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.