Coronavirus: Reduced train timetable comes into effect

Changes to the train timetable have been deemed necessarily because of changes to demand.

Trains have moved to a reduced timetable with a focus on providing public transport for key workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

ScotRail said changes to the timetable were necessary as availability of its staff and those at Network Rail Scotland have been affected, while there have been changes to customer demand.

It said reducing the number of trains in service from Monday will give more time for extra cleaning on board and in depots, as well as more targeted cleaning at stations.

Changes will be similar to a Sunday service with some additional first and late last trains for key staff, while off peak passenger services may be reduced further depending on demand.

David Simpson, ScotRail operations director, said: “We are facing an unprecedented challenge on Scotland’s Railway and the revised timetable will help to provide a critical service for the key workers across the country.

“Our own people are absolutely committed and are working flat out on the frontline to help keep the country moving, while also keeping themselves and customers safe.

“The railway has an important role to play during this crisis and we will work closely with the Scottish Government to do all we can as the situation develops.”

The Scottish Government said the decision to reduce services has been taken to protect services for essential workers and allow vital freight trains to continue to operate.

Avanti West Coast will also operate a reduced timetable from Monday.

For passengers in Scotland, there will be one service per hour to and from London and Glasgow which will call at regular stations including Oxenholme, Penrith and additionally at Crewe.

A small number of services will call at Lockerbie and Motherwell at key times. 

Meanwhile, bus companies McGill’s Buses and Lothian Buses have also moved to a reduced service to protect jobs amid the coronavirus spread.

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