New train timetables with 1,000 services to be added to ease over crowding

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 8th Mar 2019) London, Uk – –

New summer train timetables will come into force on 19 May, with 1,000 services added to relieve overcrowding.

Rail bosses will be hoping that the introduction will be more successful than last year's fiasco, when a similar exercise caused severe disruption on the country's train network.

The Rail Delivery Group said the industry had “learned the lessons” from 2018's timetable changes.

It said it had “high confidence” that services would be ready.

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Many parts of the country are set to benefit this summer from a better service, but where introducing improvements puts reliability at risk, we are rightly taking a more cautious approach.”

The Rail Delivery Group, which represents the rail industry, said the changes were part of a long-term plan to make trains more frequent and enable new journeys, while prioritising punctuality and reliability.

It added that by the early 2020s, there would be 6,400 more rail services than there had been in 2017.

Among the changes, South Western Railway says it will be offering more peak services in and out of London, while Northern will be adding direct services between Chester and Leeds, as well as faster services between Middlesbrough and Newcastle.

Following last summer's chaos on the railways, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) blamed a lack of “responsibility and accountability” and said passengers were “badly treated”.

This year, train companies say they will work together with Network Rail “to closely monitor the introduction of the new timetable and respond rapidly to any disruption”.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of independent rail passenger watchdog Transport Focus said: “Passengers will welcome new services, more choice, speeded up journeys and increased frequencies.

“However, passengers need the timetable to be a work of fact, not fiction, so they will want reassurance the new services can be introduced and operated without a repeat of last year's timetable crisis.

“Transport Focus will keep a close eye on performance. Reliability remains the key factor driving passenger satisfaction.”