Revised requirements for face coverings (posted 26.07.21)Government guidance on wearing face coverings has changed, and it is no longer a legal requirement to wear them on public transport in England. However, it is recommended they are still worn in crowded places on trains and stations, and train companies can impose their own restrictions. It is still a legal requirement to wear face coverings on public transport in Scotland and Wales, and Transport for London have made it a Condition of Carriage that they are worn on all TfL services (this includes Docklands Light Railway, London Overground and TfL Rail as well as the Underground.) As far as train services from Rugby are concerned, Avanti West Coast and London Northwestern have issued the following:
Avanti West CoastIn line with government guidance, you are no longer required by law to wear a face covering. However please respect others and, unless exempt, wear a face covering in crowded spaces throughout your journey.
London NorthwesternIn line with government guidance, from Monday 19 July you will no longer be required by law to wear a face covering. However, London Northwestern Railway are asking passengers to keep wearing face coverings, unless exempt, as Covid restrictions are eased. Please note that the requirements are different, in that Avanti West Coast are saying face coverings should be worn if trains or stations are crowded, while London Northwestern are asking that passengers still wear them whatever the conditions are. Other train companies are also issuing their own guidance, and you are advised to check the requirements on the appropriate train company's website before travelling.
Covid alerts bring further service reductions (updated 25.07.21)An increase in the number of train crew having to self-isolate following a Covid alert has resulted in fewer staff available to run the train service. A further reduced timetable will therefore be introduced from Monday 26 July for both Avanti West Coast and London North Western. Avanti West Coast Train services will generally revert to the previous lockdown frequencies of hourly on all routes, with a minimal service to Chester and North Wales. As a result, off-peak train services through Rugby will still run approximately hourly but at different times. Off-peak trains to London will depart at xx.43 and call at Milton Keynes and Watford Junction. Off-peak trains will return from Euston at xx.35 (or thereabouts) but there will be no train at 12.35. Off -peak trains to Birmingham will depart Rugby at xx.32, but with no train at 13.32. Trains from Birmingham to Rugby will depart at xx.10. Most trains to and from Birmingham will continue to Wolverhampton, Crewe and Preston, then alternately to Edinburgh or Blackpool. There will also be alterations to peak time trains, when the stopping patterns may be altered. The new timetables for 26 - 30 July are now available on the Avanti West Coast website. We understand this will be updated weekly, so you are strongly advised to check this before travelling. London North Western Most changes to London Northwestern train services will affect stations south of Northampton, and on the Bedford and St Albans branches. The existing two trains per hour service through Rugby is expected to continue, but with the ever-changing situation you are also advised to check the London Northwestern website for the latest information. At present it is not known how long these further alterations will continue, but it is expected to be fat least until Monday 30 August.
New GB rail timetable (posted 03.07.21)Following the devise of the Great Britain National Rail Timetable, which until recently appeared in printed form published by Middleton Press, a pilot version of a new comprehensive National Rail Timetable is now available in digital form. This timetable has been produced by Fabrik Communications. It is clearer to understand and more accurate than the rather poor electronic National Rail Timetable produced by Network Rail and available on the National Rail website. A link to this new timetable is available here. This link provides access to the station index and individual timetables..
Railways shake up - Williams Review finally published (updated 21.05.21)The long awaited review into the structure of the railways by Keith Williams has finally been published. It has been retitled "The Williams Shapps Review" to reflect the government input by the Department for Transport and the Treasury.. Some highlights are as follows:
- A new public sector body "Great British Railways" will be responsible for overseeing the network and setting timetables and fares. The functions of Network Rail will be subsumed into this new body.
- The franchising system will be abolished and replaced by Passenger Service Contracts. These will be set by Great British Railways who will specify the timetables and fares. This will work in a similar way similar to London Overground and Docklands Light Railway, where a private operator provides services to the specification of Transport for London.
- Most passenger services will be marketed under the Great British Railways name, for which new branding will be devised. It is expected names like Avanti West Coast and London Northwestern will disappear, although these companies will, initially at least, continue to operate the train services under Passenger Service Contracts.
- Fares will be set and collected by Great British Railways. The use of digital technology will increase with many tickets being available online, either on your mobile phone or to print at home. Flexible season tickets, allowing 8 journeys within 28 days, will be introduced.
- There will be further electrification where this is perceived as the most viable option, with battery or hydrogen powered trains introduced elsewhere, to meet carbon reductions targets
- Rail travel will be integrated further with other forms of transport to make multi-modal journeys easier.
- To reflect the expected increase in leisure travel over commuting, train interiors will be updated where possible to better suit this traffic. Mention is made of getting rid of the "ironing board" seats!
Revised train times for Rugby in May timetable change (posted 06.05.21)A new special Covid timetable will be introduced for both Avanti West Coast and London Northwestern train services from 17 May. While there are only minor changes for London Northwestern, Avanti West Coast services at Rugby will be altered to more closely resemble the normal (pre-Covid) service. Changes to train times for Rugby are summarised below.
Birmingham trainsTrain from Rugby to Birmingham at off-peak times will leave at xx.00 (LN), xx36 (LN) and xx.51 (AV). Trains from Birmingham to Rugby at off-peak times will leave at xx.14 (LN), xx.50 (AV) and xx.53 (LN). Stopping patterns will generally remain the same. Some minor alterations will also be made at other times.
London trainsFast trains from Rugby to London will leave at xx.22 (AV) and xx.53 (LN). Journey times on Avanti West Coast services to London will be increased by several minutes. We assume this is in connection with work for East West Rail at Bletchley and HS2 at Euston. Fast trains from London to Rugby will leave at xx.46 (LN) and xx.59 (AV). In the evening peak, the 17.33 from Euston will now run only on Fridays, meaning there will be a gap in Avanti trains from London to Rugby from 17.00 to 18.03 on other days. Journey times on Avanti West Coast services will be increased by a few minutes, mainly to allow for a stop at Watford Junction.
Through trains to the North WestThe same services as at present will apply with a few minor timing changes, and the following additional trains:
- 11.25 from Rugby to Crewe and Chester
- 20.42 arrival from Blackpool, which runs via Birmingham.