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London Northwestern Railway is making temporary changes to its timetables from Saturday (24 July).
The train operator says the changes are necessary due Covid 19 and the ongoing impact of 'Test and Trace' notifications causing trains to be cancelled at short notice. The changes affect services between Northampton and London, and on the Abbey and Marston Vale lines.
London Northwestern Railway's Customer Experience director, Lawrence Bowman said; "No one wants to see trains being cancelled, particularly at short notice. But we are experiencing more of this, across all our services, as increasing numbers of staff are getting 'pinged' by the Test and Trace app. We are sorry that we have had to make the decision to alter some services. However, the changes will help us run a more reliable and consistent timetable for passengers across our network."
The planned changes will be:
From 24 July 2021
On Saturdays, buses will run in place of trains on the Abbey Line (between Watford Junction – St. Albans Abbey) and the Marston Vale Line (Bedford – Bletchley).
From 26 July 2021
The following weekday services will no longer run:
07.53 Bletchley – Euston
17.05 Euston – Watford Junction
17.43 Watford Junction – Euston
18.24 Euston – Northampton
In recent weeks the train company has seen the number of staff having to self-isolate quadruple resulting in trains being cancelled at short notice and fewer carriages being available on some services.
Before the pandemic, the train operator recruited over 100 extra drivers but their training has also been delayed due to Covid restrictions. The company now estimates it will take up to a year before all of its new train crew are qualified.
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