Latest Update: 7 April 2020
Following Government advice for all but essential key workers to stay at home we have made a number of changes which will affect how we interact with you over the coming weeks.
We need to keep trains running so that key workers like doctors and nurses can get to and from work. Some colleagues like drivers, guards and signallers are still working from their normal locations. Other colleagues have been told to work from home to support the country’s efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19.
This means that we have temporarily:
- Closed a number of our ticket offices
- Closed our lost property office
- Stopped accepting cash payments at our ticket machines – you can continue to buy tickets online and on our app.
We have now re-opened our refund centre , but it is operating with some restrictions in place. We are now are able to process refunds for our customer however, due to the increased number of refunds these may take a little longer than normal to process. Refunds are being dealt with in order of application date. See our COVID-19 refund policy for advice on requesting a refund.
Our clear priority is keeping our trains running for the doctors, nurses, supermarket workers, police and other essential service workers, who have to still get to work.
Please do not travel on our trains if you are not one of these key workers – the full list can be found on the gov.uk website.
If you have a ticket that is for a specific train operator this may be used on any service provided by any operator between the same start and end station, group or Zone.
Normal Peak/Off-Peak time restrictions will still apply.
Advance ticket holders will be permitted to travel on other operator’s services if the original booked service has been delayed or cancelled. Travel must still be on the same date.
London Underground and DLR services are currently not included in this acceptance.
If you have no choice but to still travel on our trains, and need assistance or advice:
- Guards will still be on our trains
- Colleagues will still be available at most stations
- Our Twitter team will be able to provide essential journey information
- We will update this page with the latest information
- Train time information can still be found on our journey planning and live train times pages.
Please do not overload our Twitter team with non-urgent enquiries (e.g. regarding refunds), as doing so will reduce their ability to provide essential journey information to key workers.
It is important that we keep everyone working or travelling on the railway safe at this time.
Therefore, alongside enhanced cleaning regimes, we have advised colleagues on trains and at stations to keep a safe social distance and minimise interactions with customers.
But if you do need help or see something that does not look right, please contact one of our guards, station teams, rail community officers or the British Transport Police by texting 61016 or calling 0800 405040.
We all have a vital role in beating this pandemic. Please help us keep trains running for key workers, and do not travel unless it is absolutely necessary.
Our update: 20 March 2020
Following the Government’s announcement urging people to avoid all but essential travel in order to help limit the spread of the highly contagious virus, we reduced the number of trains running on our network.
The spread of the COVID-19 means that like at most other organisations, more of our staff are having to follow advice to stay at home unwell and self-isolate for up to 14 days By reducing the number of trains running, we can focus on ensuring a reliable timetable for passengers who still have to travel, especially healthcare professionals, police and fire service workers.
Other passengers are urged to follow the latest Government advice and only travel if necessary: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance.
Our Managing Director Mark Hopwood explains why only people who really need to should travel, and asks anyone who does to check before they travel:
What we’re doing
- We’re encouraging good hand hygiene amongst our colleagues and customers in line with Public Health England.
- When cleaning stations and trains we’re paying particular attention to commonly touched surfaces such as ticket machines, grab handles, stair handrails and door buttons.
- We’re also working to ensure stocks of soaps are checked and replenished regularly onboard trains and at stations.
What can I do as a customer?
The NHS guidance to help prevent the spread of coronavirus states that everyone should:
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds and always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- Not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
The latest guidance from Public Health England also states:
- If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.
- If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill
Frequently asked questions