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The operator says the move will build resilience into the train service as more rail workers begin self-isolating. The reduced timetable reflects the fall in demand for rail travel due to coronavirus.

With the Government advising against all non-essential travel and many people entering self-isolation, there has been a major fall in rail users over the last week.

In response, WMR and sister company London Northwestern Railway, will reduce the number of trains running on the network from Monday 23 March.

Julian Edwards, managing director of West Midlands Railway, said:

“Revising our timetable is the most effective way of making sure we continue to run a regular, reliable service to keep people moving in these exceptional circumstances.

“Like every employer in the country we have a number of our staff currently in self-isolation and attempting to continue with our regular timetable would be impossible.

“Although demand for rail travel has dropped, we know there are many thousands of people who need to keep moving, including NHS workers and others involved in delivering essential public services. That is why our front-line staff will continue coming to work in order to deliver this timetable and help keep the country moving.”

The reduced timetable, which is currently being finalised, equates to just over half the usual weekday level of service across the West Midlands Trains network.

Passengers should visit www.wmr.uk/coronavirus for the latest information and to see a copy of the timetable when it is available.

Online journey planners will be updated with the new train times by Sunday afternoon – visit www.wmr.uk/plan for live travel information or follow @WestMidRailway on Twitter.

Article credit: West Midlands Railway