Tuesday, October 20th, 2020

Reduced timetable on railways from Monday 23 March says Southeastern – half the usual number of trains will run

Southeastern Railways has issued the following statement:

  • Reduced Southeastern timetable will be introduced from Monday 23 March
  • All stations will remain open to allow key workers to make essential journeys
  • Please follow the government advice, and only travel if your journey is absolutely essentia

Southeastern, along with the rest of the rail industry, is working to support efforts to delay the spread of coronavirus and to keep services running for essential travel.

From Monday 23 March we will introduce a reduced timetable to ensure that vital train services for key workers can keep running throughout a prolonged coronavirus outbreak.

This national change has been agreement with the government and around half the usual number of trains will run. Enough capacity will be provided to allow passengers making essential journeys to follow the official guidance on social distancing.

Wherever possible we will ensure that early morning and late evening services remain in timetables so that key workers like nurses, police officers and firefighters can get to work.

The reduced service timetable balances the current significantly reduced levels of demand with the need to reduce the number of people required to run the network, which will help to ensure there are enough staff to keep services running over the coming weeks and months.

The amended timetable will be introduced from Monday 23 March until further notice, and will be available in online journey planners by Sunday 22 March. A map of the planned service frequency can be found here.

All of our stations will remain open, and on some routes passengers may need to change trains to complete their journeys.

Please follow the government advice, and only travel if your journey is absolutely essential. Passengers should check before they travel using online journey planners.

David Statham, managing director at Southeastern, said: “Like many of us, Southeastern train crew and station teams can’t work from home, and some of them are also dealing with personal or family issues related to coronavirus. We’re grateful to our passengers for their understanding as we take steps to ensure that vital train services for key workers can keep running. Please follow the official advice and only travel if your journey is absolutely essential”.

Robert Nisbet, director of nations and regions at the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said: “At a time of extraordinary national challenge, the measures rail companies are putting in place with government will preserve services so that we can continue to get key workers to where they need to be, deliver food to supermarkets and get fuel to power stations.

“This is not a decision we take lightly, however implementing these measures now will mean that we can continue to operate trains over a prolonged period with fewer railway workers, who like so many others are to be commended for putting the needs of the country first, and whose safety remains front of mind.

“We are monitoring demand closely and should it become necessary in the weeks ahead, we will adjust services and timetables to ensure they’re being delivered to best effect where they’re needed most, in accordance with our plan. We would advise anybody who has to travel to check the time of their train on the National Rail Enquiries website before they set out.”

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