Rugby Rail Users Group

The Voice Of Rugby Rail Users


Avanti West Coast changes weekend services (posted 19.07.22)

Weekend travellers will be aware that Avanti West Coast services have recently been subject to cancellations and alterations.  This is due to a shortage of available train crews on Saturday and Sundays.
In an attempt to provide a more reliable service, Avanti are intruducing a temporary timetable on Saturdays and Sundays from 23 July until 11 August.  On these dates Rugby will be served by a revised London - West Midlands service which will run as follows:
  • Euston to Birmingham trains will depart at xx.43 minutes past each hour, calling at Watford Junction, Milton Keynes, Rugby. Coventry and Birmingham International.
  • In the reverse directions trains will leave Birmingham New Street at xx.10 minutes past each hour., calling at the same stations as above.
  • These trains will run beyond Birmingham alternately to and from Blackpool and Edinburght.  This will provide through trains between Rugby and these stations, albeit with an extended journey time due to the diversion via the West Midlands.
For further details see the recently published Avanti West Coast Operational Undate.

Further industrial action announced  for dates in July and August (updated 22.07.22)

The Rail Maritime and Transport trade union (RMT) has announced further rail strikes on 27 July, 18 and 20 August.  ASLEF has announced a strike on Saturday 30 July affecting London Northwestern, but NOT Avanti West Coast services..
On Wednesday 27 July services that will operate on  London Northwestern will be similar to that which operated on the strike dates in June, i.e. as far as Rugby is concerned an hourly Northampton - Rugby - Birmingham service.  There will be no London - Rugby - Crewe service. Avanti West Coast will only serve Rugby with an hourly Euston - Birmingham  New Street service.  This will call at Watford Junction, Milton Keynes Central, Rugby, Coventry and Birmingham International, in both directions.  Northbound trains will leave Euston hourly from 08.43 until 15.43, and southbound will leave Birmingham New Street hourly from 08.50 until 15.50.  For further details see the AWC Stakeholder Bulletin on strike day services.
On Saturday 30 July no London Northwestern services will operate at all.  It is expected Avanti West Coast services will be normal, subject to the service reductions referred to in the above item.
Services that will operate on other strike dates are not yet known.  We will publish these details once they are known.

More Avanti trains at Rugby from December (posted 08.06.22)

The timetable on the West Coast Main Line is being completely revised from the Principal Change Date 2022, which is December 11.
The major changes to the off-peak pattern of service are summarised below:
Avanti West Coast
  • three trains  will run each hour between Euston and Birmingham.  Two of these, at half-hourly intervals, will run non-stop from Euston to Coventry.  The third train will call at Watford Junction, Milton Keynes, Rugby, Coventry and Birmingham International
  • Additional stops will be introduced in the Manchester services.  One of these will be at Rugby, meaning there will be two Avanti trains each hour between Rugby and London
  • An additional train each hour will be progressively introduced between Euston and Liverpool.  These will not stop at Rugby
  • Services between London and North Wales also between London and Scotland will run at existing frequencies with some timetable changes.
London Northwestern
  • The Euston - Rugby - Crewe service will continue at hourly intervals, but in revised timings
  • The Euston - Northampton - Birmingham service will run at regular 30 minute intervals.  Between Rugby and Birmingham International, trains will call at all stations, giving a regular 30 minute service.  South of Northampton, trains will call at all stations to Leighton Buzzard, then Watford Junction and Euston.
  • Between Euston and Northampton there will be some alterations to the stopping pattern of trains
For Rugby passengers, the introduction of an additional fast service between Euston and Ruby is to be welcomed.  This is tempered to some extent as there will be no non-stop trains to London at off-peak times.  Both trains will call at Milton Keynes, and one (the Birmingham train) will also call at Watford Junction.
Services between Rugby and Birmingham will continue at three trains per hour.  Th stopping trains will run at half-hourly intervals calling all stations to Birmingham International, then fast to Birmingham New Street.  Avanti trains will, as now, call at Coventry and Birmingham International.
A new hourly service will be provided to Stoke-on-Trent and Manchester by the additional Rugby stop in Euston - Manchester trains.
Details of peak time services have not yet been released.  A full summary of the changes is available here.

May timetable changes (posted 03.05.22)

Changes to the National Rail Timetable take effect from Sunday 15 May.  As far as Rugby is concerned, timetable changes will be only minor, with a few trains retimed by just a few minutes.
The only changes of note affecting Rugby are to Avanti West Coast services.  These are summarised as follows:
  • The late morning through train to Crewe and Chester is still not reinstated.
  • The 15.59 from Euston to Liverpool is retimed to 16.03 and no longer calls at Milton Keynes.
  • The 18.46 Fridays only train from Euston to Preston is reinstated.
  • The 19.23 from Euston to Wolverhampton is retimed to depart at 19.19.
  • The 07.57 from Rugby to Euston now departs at 07.53.
  • The 08.21 from Rugby to Euston now departs at 08.23.
  • The 14.32 from Rugby to Euston now departs at 14.26.
  • The last train from Wolverhampton to Euston, which calls Rugby at 23.44, starts back from Edinburgh at 18.52, calling at principal stations to Crewe then via Birmingham to Rugby.  This will provide a later through train from Scotland to Rugby, albeit via Birmingham.
More substantial changes to the timetable are planned for December 2022, although there is currently some uncertainty about this date.  We will update you when we know anything further.

May holiday engineering work - no trains to or from London Euston (updated 22.04.22)

From Saturday 30 April until Monday 2 May, both dates inclusive, there will be no trains running south of Milton Keynes on the West Coast Main Line.  This is because of HS2 work at Euston and trackwork in the Watford area.  Train services will be altered as follows:
Avanti West Coast
No trains will run south of Milton Keynes Central.  A limited service will operate north from there to Manchester, Wolverhampton and Glasgow.  Liverpool services will operate to and from Rugby.  For passengers from Rugby to London, a rail replacement coach service will operate to and from Kettering for connections with East Midlands Railway services to and from London St Pancras.
London Northwestern
No services will operate south of Milton Keynes Central throughout the period.  A shuttle service will operate between Northampton and Birmingham.
Throughout the bank holiday, the Trent Valley line service will operate between Milton Keynes Central and Crewe only.
For a full summary of train services and road replacement services, see the National Rail website.  Timings of individual trains and replacement road services will be shown on the National Rail Journey Planner.

Avanti West Coast further timetable revisions from 28 February (posted 01.03.22)

Avanti West Coast have further revised their Monday to Friday timetable from Monday 28 February.  Despite claims of increased services, Rugby has a similar level of service as previously.  The timings of most Avanti West Coast trains serving Rugby have changed. Revised summary timetables for trains between Rugby and Birmingham, and between Rugby and London are available here.

Staff absences causing disruption to train services (updated 09.04.22)

Train services through Rugby are currently being disrupted  because train staff are self isolating due to Covid..
If you are intending to travel by train please check with the train company website 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.

The Leamington - Coventry - Nuneaton train services has now been restored, although it is likely that some services will be cancelled due to ongoing staff shortages.

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.