Rugby Rail Users Group

The Voice Of Rugby Rail Users


Stagecoach in legal action over pensions row (posted 09.05.19)

Stagecoach, which owns a part share in Virgin Trains West Coast, is taking legal action against the Department of Transport (DfT).  This is to challenge the DfT's decision that Train Operaing Companies should bear the financial responsibility for the railway pension fund.
While this action is principally about the DfT disqualifying Stagecoach from bidding for the East Midlands franchise, if its legal challenge is successful this could also affect the DfT's decision to disqualify Stagecoach from its bid for the West Coast Partnership franchise, which as it stands would see the end of Virgin Trains as a train operator.
For further details see the BBC News item.

Major improvements to LNW services from May (posted 24.04.19)

There will be some major improvements to London Northwestern train services from the May timetable change on May 19.  These are the improvements postponed from the December timetable change, and the effects on Rugby rail users are summarised as follows:.
  • The Trent Valley line service will run direct from Stafford to Crewe, giving reduced journey times to that destination.  Connections for Stoke will be available at Stafford.
  • Nearly all services which currently terminate at Birmingham New Street will be extended to either the Cannock line to Rugeley, or Liverpool Lime Street via Crewe, or Crewe via Wolverhampton and Stoke-on-Trent.  This will give through trains to all these destinations from Rugby, although in some cases it will still be quicker to change trains and travel part way by Virgin Trains.
  • Some stopping services to London Euston will have reduced journey times due to the reduction in layover time at Northampton
  • The existing gaps in the three train per hour service to / from Birmingham will be abolished, e.g. the 16.14 from Birmingham will now run through to Rugby and Northampton.
  • The xx.48 from Rugby to Birmingham will be retimed to depart at xx.00 and will no longer be overtaken at Coventry by the following Virgin train.
  • Sunday services on the London - Rugby - Birmingham line will increase to three per hour after 12.00.
In addition, the Leamington to Coventry shuttle service will be linked with the Coventry to Nuneaton shuttle to provide a through service on weekdays.  There will be a Sunday service between Leamington and Coventry, with Kenilworth getting its first Sunday trains.  Throughout the week, two car trains are expected to operate in place of the existing single car trains.
Further details are shown on the West Midlands Trains website.  Summaries of the revised peak time services to Birmingham and London are shown on the Current Rugby timetable page.

West Midlands Trains business update (posted 15.03.19)

The latest Business Update from West Midlands Trains is available here.
It includes details of the May timetable improvements and other developments, including the new trains which are on order.

Blackpool services a boost for Rugby (posted 16.02.19)

The introduction last May of direct train services between Rugby and Blackpool have seen a 67% increase in train travel between the two towns.  This is according to a Virgin trains press release.
It is gratifying to see that all RRUG's hard work to restore through services between Rugby and North West England have paid off and resulted in such an increase in traffic.  For a further details of these services see the North West through trains summary.

Proposed puffin crossing in Murray Road - RRUG response (posted 11.01.19)

The Highways department of Warwickshire County Council have proposed installing a pelican crossing in Murray Road close to the station.  This will involved removing the existing "raised table" and refuge and moving the bus stops.  A plan of the proposal is available here.
This proposal would result in longer wlaks for rail travellers between the station and the southbound bus stop in Murray Road, and also between the station and car park no. 2.  As a result, RRUG has sent objections on these lines to Warwickshire County Council.  A copy of this letter is available here.

Virgin Trains scraps Friday afternoon off-peak restrictions (posted 01.11.18)

Virgin Trains have announced that off-peak restrictions on Friday afternoon departures from London Euston are being withdrawn with effect from tomorrow, Friday 2nd November.  This means that if you have an off-peak ticket you will be able to return from London at any time after the morning peak on Fridays.
This restriction has been withdrawn following a shift in travel patterns whereby fewer people are now travelling on Fridays.  Regular travellers will know it had created a "false peak" whereby trains immediately after the peak restrictions ended were always very crowded.  For Rugby passengers this was particularly true with the 19.03 ex Euston.  A trial during the Summer showed the overcrowding on these after-peak services was substantially reduced, with loadings being spread more evenly throughout the evening.
This arrangement has now been made permanent.  For further details, including a summary of the effect on train loadings, see the Virgin Trains website.