UK railway news roundup


As more people start to return to work, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that face coverings will be made compulsory on public transport from June 15. But is that enough to protect commuters from the spread of coronavirus?

Get your latest service updates.

Face coverings to be compulsory on public transport from June 15


From 15 June, face coverings on public transport in England will be compulsory to help prevent the spread of coronavirus as more people go back to work, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

Article continues below…

Enjoy more Rail Express Magazine reading every month.
Click here to subscribe & save.

Mr Shapps said the government will require people to wear face coverings on buses, trains, tubes and other modes of public transport from 15 June, as non-essential shops start to reopen and more people return to offices.

Commuters can be refused travel and face being fined if they do not wear a face mask on public transport. Read the full story here.

Police close case of rail worker Belly Mujinga’s COVID-19 death

Belly Mujinga
Belly Mujinga, 47 and mother to an 11-year-old daughter, tested positive for coronavirus days after the incident.

British Transport Police says no further action will be taken in relation to the death of Belly Mujinga, who contracted COVID-19 after being spat at while on duty at London Victoria station.

Article continues below…

Belly Mujinga, 47 and mother to an 11-year-old daughter, tested positive for coronavirus days after an incident reported that she had been spat and coughed at by a man who claimed he had the virus. 

She died on 5 April.

Read British Transport Police’s full statement here.

Article continues below…

Tube stations begin phased return

Photo: PA Wire

More London Underground stations will begin reopening from Monday (June 8) as lockdown restrictions are gradually lifted.

When lockdown measures were introduced in March, many Underground stations were closed with only key stations remaining open. 

TfL announced on May 18, following discussions with the Government before the announcement of the lockdown restrictions being lifted, an increase in public transport service levels to make journeys as safe as possible for people who have no alternative other than to use public transport as national restrictions on movement are cautiously and progressively lifted. Read the full story here.

Article continues below…

COMPETITION! Chance to win a year-long subscription to Heritage Railway magazine!

Heritage Railway competition

We’ve teamed up with Heritage Railway magazine to offer you the chance to win a 13 issue subscription – worth £45! You could have a copy of Heritage Railway landing on your doorstep every four weeks! Click here, fill your details in the form and await your prize!

ATTENTION! This Father’s Day, get an extra £5 off when you buy your father something he’ll really appreciate. Take out a gift subscription for any of the following titles and we’ll give you an extra £5 off… making it even cheaper for you to spoil him this Father’s Day. Click here to see some fantastic offers on subscriptions!

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. As part of our Streetspace programme, we have been introducing local improvements in partnership with boroughs to widen footpaths and provide more cycle lanes.

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

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.

Central Line – On Saturday 6 June and Sunday 7 June, due to engineering work there will be no service between Leytonstone and Epping (via Loughton) and no service between Woodford and Hainault (via Chigwell). Trains will run between central London and Hainault (via Wanstead) and the following rail replacement buses will run. Use replacement bus service CL5 for Wanstead to Loughton, CL6 for Hainault to Woodford, CL7 for Loughton to Theydon Bois and CL8 for Loughton to Epping.

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

No Night Tube until further notice.

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

London Overground

Network Rail is carrying out works which will affect the following London Overground services.

On Sunday 7 June there will be no service between:

  • Willesden Junction and Clapham Junction. Use local bus routes
  • Surrey Quays and Clapham Junction. Use rail replacement bus service M to travel between Canada Water and Clapham Junction
  • The last train from Surrey Quays to Dalston Junction at 23:41 will not run 

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, including a map of closures and information about rail replacement buses.

Emirates Air Line

Since Monday 1 June, the Emirates Air Line service opens from 06:00. Passengers using the service before 09:30 Monday to Friday will not be charged (introduced Tuesday 26 May). Please note, passengers do not need to touch in and out at the EAL gate-line, but 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 one passenger is allowed per cabin, unless from the same household.

Buses and roads

London’s buses are returning to front-door boarding, with customers required to touch in with Oyster, contactless and concessionary cards on certain routes. We hope to have all London buses equipped with the necessary safety measures and ready for front-door boarding by the end of June.

While we put these safety measures in place our buses will have varying boarding procedures depending on the route. If your bus only has a front set of doors, please continue to board and touch in via the front doors. Buses with middle doors will vary depending on the route. Please check before your journey and make sure you’re aware of any new boarding procedures on your route. Once on board please follow the signs.

To further ensure the safety of our customers and bus drivers, we will be introducing new limits to the number of passengers allowed on board at any one time. This will make it easier for customers to observe the national requirement of maintaining a 2 metre distance between them and people outside of their own household.

Due to the following works, some buses may be diverted or stop short of their normal destination.

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.

Greenwich and Bexley – Until Saturday 26 June there will be various closures of the A102 and A2 each week night from 22:00 – 05:00. No works will take place at weekends and the Blackwall Tunnel will remain open. These are TfL works for essential maintenance . Please leave more time for your journey.

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
  • Princes Square, Bayswater

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

A full weekday timetable is in operation to maximise room for social distancing between St James and South Shields and Airport and Pelaw until about 8.00pm when the frequency reduces to a train every 30 minutes, 15 minutes through Newcastle city centre.

We are operating at a 24 minute frequency between Pelaw and South Hylton for the next few weeks while Network Rail repair overhead lines.

If you need to travel on Metro please follow government guidelines, wear a face covering and stay 6ft apart where possible

For more timetable information visit

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.

Manchester Airport – Due to a tram fault we are currently experiencing minor delays on the Manchester Airport line. Services travelling towards Manchester city centre between Robinswood Road and Victoria are affected. We are now operating a 12-minute frequency Monday to Saturday and a 20-minute frequency on Sundays across all lines.

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.

Subscribe to Rail Express Magazine
Enjoy more Rail Express reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.

Article Tags:

About the Author