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Restoring Confidence in Rail as We Step Out of Lockdown

3 min


c. Rail Delivery Group

Following the announcement that non-essential retail, personal care and hospitality will reopen on 12th April, rail companies have said they will add more services. This is so people can travel with confidence as Britain steps out of lockdown.

This is part of the rail industry’s safer travel pledge to ensure people can travel with confidence.

Rail companies are increasing services to almost 18,000 each weekday by 12th April, an increase of over 1,000 since February. An even more significant service uplift is planned for May.

To get the network ready, rail companies have boosted cleaning and are protecting staff with the introduction of lateral flow testing. These measures come in addition to ventilation systems fitted on most trains which refresh the air in the carriage every 10 minutes.

It is imperative that rail companies instil confidence in the public to return to rail, they have been closely monitoring passenger numbers so they can add more services as necessary.

Robert Nisbet, Director of Nations and Regions for the Rail Delivery Group which represents the rail industry said: “In addition to enhanced cleaning and providing better information to help people avoid busier times, rail companies are increasing space on trains across the country by adding services as we take steps out of lockdown.”

Throughout the pandemic, rail companies have been supporting the country. They have provided key workers with the means to get to where they’re needed as well as ensuring supermarkets stay stocked.

When schools returned last month, train operators across the country added more services on key routes for school children.

Safety at the core

In order to keep trains as safe as possible rail companies are asking people using the railway to follow government guidance. It is important people try to travel at less busy times where possible and to wear face-coverings on trains and at stations unless exempt.

Working hard to ensure trains are kept clean and sanitised, 1,500 additional people have been employed to clean the railway during the pandemic.

This is an increase of almost 25% since March last year. 13,250 litres of cleaning agent is also used every month to sanitise surfaces across the network.

Surveys have been undertaken by the independent passenger watchdog Transport Focus. They have consistently shown that around 90% of people making train journeys in the past two weeks feel safe doing so.

We’ve pulled out all the stops to make sure stations and trains are thoroughly cleaned and sanitised many times every day, with extra attention paid to high contact touchpoints like handrails and buttons. If you touch it, we’ve cleaned it.

Christine Smith who manages the cleaning of Govia Thameslink Railway trains said: “We’ve pulled out all the stops to make sure stations and trains are thoroughly cleaned and sanitised many times every day, with extra attention paid to high contact touchpoints like handrails and buttons. If you touch it, we’ve cleaned it.”

What is clear, rail companies across the country and determined to get people back on board following the pandemic in a safe and socially distanced way.


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