Rugby Rail Users Group

The Voice Of Rugby Rail Users


Avanti West Coast further reduced timetable from Monday 17 January (posted 13.01.22)

Because of an increased number of staff absences due to Covid, Avanti West Coast are further reducing their services on Mondays to Fridays from Monday 17 January until Friday 25 February.  During this time, only four trains per hour will operate to and from London Euston for most of the day.  Services on Saturdays and Sundays will not be altered.  The announcement from Avanti est Coast is available here.
A summary of trains between Rugby and Birmingham and Rugby and London is shown here.
If you are travelling during this period, it is possible there may be some further alterations, particularly on London Northwestern.  Please check with the National Rail Journey Planner before starting your journey.

Staff absences causing disruption to train services (posted 7.01.22)

Train services through Rugby are currently being disrupted  becase trainstaff are self isolating due to Covid..
If you are intending to travel by train please check with the train company webssite to see if your train has been cancelled.  Click this link to check  on Avanti West coast service disruptions  and click this iink to check on London Northwester  service disruption details. Service disruption is likely to continue until the staffing situation with train crews is resolved.

Due to this situation there will be no train service on the Leamington - Coventry - Nuneaton line until further notice, with  a replacement bus service in operation.

Engineering work in Kilsby tunnel (posted 16.12.21)

From 3rd to 12th January, the direct railway line between Rugby and Hanslope Junction (near MIlton Keynes) will be closed.  This is to facilitate drainage work in Kilsby tunnel in an attempt to reduce incidents of flooding. All trains will be diverted via Northampton as a result.
Avanti West Coast services will generally run to existing times north of Rugby.  South of Rugby trains will be diverted via Northampton, adding about 20 minutes to the journey time to Euston.  This will mean southbound trains will arrive at Euston later, and northbound trains will depart Euston earlier.
London Northwestern services will run to a revised timetable.  The Euston - Rugby - Crewe service will only run between Rugby and Crewe, meaning there will be one less fast train each hour between Rugby and Euston in both directions.
If you are travelling by train from Rugby between 3rd and 12th January, please check your journey times with the National Rail Journey Planner.

December timetable changes (posted 20.11.21)

The National Rail Timetable changed on Sunday 13 December, on what is known as "the principal change date".  This is when the majority of timetable alterations normally occur.  The changes which will affect Rugby are summarised below.
Avanti West Coast
The principal change is that a third train will run each hour between Euston and Manchester.  This will have knock on effects on some peak time Rugby services, particularly in the evening.  Also the 17.33 Euston - Liverpool, which currently runs on Fridays only, will run Mondays to Fridays.  The Avanti service from Rugby to Birmingham will remain at xx.51 and from Birmingham to Rugby at xx.50. Additional direct trains to the North West will depart Rugby at 09.46 to Lancaster and 11.25 to Blackpool North.  In the reverse direction, the additional trains will arrive Rugby at 15.02 from Lancaster and 17.05 from Blackpool North.
London Northwestern
Services on the London - Northampton - Birmingham route will be altered, resulting in trains from Rugby to Birmingham departing at xx.00 and xx.20 minutes past each hour, and from Birmingham to Rugby at xx.14 and xx.33 minutes past each hour.  All trains, except for some peak hour workings, will call at all stations to Marston Green, then fast to Birmingham New Street.  This will apply in both directions. The stopping service to Crewe via the Trent Valley line will largely remain unaltered.
Summary of services
The basic off-peak service from Rugby to Birmingham will be at xx.00 LN, xx.20 LN, xx.51 AV.  From Birmingham to Rugby trains will depart at xx.14,LN, xx.33 LN and xx.50 AV.  Please note that because of Avanti changes to their evening service, there will be no trains from Birmingham to Rugby between 17.33 and 18.14 and between 18.33 and 19.13.
Off-peak services from Rugby to Euston will remain at xx.23 AV and xx.53 LN.  From Euston to Rugby trains will depart at xx.46 LN and xx.59 AV.
AV - Avanti West Coast, LN - London Northwestern.
A summary of peak time trains from Rugby to Birmingham, from Rugby to London and also of all through trains between Rugby and the North West is available on the Current Rugby Timetable page of the website.

Avanti West Coast changes its timetable again (posted 14.08.21)

Avanti West Coast say the staffing situation with train crews has improved to the extent they can now restore two trains in each hour from Euston to both Birmingham and Manchester.  As a result, from Monday 16 August, Avanti trains calling at Rugby will revert to the Covid 19 special service that was operating prior to 26 July .  Trains towards Birmingham will generally depart at xx.51 minutes past each hour except at peak times, and to London Euston at xx.22 or thereabouts, again with variations at peak times.  The summary timetables shown on the Current Rugby timetable page of this website will therefore once more apply.
Please note however that the 18.34 from Euston to Manchester will now run non-stop to Rugby arriving at 19.23. It will no longer call at Watford Junction or Milton Keynes Central.
It is now expected trains will continue to operate in similar times until the Principal Timetable Change date on 12 December2021.

Improved bus links to Rugby station (posted 10.08.21)

Stagecoach Midlands are changing some of their bus services in Rugby from Saturday 14 August in order to provide a bus service to Houiton. Changes to bus routes serving the railway station are as follows:
  • Routes 1 & 2.  These routes, running from Central Park to the Town Centre, will be extended along the Hillmorton Road and then via the Hillmorton and Lower Hillmorton loop.
  • Route 86.  This route, running from Coventry to Rugby town centre, will be extended  via the Rail Station and Houlton to DIRFT.
  • Route 96, running from Rugby town centre to Northampton, will be diverted to run via the Rail station and Houlton to DIRFT.
As a result of these changes, there will be two extra buses each hour between the Rail station and Town Centre (routes 86 & 96) as well as new direct links to Hillmorton / Lower Hillmorton (routes 1 & 2), New Bilton / Long Lawford (route 86) and Houlton (routes 86 & 96).
Timetables for these routes, and all other buses in Rugby, are available from the Warwickshire public transport website.

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!
The Williams Shapps Review has been published as a government White Paper, meaning it will form the basis of the necessary legislation to enable the proposed changes.  You can read the full Williams Shapps Report here.

RRUG supports plan to restore rail link to Leicester (posted 16.03.21)

RRUG is supporting plans to restore a direct rail link between Rugby and Leicester.   The scheme is being proposed by Sustainable Transport Northamptonshire, and would see the proposed line taking the former route over the Avon Valley viaduct at Rugby, before turning onto a new formation towards Lutterworth.  Here it would run along the former Great Central route through Lutterworth, before joining the Nuneaton to Leicester line near Narborough.  A station would be provided at Lutterworth, and a possible branch line could be constructed to serve Magna Park for freight traffic.  The new link would be of benefit to Rugby as existing public transport links to Leicester are very poor, with the X84 bus service taking almost two hours.  The new rail link proposal claims the journey time would be just 28 minutes.
Trains could start from Northampton and run to Rugby before turning onto the new line, and may also be extended from Leicester to Nottingham.   These trains would serve the new station at Rugby Gateway if this separate scheme is progressed.
The scheme is one of several submitted under the government's "Restoring Your Railway" initiative, which aims to restore some of the lines closed by the Beeching Report in the 1960s. The application has been made for consideration under the the third round of proposals, and if successful would provide a grant to develop the business case.  The full list of proposals for all three stages is available here.
For further details see the Sustainable Transport Northants website.   The Rugby Observer news item shows a local newspaper's take on this..