More operators reduce services in response to Covid
More train operators have been trimming their timetables as passenger numbers retreat in response to new Covid restrictions, but at the same time some are warning that trains running on popular intercity routes during the Christmas period are likely to be very busy. GWR has issued a list of trains from London to south west England on which it says reservations are essential, while Transport for Wales has introduced an emergency timetable from today. Among others, open access operator Hull Trains will be suspending some services from 27 December. Hull Trains managing director David Gibson said: 'Uncertainty in the market is leading to reduced ticket sales after Christmas and we can already see that demand is falling.' Meanwhile, CrossCountry has warned that its services are being disrupted by a shortage of traincrew, and the operator will also be affected by industrial action by the RMT on 24 and 31 December, in a dispute over staff duties.
Pedestrians welcomed back on Barmouth bridge
The walkway over Barmouth viaduct will be opened temporarily from Christmas Day until 9 January for walkers taking some festive exercise, after being closed to pedestrians and trains so that a £30 million upgrade could go ahead. The reopening was delayed after engineers discovered that deterioration of the wooden structure was worse than surveys had suggested. Repairs to the main railway deck should be completed by 29 December, said Network Rail, which also warned that the pedestrian walkway will close again on 10 January so that repairs of the walkway can be completed.