WEST MIDLANDS Railway has released its new timetables following its decision to slash services because of a drop of demand due to the COVID-19 crisis.
On the Cross City Line there wll be two trains per hour to Birmingham New Street, rather than three from Bromsgrove – the first morning services will be at 6.12am, 6.37am, 6.42am, 7.12am, 7.42am and 8.12am.
At Barnt Green, trains will depart at 6.37am, 6.48am, 7.07am, 7.37am, 7.48 and 8.07.
There will be four services from Longbridge an hour – as well as the ones arriving nine minutes after starting in Bromsgrove, there will be trains at 6.21am, 6.41am, 7.11am, 7.41am and 8.11am.
Trains will stop at Northfield at 6.24am, 6.44am, 6.54am and 7.14am, then at 14, 24, 44, and 54 past the hour, before going on to Kings Norton, Bournville, Selly Oak, University and Five Ways before reaching Birmingham.
Services will leave Alvechurch at 6.32am, 7.02am, 7.32am and 8.02am.
The evening trains back to Bromsgrove from Birmingham New Street every half-hour at 5.03pm, 5.34pm, 6.03pm amd 6.34pm.
Further trains to Longbridge from New Street will be at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour.
Trains from Bromsgrove on the Hereford line depart at 6.21am and 7.23am, running to Birmingham Snow Hill and Moor Street.
Services back to the town in the evening depart from Moor Street at 4pm, 5pm and 6pm and from Snow Hill at 4.03pm, 5.03pm and 6.03pm.
As well as the fall in demand which has come about from the public travelling less, the move is also aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Passengers have reported trains being emptier in the past week as the coronavirus situation has worsened.
A number of rail workers have also self-isolated which has left the operator with less staff and some services in the past few weeks have already been cancelled because of ‘a lack of train crew’.
With other cuts on other lines the reduced timetable overall, which is currently being finalised, equates to just over half the usual weekday level of service across the West Midlands Trains network.
Although many people are working from home, emergency services workers, NHS staff and others will need to travel on the netork.
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.”