Hard on the announcement that the government will take financial risk off train operators to keep the trains running, Network Rail has confirmed that it will endeavour to keep vital supplies and key workers moving over the coming months.
Tim Shoveller, managing director of the North West and Central (NW&C) region of Network Rail, said: “Our role in Britain’s Coronavirus response is clear – to keep key workers, including in the NHS and emergency services, as well as food, fuel and medicine moving safely as together we rise to this challenge.”
The North West and Central (NW&C) region runs from London Euston and Marylebone through the Chilterns, West Midlands, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Lancashire and Cumbria to Glasgow. It includes the West Coast main line, Europe’s busiest mixed-use (passenger and freight) railway.
As the railway starts to operate on a reduced timetable, offering fewer passenger services and scope for increased volumes of freight, Tim added: “We are planning carefully and supporting our railway colleagues, especially those in critical frontline roles, as we all work together to support Britain in its hour of need.
“The West Coast main line is the Backbone of Britain, the artery connecting London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow. We must keep it open to ensure vital supplies and key workers get where they’re needed. And that is what we will do.”
He concluded: “I’d like to publicly thank all Network Rail staff and wider rail industry colleagues for the hard work you’re each putting in to keep the railway open for passengers and freight at this hugely challenging time.”