Reduced Southern and Thameslink train services during coronavirus pandemic

A reduced service will operate across the Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express rail networks during the coronavirus pandameic.

Southern train

Govia Thameslink Railway announced it will move to a revised train timetable as the industry works together to manage and protect services for key workers.

The Department for Transport has announced a gradual reduction in train services across the country.

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GTR will introduce a reduced service on Monday (March 23), followed by a further reduced timetable a week later on Monday March 30.

The amended timetables, which are adapted versions of ‘base’ timetables that GTR already operates, will include services to suit key workers travelling in the peak as well as working early and late shifts.

Steve White, Chief Operating Officer at GTR, said: “This is an unprecedented situation for everyone and we – together with the rest of the rail industry – are doing our utmost to keep an essential service running for key workers who are doing such vital jobs.

“The message from the Government is clear – travel only if you have to. The changes we are making should allow us to sustain a timetable for those who absolutely have to travel such as doctors, nurses and the emergency services. We want to thank them and our own staff, who are working so hard to keep trains running.”

Robert Nisbet, director of nations and regions at the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said: “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.”

Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps, said: “We are taking decisive action to protect the public which means reducing travel for the time being, whilst still ensuring keyworker heroes can get to their jobs to keep this nation running.

“For passengers in crucial roles, including essential workers in our emergency services and NHS, alongside people who need to attend medical appointments or care for loved ones, these changes protect the services they rely on.

“Our railways are at the heart of this country’s transport links, and we continue to work closely with the industry to develop measures that protects operators in these challenging times.”

As GTR continues to deal with the impacts of coronavirus on its own workforce, it is possible that further changes to services may be required at short notice. Passengers should check for the latest updates on the National Rail Enquiries website before travelling.