Rugby Rail Users Group

The Voice Of Rugby Rail Users

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You can join us by completing our new simpler Membership application form Please use this link for the membership form.

You can pay by Internet banking(BACS) or by cheque. Please send the completed form to the Membership Secretary (details on the form), enclosing your cheque if paying by this method.
Travel Information

The travel information section contains items which will be useful to Rugby rail users, such as station facilities, seat reservations, car parking, bus services and fares and ticketing.  Some of these items may have originally been published as news items.

The Travel information' section is accessible here.  
Newsletters

RRUG no longer publishes newsletters.  You can find the archived Newsletters on the Newsletter page of this website.

RRUG is also a member of RailFuture.  A link to their latest newsletter is on the same page.
Transport Focus Newsletter for Rail User Groups
The May 2015 Passenger Voice Newsletter for Rail User Groups issued by the Passenger Focus watchdog is available here.  Since then, Passenger Focus has become Transport Focus.

News items

December timetable changes start on 11 December (updated 01.12.16)

The new National Rail Timetable starts on Sunday December 11.  The principal changes affect London Midland services, arising from an agreement associated with the extension of the London Midland franchise.  The following service improvements will apply to London Midland services from the timetable change on December 11.
Trent Valley line evening services.  Two additional evening services on the Trent Valley line will run at 19.46 and 20.46 from London Euston.  These will run fast from Euston to Rugby calling only at Milton Keynes, and then serve the normal Trent Valley line stations.
Earlier Sunday train to Birmingham. On Sunday mornings there will be an earlier first train  from Rugby to Birmingham at 08.52.  This will call at Coventry, Tile Hill, Birmingham International and Marston Green.  This train will be the existing 09.42 Birmingham to Liverpool starting back from Rugby, and will provide a welcome alternative to the often overcrowded existing first train at 09.48.
Other timetable changes.  There are no other major changes to either London Midland or Virgin Trains services. The additional Virgin Train services between Rugby and the North West which were introduced in May will continue to run.  There are, however, some minor retimings of a few minutes to some trains, in particular arrivals at Rugby of trains from Birmingham.
The Current Rugby Timetable page contains a summary of peak time trains to Birmingham and London, plus a summary of all through trains between Rugby and the North West.  The National Rail Journey Planner contains the full timetables which will operate from the December 11 timetable change.  Just plan a journey with a date after December 11 to see if you will be affected by the changes.

New West Coast franchisee to be responsible for initial services on HS2 (posted 04.11.16)

The Department for Transport has announced that the successful bidder for the new West Coast franchise will also have the responsibility for providing the initial services on the new High Speed 2 (HS2) line from 2026.  The new franchise will be known as the West Coast Partnership and will start on 1 April 2019.  It will include "three to five years of the operation of HS2", meaning that the length of the new franchise could be for up to 12 years.  This means that the existing franchise, currently run by Virgin Trains, will now have to be extended to 31 March 2019.
We understand that the purpose of this arrangement is to avoid competition between HS2 and the West Coast Main Line, at least for stage 1 of the HS2 project.  Further details are available in the DfT announcement and the written statement from Paul Maynard, the Rail Minister.

National Rail Conditions of Travel revised (posted 27.10.16)

A revised version of the National Rail Conditions of Travel, formerly known as the National Rail Conditions of Carriage, came into effect on 1 October.  The new version has been completely rewritten using less jargon and is, in the main, easier to understand than before.
There are three changes of note.  Firstly, it now makes it clear that anyone travelling with a standard class ticket who wishes to travel first class must upgrade their ticket before starting their journey.  It also makes it clear that if standard class accommodation is full, you are not entitled to travel in first class without prior permission from the on-train staff.  Where a penalty fare system is in operation, this also means that you would be charged a penalty fare for doing so.
Secondly, the rules about split ticketing have been relaxed in respect of  travelcards, ranger and rover tickets.  Passengers holding such tickets who wish to extend their journey beyond the boundary stations of such tickets no longer need to travel on a train which calls at that boundary station, provided they have bought a ticket from that boundary station to their ultimate destination.  This brings the rule into line with season tickets, where it has always been the case that you do not need to travel on a train which calls at the boundary station in these circumstances.
Thirdly, two children under 5 years of age accompanying a fare-paying adult used to travel free.  This restriction has now been lifted, so a parent travelling with more that two children under 5 will not have to pay for any of them.
The new edition of the National Rail Conditions of travel is available here.

Renewal of West Midlands rail franchise - invitation to tender issued by DfT (posted 30.08.16)

The Department for Transport (DfT) has issued the invitation to tender for the new West Midlands franchise, covering train services currently provided by London Midland.  This affects train services between Rugby and London (but not those provided by Virgin trains), as well as stopping trains to Birmingham, Northampton and Crewe.
The Invitation to Tender document sets out the minimum requirements.  Potential bidders have the option to increase this.  The principal change in the specification appears to be that the Trent Valley stopping service will now run direct between Stafford and Crewe, and a new service will run from Birmingham and Wolverhampton to Crewe via Stoke as a replacement.  This would give faster services between Rugby and Crewe, albeit with stopping trains, which has been something for which RRUG has been campaigning for some time.
Other promised benefits include:
  • free Wi-Fi on all main line services by the end of 2019
  • new ticket options for part time travellers which provide better value options for customers who travel fewer than 5 days a week
  • new direct peak time services between Walsall and London
  • longer peak time trains into Birmingham and London to give space for an extra 20,000 commuters.
The two potential operators are GoVia (the existing operator trading as London Midland) and Abellio.  These have until 29 November to submit their bids for consideration.  It is intended the new franchise will start in October 2017.
For further details see the Invitation to tender document.

Increase in car parking charges (updated 25.08.16)

Virgin Trains have announced substantial increases in car parking charges at Rugby station, which will take place on 5th September.
Details of the increases are available here.
RRUG has issued a press release, which can be seen on the Press Releases page.  Mark Pawsey, our MP, has also taken the matter up directly with Virgin Trains - see the Rugby Observer news item.

RRUG responds to West Coast franchise consultation (posted 02.08.16)

Rugby Rail Users Group has commented in some detail on the franchise consultation document for the new West Coast Main Line franchise.  RRUG members who have logged in to this site can see the full response on  the Correspondence page of this website.

Former Underground train to increase capacity on Coventry - Nuneaton line (posted 22.07.16)

A prototype diesel train, which has been converted from former London Underground 'D' stock, is to be trialled on the Coventry - Nuneaton line later this year for a 12 month period.  The new train will be formed of three coaches and therefore increase capacity from the single car diesel train which operates at present.
It is also possible that this train will provide sufficient capacity to enable Coventry Arena station to remain open on match days, rather than close due to anticipated crowding problems as it does at present.
For further details see the Coventry Telegraph news item and the Railway Gazette article.

New through trains to the North West now in operation (updated 16.05.16)

The two new daytime trains linking Rugby with the North West direct via the Trent Valley line started on Monday 16 May. These trains, which run on Mondays to Saturdays, are as follows:
  • 13.04 to Crewe and Chester.  A good connection is available at Crewe for stations to Preston, Carlisle and Glasgow Central, arriving 17.17.
  • 10.40 from Glasgow Central, calling at Carlisle, stations to Preston and Warrington, then direct to Rugby arriving 14.23.
Rugby Rail Users Group has been pushing hard for such trains for a number of years.  We encourage you to use them to help show there is demand for them, and strengthen the case for more such services in future.

For a summary of all through trains between Rugby and the North West click here.