Rail operators across the country are to dramatically reduce their services.
The decision, agreed by both the rail industry and government, is to reflect reduced demand and ensure vital train services for key workers can continue to run throughout a prolonged coronavirus outbreak.
Reducing passenger services also frees up space so that vital supplies can go by rail as lorry drivers become unable to work – on average, a freight train carries the same as 76 lorries.
East Midlands Railway has confirmed that all stations and lines remain open and they have protected the morning and evening commuting periods.
Robert Nisbet, Director of Nations and Regions at the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said: “At a time of extraordinary national challenge, the measures rail companies are putting in place with the government will preserve services so that we can continue to get key workers to where they need to be, deliver food to supermarkets and get fuel to power stations.
“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.
“We are monitoring demand closely and should it become necessary in the weeks ahead, we will adjust services and timetables to ensure they’re being delivered to best effect where they’re needed most, in accordance with our plan. We would advise anybody who has to travel to check the time of their train on the National Rail Enquiries website before they set out.”
Commuters are advised to check an updated timetable before they travel.