Changes to Snow Hill train services due to staff availability
27 July 2021
West Midlands Railway is making temporary changes to its timetables from Monday (2 August).
The train operator says the changes are necessary as Covid-19 has had a major impact on the ability to get new drivers trained to operate services. The timetable revisions will improve the reliability of the service provided. The changes affect services on the Snow Hill Lines between Kidderminster and Stratford-upon-Avon.
Before the pandemic, to improve underlying performance and to make services more reliable, the train operator recruited more than 100 extra drivers but their training has been delayed due to Covid restrictions. West Midlands Railway says the Test & Trace ‘pingdemic’ has put further pressures on services that were already struggling to deal with the impact of Covid-19.
West Midlands Railway customer experience director Jonny Wiseman said:
“Before the pandemic we had recruited extra drivers but Covid restrictions have impacted our training plans with over 25,000 lost training days.
“No-one wants to see trains being cancelled, particularly at short notice. We are sorry we have had to make the decision to alter some services. However, the changes will help us run a more reliable and consistent timetable for passengers across our network.”
With other operators also having to make changes to their timetables, West Midlands Railway is advising passengers to check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk.
Since July the train company has seen the number of staff having to self-isolate quadruple. This has resulted in trains being cancelled at short notice and some services having fewer carriages as the ‘pingdemic’ affects train maintenance depots.