

If you must travel, consider including walking or cycling as part of your journey, or getting off a stop or two early to reduce the numbers of people travelling on Tubes and buses.

To ensure safer journeys for everyone, we continue to take measures across our network to enable social distancing of 2 metres, where possible. When using our services please wear a face covering and respect the space of fellow passengers to help maintain a 2 metre distance. 

Do not travel if you have any symptoms of the virus.

We thank you again for all your help as we work together to keep everyone safe.

London Underground Status

Due to the national requirement of maintaining 2 metre social distancing, passengers travelling at peak times (between 05:45 and 08:15 and between 16:00 and 17:30 on weekdays) might be expected to queue to enter stations and experience delays to their journeys. Find out if your Tube and rail stations are among the busiest. If possible try to avoid these stations during this time. 

Most of our stations have shifted to only accepting contactless or Oyster to pay for travel. Find out which stations are still accepting cash.

Waterloo & City line services will remain closed until further notice.

Victoria Line – From Saturday 23 May to Monday 25 May there will be no service between Brixton and Walthamstow Central. This is due to track replacement work. Rail replacement bus VL1 will run between Walthamstow Central, Blackhorse Road, Tottenham Hale, Seven Sisters and Finsbury Park. Additionally an enhanced service will run on local bus route 2 for all stations between Brixton and Victoria.

Circle Line – On Saturday 23 May and Sunday 24 May there will be no Circle line service, with a reduced service running on Monday 25 May. Use alternative London Underground or local bus services. If you can travel another way, consider walking or cycling. Plan your journey ahead of time.

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

London Overground

Due to Crossrail work, from Saturday 23 May to Monday 25 May there will be no service between:

  • Highbury & Islington and New Cross Gate. Use alternative London Overground trains or local buses between Highbury & Islington and Dalston Kingsland. Rail replacement bus service X will run between Dalston Kingsland and New Cross Gate. For Rotherhithe, use local bus services C10 or 381. For Shadwell and Wapping, use local bus route D3
  • New Cross Gate and West Croydon/Crystal Palace. Use Southern Railway services

Surrey Quays and Clapham Junction. Rail replacement bus service M will run between Canada Water and Clapham Junction

Emirates Air Line

From Tuesday 26 May, passengers using the Emirates Air Line service before 09:30 Monday to Friday will not be charged. Please note, passengers will not need to tap in and out at the EAL gate-line, but will need to do so as normal for other parts of their journey to ensure the correct fee is charged (ie. any interchanges at Royal Victoria or North Greenwich). Due to social distancing measures only 1 passenger is allowed per cabin, unless from the same household.

Tfl Rail

Due to engineering work on Sunday 24 May, there will be no service between Paddington and Reading/Heathrow Terminal 5 until 07:30. A reduced service will continue to run for the rest of the day, while trains will not be stopping at Acton Main Line, West Ealing or Hanwell.

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

Buses and roads

From Saturday 23 May, we ask all customers using buses that only have a front set of doors to start touching in again when they board. Please follow the signs on the bus. These routes include: 124, 138, 146, 162, 192, 233, 273, 315, 318, 322, 336, 352, 354, 356, 367, 377, 379, 383, 385, 394, 404, 424, 434, 462, 463, 464, 481, 631, B13, B14, E5, E10, E11, G1, H2, H3, H20, H26, K1, K4, K5, R1, R3, R4, R5, R6, R7, R8, R10, S3, S4, U9, W4, W5 and W12.

Additionally, all passengers using the following New Routemaster bus services, should continue to board via the middle doors and touch in at the middle doors: 3, 9, 11, 12, 15, 19, 21, 24, 27, 38, 59, 67, 68, 73, 76, 87, 137, 148, 149, 159, 211, 253, 254, 415, 453, EL1, EL2 and EL3. Single-decker routes 507 and 521 will also return to taking contactless and Oyster payments but will continue to use middle door boarding.

Due to the following works, some buses may be diverted or stop short of their normal destination. Make sure you check before you travel.

On Monday 18 May 2020, the central London Congestion Charging and Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), as well as the London-wide Low Emission Zone was reinstated. The London-wide Low Emission Zone discourages the use of older polluting vehicles such as lorries and vans within the zones.

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. 

Drivers using Blackfriars Bridge or Tower Bridge should expect queues while crossing the river. Travel outside of peak times and use alternative river crossings including Vauxhall, Westminster and Lambeth bridges where possible for an easier journey. This is for essential maintenance works being carried out by the City of London Corporation.

Santander Cycles

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

  • Hoxton Station, Hoxton
  • Kensington Gore, Westminster
  • Nesham Street, Wapping
  • Eaton Square, Belgravia
  • Derry Street, Kensington

West Midlands Metro

From Friday 15th May, the following timetable will operate Monday to Saturday:

The key changes to our timetable are as follows:

  • The frequency of service Monday to Saturday will be:
    • Start of service until 06:30 – Trams every 15 minutes
    • Between 06:30 and 20:00 – Trams every 12 minutes
    • From 20:00 until the end of service – Trams every 15 minutes
  • The first trams travelling the full route will leave Wolverhampton St George’s at 05:15 and Library at 05:07.
  • The last trams travelling the full route will leave Wolverhampton St George’s at 23:27 and Library at 23:34.
  • There will be no change to our Sunday temporary timetable

Tyne & Wear Metro

Travel only if you are a key worker, cannot work from home or have an essential journey. When on public transport follow government advice, wear a face covering and stay 2 metres (6.6ft) apart where possible

Trains are running to the normal weekday service until about 8.00pm when the frequency reduces to a train every 30 minutes, 15 minutes through Newcastle city centre. On Saturdays a 12 minute service will run through the city centre between 10.00am and 6.00pm, and every 24 minutes outside of the city centre. On Saturday evening and all-day Sunday there will be a 30 minute service.

Manchester Metrolink

Stay at home as much as possible.

Only travel if necessary – work from home and stay local if you can.

Protect public transport for those with no alternative – do not use it unless you have to.

If you need to travel, walk, cycle or drive if you can.

If you have to use public transport wear a face covering, keep your distance from other passengers, clean your hands frequently and use contactless payment. If possible, carry a hand sanitiser with you.

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


From Monday 18 May, Merseyrail will be increasing services on the network, including reinstating some services before 07:00 and after 19:00, Monday – Saturday. Services will continue to run between approximately 08:00 – 20:00 on Sundays.

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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