Engineering work update (updated 19.09.08)
Saturday and Sunday, 20/21 September
Because of signalling commissioning work, there will be delays to Virgin train services between Rugby and London Euston (and vice versa) from 20.00 on Saturday until 13.00 on Sunday on both these weekends. London Midland services in the Rugby area will not be affected.
A revised timetable will be in operation. Full details, will be available on the National Rail journey planner as and when these become available.
Car park changes - meet the managers this Monday (posted 15.08.08)
To explain the changes to car parking arrangements at Rugby station that will take place later this month (see next item) , Virgin Trains are holding a 'Meet the Managers' session this Monday morning 18 August in the new ticket hall from 06.00 to 08.30.
If you are concerned about the effect the new arrangements will have on you, come to the station a little early on Monday so you will have a chance to talk to Virgin Trains staff about the changes.
No trains at Rugby until Monday morning, 28 July (updated 26.07.08)
There will be no trains at Rugby throughout Saturday and Sunday 26 and 27 July. This is in connection with work to take the flyover at Trent Valley junction and the up slow line through platform 4 out of commission fo four weeks (see separate item). Normal services are expected to resume at start of traffic on Monday morning, 28 July.
The alternative arrangements which have hitherto applied on Saturdays will apply throughout both days, necessitating a bus journey to either Coventry or Northampton for onward train travel.
Full details are available on the National Rail journey planner.
Flyover closure brings timetable alterations (updated 25.07.08)
The flyover line carrying the Up (southbound) Coventry line across the Trent Valley lines at Trent Valley Junction, north of Rugby, will be taken out of use from 26 July until 25 August. This is in connection with renovation work on the flyover.
As a result, all Up (southbound) trains from the Birmingham line will have to use the Down Coventry line and platform 1 at Rugby, in addition to the Down (northbound) trains that already use this section of track. The revised route for these trains is shown in green on the Closure of Trent Valley flyover diagram.
Additionally, the Up Slow line (the track through platform 4) will also be out of use during this period. All up (southbound) trains from the Trent Valley line will therefore run via the Up Fast line through platform 2, and platform 4 will be closed.
To facilitate this work, it will be necessary to retime some Virgin and London Midland trains which run to and from the Birmingham line. The changes that affect Rugby are summarised as follows (Monday to Friday services only are shown):
Trains to Birmingham will depart at 05.43, 06.33, 06.56, 07.17, 07.41, 08.18, 09.18, then at 18 minutes past each hour. In the other direction, trains will run as normal between Birmingham and Coventry, then some services will be retirmed by a few minutes through Rugby.
The 06.20 from Rugby will be revised to depart at 06.17, and the 07.14 will be retimed to depart at 07.09 (from platform 1). The 16.51 from London Euston will be cancelled, but the 17.10 will leave Euston at 17.02 and call additionally at Rugby at 17.53.
For full details of all the changes, see the National Rail journey planner.
July members' meeting addresses concerns of members (updated 16.07.08)
The members' meeting held on 10 July was well attended with about 40 members present. Many interesting topics were discussed, including forthcoming shutdowns, the December 2008 timetable, the new station building and car parking. Details of the questions raised, and the response from the rail industry representatives are now available in the Meeting Minutes section of members' area of this website.
Rugby Borough Council have informed us that someone left a waterproof jacket at the meeting. If this is yours, please e-mail the secretary (see contact details at top of page) who will arrange for it to be returned to you.
Fewer first class seats on Virgin Trains (posted 02.07.08)
Virgin Trains are reducing the amount of first class accommodation on their trains during the Summer.
From 14 July to 7 September, coach G in each Pendolino train will be declassified and made available to standard class ticket holders. This will apply to all trains throughout the week. Coach G will be restored to first class use from 8 September.
Virgin Trains claim that the number of first class passengers travelling at this time of the year is lower than at other times, when the demand is higher. It will be interesting to see how this works, particularly on the Birmingham trains at peak periods!
ORR announces package of rail improvements (posted 07.06.08)
The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has issued a press notice detailing the improvements it expects Newtork Rail to carry out during Control Period 4 (April 2009 to March 2014). This includes most of the aspirations Network Rail was hoping for, but the ORR has told Network Rail it will have to trim its budget and that some proposals do not meet their investment criteria.
Included in the plans are the completion of the West Coast Route Modernisation (WCRM), including the major works at Rugby and Milton Keynes / Bletchley. The proposed reconstruction of Birmingham New Street will also still go ahead, although the proposal for an additional bay platform at that station has been rejected.
It is interesting to note that one of the schemes meeting the criteria is electrification from Barnt Green to Bromsgrove (down the Lickey incline) so that some cross city services can be extended there. Although a relatively short distance, this will be the first electrification scheme in England for several years, and hopefully the start of a few more!
Most of the rejected schemes do not affect our area, but apart from the already mentioned bay platform at Birmingham New Street, also rejected is the plan to reopen the Round Oak - Walsall line, which would have provided a freight by-pass for the Birmingham area.
For the full details see the ORR draft periodic review - June 2008 .
No trains at Rugby over the Spring Bank Holiday (updated 23.05.08)
Because of engineering work in the Rugby area, there will be no trains between Northampton, Rugby and Coventry from Saurday 24 May to Monday 26 May inclusive. This work is in connection with the commissioning of a new track layout between Rugby, Brandon (Coventry line) and Shilton (Tren t Valley line)
Additionally, engineering work at Milton Keynes will mean there will be no trains running south of Northampton on Sunday and Monday, 25 and 26 May.
London Midland services on the Northampton - Rugby - Birmingham route will operate between Coventry and Birmingham New Street only. There will be no Virgin trains running south of Coventry / Birmingham International, or via the Trent Valley line. Rail replacement bus services will operate between Northampton, Rugby and Coventry, and also between Rugby and Kettering.
Passengers travelling between Rugby and London on these days should travel via the bus service to Kettering and East Midlands Trains to London St Pancras. Alternatively, passengers can travel on Chiltern Railways from Warwick Parkway and Leamington Spa to London Marylebone, on which route Virgin and London Midland tickets will be valid. Passengers to Birmingham and the north should travel via the bus service to Coventry and thence by train.
Through train services to and from London, also to Coventry and Birmingham, will resume on Tuesday 27 May. However, the Trent Valley line will remain closed between Rugby (Trent Valley Junction) and Nuneaton on this day and Wednesday 28 May, which will mean all Virgin train services will be diverted via the West Midlands. As a result, a reduced Virgin train service will operate from Rugby to both London and the North. on Tuesday and Wednesday, 27 and 28 May. On these days, peak hour services to London will be at 06.04, 06.20, 07.14, 07.28, 07.45 and 08.29 (note there will be no 07.04). In the return direction, peak time trains will leave Euston for Rugby at 16.13, 16.51, 17.16, 17.39, 18.15 and 18.54. Please note these details have now reverted to those originally advised.
Normal services are expected to resume on Thursday 29 May.
Full details of the revised services operating between Saturday 24 May and Wednesday 28 May are avilable on the National Rail journey planner.
Alterations to track layout north of Rugby (posted 24.05.08)
Following the line closure over the Spring Bank Holiday, a fourth track has now been brought into commission between Newbold Junction (north of Rugby) and Brinklow. There are now two tracks in each direction between these points. The fourth track between Rugby Trent Valley Junction and Newbold Junction will be reinstated later. For details of the new layout, see Rugby - Brinklow 4 tracking - interim stage May 2008 diagram
Additionally, crossovers have been provided between the Down and Up Coventry lines at Long Lawford.
These alterations will eventually enable trains to run in either direction from High Oaks or Long Lawford into any platform at Rugby.
No change to peak services in Summer timetable (updated 20.04.08)
The peak hour services between Rugby and London, and between Rugby and Birmingham, remain effectively unchanged in the Summer timetable starting on 18 May.
The only changes involve retimings of one minute on a couple of London services. The 08.51 from Rugby will now arrive London Euston 1 minute later at 09.53, and the 16.50 from Euston will revert to its former time of 16.51.
All other services will continue in their existing timings.
Full details are shown in the National Rail journey planner, and a summary of peak services to Birmingham and London is available by selecting 'Current Rugby timetable' from the blue menu on the left of this page.
Pendolino lengthening is back on the agenda (posted 17.04.08)
Following the Department for Transport (DfT) refusal to Virgin Trains proposal to extend the Pendolinos from 9 cars to 11 cars in exchange for a two year extension to the franchise, the DfT have come up with their own plans to enhance the Pendolino fleet.
The DfT have issued an Accreditation Process document which sets out their plans, which will provide
* four new 9-car trains by December 2012
* the lengtheing of 35 9-car Pendolinos to 11 cars, by December 2012
* an option to lengthen a further 21 9-car sets to 11 cars by December 2012
* a further option to purchase up to 23 new trains of either 8, 9 or 11 cars which would be for fleet enhancement and / or replacement of the Voyagers currently used by Virgin West Coast.
The DfT is looking for a Train Operating Company to purchase and commission for service the new trains on its behalf.
For full details see the DfT Accreditation process Document - Pendolino enhancement
Engineering work update - all routes now available (diagram updated 13.03.08)
Regular travellers will be aware that, since the Christmas overrun of engineering work, electric trains from the Northampton line have had cross over to the Down Main (from Weedon) line to enter Rugby. This was becuase the necessary work on the overhead line equipment (OLE) was still not finished.
Following a series of overnight and weekend possessions, the OLE work has now been completed and all trains from Northampton can now enter Rugby via the south flyover. This means that delays caused due to conflicting movements on the Down and Up main lines have now been eliminated.
The section of the Down Coventry line from platform 1 to Trent Valley Junction, which was previously out of use, has now been brought into use.
To understand the above, it might help to refer to the Rugby remodelling diagram - December 2007 (revised)
2009 timetable petition has little effect on DfT (posted 18.03.08)
The petition against the negative aspects of the 2009 timetable closed with 490 signatures. This was handed to the Department for Transport (DfT) in London on 12 March.
Stuart Baker and Paul Fishwick from the DfT responded by explaining the two main aims of the 2009 timetable are to match load with demand and get maximum value from the increased speed to the North West. Unfortunately this is being done at the expense of through services between Rugby and the North West. The other main 'losers' are Nuneaton to London and Watford to the North West.
The DfT responded to RRUG's particular concerns as follows:
Morning peak service to London
The DfT considers that the proposed timetable of morning peak trains to London will have sufficient empty seats on arrival at Rugby to accommodate all the traffic that will be on offer. This is despite there being one less train between 07.00 and 08.00 than at present. RRUG remains to be convinced on this.
Services to and from the North West
The DfT responded to our request for through trains to and from the North West by providing an 06.45 departure from Rugby to the North West and Glasgow, arriving there at 10.30. In the southbound direction, there will be a through train from Preston at 19.58, arriving Rugby at 21.30. Unfortunately this minimal service provides a very early start from Rugby, and a late evening return, which is unlikely to suit the majority of potential passengers.
The DfT also explained that it was the original intention for the Trent Valley semi-fast service to connect into the Birmingham - Glasgow trains at Crewe. However, pathing constraints meant that this would not be possible and with this connection lost, the DfT saw no valid reason not to divert the service via Stoke-on-Trent, where it would be possible to provide a connection for Manchester instead. This means that one existing traffic flow (Rugby - North West) is no longer catered for, although journey opportunities to Manchester will be improved.
In summary, the only concession RRUG has from the DfT is the additional 06.45 train to Glasgow. There will be no other through trains to the North West, and still only three trains to London between 07.00 and 08.00. RRUG still has doubts whether this will be sufficient, and will continue to lobby and monitor this. Furrther details are available in the notes of the RRUG meeting with DfT - 12 March 2008
Engineering work overrun update (updated 25.01.08)
Despite the four day overrun of engineering work at Rugby over the New Year holiday, some of the work is still not finished. The section of the Down Coventry line from Hillmorton Junction over the flyover to platform 1 is only available to diesel trains because the installation of overhead line equipment (OLE) is not complete. This means that all electric trains, including the Northampton to Birmingham service operated by London Midland, have to cross onto the Down Main line at Hillmorton Junction and share this track with the fast Virgin Pendolinos. This can cause delays at busy times.
Also, the section of the Down Coventry line from the crossover beyond platform 1 as far as Trent Valley Junction is out of use to all traffic. This means that trains for the Coventry direction that have called at Rugby have to cross back to the Down Fast line and regain the Down Coventry line at Trent Valley Junction, which can be another cause of delay.
To understand the above it might be useful to refer to the Rugby remodelling diagram - December 2007.
We understand that Network Rail hope to complete the outstanding work 'within a few weeks'.
House of Commons debate
A debate on the issue of the overrun and its consequences was held in the House of Commons on 8 January.
Details can be found on House of Commons debate - overrun of engineering work at Rugby Dec 2007, in which our MP Jeremy Wright also pointed out to the House that the people of Rugby will see a deterioration rather than an improvement in rail services when the work is finished.
Submission to ORR enquiry
RRUG has sent a formal submission to the ORR inquiry into the overrun of engineering works. See RRUG submission to ORR re overruning engineering works - Jan 2008
Network Rail investigation causes more work to be brought back ' in house'
As a result of Network Rail's internal investigation into the overruns at both Rugby and Liverpool Street, less use will be made of agency staff for engineering work in future and more work will be done 'in house'. For details see the Network Rail press release.
Membership survey results (updated 11.03.08)
The RRUG membership survey has identified thrree top issues. These are
* loss of through trasins to the North in 2009 timetable
* overcrowding on Virgin Trains
* reduction in morning peak services to London in 2009 timetable
Full results of the survey are shown in the RRUG membership survey - January 2008
2009 timetable concerns - RRUG responds and RBC also takes up the issue with DfT (updated 1211.07)
RRUG has now sent an official response to the DfT's timetable proposals for 2009, expressing in particular our concerns about lost journey opportunities to the North and reduction in peaktime services to London.
Additionally, following Rugby Borough Concil's resolution to support improved rail services in the 2009 timetable, Simon Warren, Chief Execeutive has written to Tom Harris, Secreatary of State for Transport, expressing the council's concerns about the proposed reduction in morning peak time services to London and the loss of through services to North West England and Scotland.
Copies of the RRUG response which was sent on 29 October, and the RBC letter sent on 31 October, are both available in the Correspondence section of the Members' Menu.
Full details of the proposed timetable to operate from December 2008 are available from the West Coast December 2008 timetable page of the DfT website.
Unreservable seats on Virgin Trains (updated 02.02.08)
A number of seats on Virgin Trains are not reservable. This means there will always be some seats avaialble for walk-up customers who have not reserved in advance.
Unreservable seats on some trains are now in certain specific coaches, as shown below.
All Pendolino trains except services between London, Preston, Lancaster and Scotland
In first class, the unrerservable seats will be spread across all first class coaches.
In standard class, all of coach B (except for 8 priority and 1 disabled seat) and 8 seats in coach C will be unreservable
Pendolino trains between London, Preston, Lancaster and Scotland only
In first class all seats in coach G will be unreservable
In standard class, all of coach B (except for 8 priority and 1 disabled seat) and 8 seats in coach C will be unreservable
Voyager trains between London and Holyhead
In first class there will be 12 unreservable seats
In standard class, there will be 30 unreservable seats in coach B
Virgin Trains publish this information in the hope it will make it easier for customers without reservations to find seats.
Draft 2009 timetable published (posted 22.09.07)
The Department for Transport has issued the draft timetable for both Virgin and London Midland services on the West Coast Main Line from December 2008.
As expected, the basic off-peak service comprises:
* An hourly Euston - Birmingham fast Virgin Trains service, calling at Rugby. This will provide the main service between Rugby and London
* Two trains an hour on the Northampton - Rugby - Birmingham route, provided by London Midland. These trains wil be semi-fast between Coventry and Birmingham New Street. One train per hour will start from Euston and run semi-fast to Northampton, before continuing to Birmingham.
* One semi-fast train an hour between Euston and Crewe, running via Northampton, Rugby, Trent Valley stations and Stoke-on-Trent. This will also be provided by London Midland. Along with the semi-fast Euston - Birmingham trains referred to above, this will restore a regular semi-fast service from Rugby to Milton Keynes and Watford.
Additional Virgin Train services will run at peak times, providing a train to London approximately every 20 minutes in the morning peak, and from London every 30 minutes in the evening peak.
Apart from some very early and late trains, there will be no through services between Rugby, Crewe, the North West and Scotland. Passengers for these destinations will be expected to travel via and change at Birmingham New Street.
Interested parties have until Friday 16 November 2007 to comment, and RRUG will be sending a response in due course. Of particular concern is the reduction in morning peak services to London, and the loss of through trains to and from the North West.
Full details are shown on the West Coast December 2008 timetable page of the DfT website. For the benefit of RRUG members, this information appears in summary format in the correspondence section of the Members Menu.
Revised car parking arrangements for Rugby (updated 21.09.07)
Virgin Trains have entered into partnership with National Car Parks (NCP) to improve and overhaul car parking facilities at stations.
The car parks at Rugby station are now all 'pay and display' only. New ticket machines have been provided, which will eventually take credit and debit cards as well as cash. At present however, they will only take cash pending modification. Once this happens, the 'drop off box' at the customer services counter will be removed, meaning that anyone who pays for their car parking at the ticket office will need to return to their car to display the ticket.
As part of the arrangement with NCP, Virgin Trains will shortly be introducing a trial of 'cashless parking' at Rugby (and also at Stafford) using mobile phones or the Internet. Each car park will be given a four-digit identification code, which will be prominently displayed on signs at the location. Customers wishing to use 'cashless parking' will need to send a text message to their mobile phone service provider, or register on line. They will need to provide the car park identification code, vehicle registration and the number of days they wish to park. A small transaction fee of 30p will be charged to the customer each time to cover costs. Customers can extend their parking by repeating the process.
Attendants will be patrolling the car parks using Blackberrys to check that any vehicle not displaying a pay and display ticket is registered with 'cashless parking'. Fixed penalty notices will be issued to any vehicle for which there is no evidence of payment for parking.
Restricted areas and drop off zones will also be monitored. Any vehicle abusing these areas will be towed away, and customers charged to have the vehicle released. These areas will be clearly signed.
County Council endorses RRUG proposals (updated 26.09.07)
At a special meeting of Rugby Borough Council on 27 June, RRUG submitted a proposal outlining our aspirations for future train services. The motion was carried unaninmously and it therefore now council policy.
For details please see item 5 of Rugby Borough Council meeting agenda - 27 June 2007
The council subsequently wrote a letter outlining this policy to the new Secretary of State for Transport, Ruth Kelly, For details of this letter, see RBC letter to Ruth Kelly - 12.07.07
These proposals were also accepted by Warwickshire County Council at a Cabinet meeting on 19 July, and so are now official county council policy as well. For details of the submission to the Cabinet meeting, see Warwickshire County Council resolution re proposed WCML timetable changes - July 2007
Subsequent to this resolution, the County Council has also now written to Ruth Kelly, Secretary of State for Transport, expressing their concerns over the 2009 timetable. This letter is available in the Correspondence section of the Members Menu.
Government white paper has nothing for Rugby (posted 25.07.07)
The government's white paper on railway development (the 'high level output statement')which was published on 24 July contains little comfort for Rugby passeengers.
The headline grabbing development of Birmingham New Street may well improve customer flow, but there will still be only 12 through platforms so it will not be possible to run any more trains into the station. The other two major investment projects, 5 additional platforms at Reading station and the Thameslink project, will not affect Rugby at all.
Although not a surprise, it is also disappointing to see that there will be no addional capacity between Coventry and Birmingham - a bottleneck which was first identified by the LMS Railway over seventy years ago!
We will have to wait and see what happens to the proposals to modernise the fares structure, but in the short term there is probably some comfort to be had from the fact that the cap on Saver fares will remain.
New platform 1 now in use (updated 21.07.07)
The new Down (northbound) Birmingham line platform is now in use. Most trains to Birmingham now use the new platform.
Because the new station building is not yet complete, access to the new platform is from car park no. 2 (the Murray Road car park). Intending passengers should allow extra time to reach the new platform. However, temporary ticket issuing facilities are provided on the new platform, comprising a self-service ticket machine and, during the morning peak, a staffed presence. Also during the morning peak period hot drinks and newspapers will be provided when possible. These arrangements will apply until the entrance from the new station building is commissioned, which is currently planned for September 2007.
The new platform is platform no. 1. Other platforms have been renumbered as follows:
Former platform 1 has become new platform 2
Former platform 2 has become new platform 4.
These platform numbers will remain after the reconstruction work is completed, and the new platform to be constructed on the Up (southbound) side will be numbered 5 and 6.
The existing bay platforms 3, 6, 7 and 8 have not been renumbered at this stage. Eventually all will disappear except for existing platform 8, which will become platform 3 at a later stage.
Fof further details of the new platform layout and numbering see Rugby station platform layout diagram.
Rugby station car parking to be expanded (posted 06.05.07)
Network Rail has announced a £90m plan to expand car parking facilities at stations served by Virgin Trains. As part of this project, an additional 519 spaces are to be provided at Rugby.
Although no further details are as yet available, it is assumed the extra spaces will be provided by converting the existing Mill Road car park to multi-storey.
We await this development with interest. Further details will be provided when known.
Hillmorton Junction commissioned on 11 May (updated 14.05.07)
The new junction at Hillmorton, on the London side of Rugby, was commissioned on Friday 11 May. This allows trains to switch tracks south of Rugby and facilitate working through one side of the station while the other is remodelled.
The following new movements through the junction are now possible.
Down (from London) direction
Down Main (Weedon) to Down Northampton line
Down Northampton to Down Main line
Up(towards London) direction
Up Northampton to Up Main (Weedon) line
Please refer to Hillmorton Junction diagram which will help to explain this.
Other routes through the new junction will be commissioned at a later date.
Summer timetable brings faster first train to Birmingham (updated 27.05.07)
The Summer timetable commenced on Sunday 20 May.
There are few changes affecting Rugby customers. However, the first train from Rugby to Birmingham (at 05.43) now calls at Coventry and Birmingham International only, arriving Birmingham New Street 11 minutes earlier, at 06.22. There are other minor retimings of a few minutes to some services on this route.
On services to London, until 7 September journey times will be extended by a few minutes on some morning trains, resulting in slightly later arrival times at London Euston. This is as a result of the ongoing work to upgrade the West Coast Main Line, and associated temporary speed restricitions.
Full details of the revised peak time services to Birmingham and London are shown on the 'Current Rugby Timetable' page (accessed from the menu bar on the left of this page)
Loco hauled train returns (posted 09.04.07)
Following the temporary loss of a Pendolino in the Grayrigg derailment, a locomotive hauled train comprising a class 90 locomotive and a set of Mark 3 coaches has been made available to cover for an anticipated shortage of trains.
As previously, this train will work the 16.51 Euston - Birmingham New Street (Rugby 17.47) and 19.00 Birmingham New Street - Euston. This train is booked to run at 110 mph (rather than the 125 mph of the Pendolinos) and the locomotive hauled train will therefore be able to keep to time.
The locomotive hauled train will be on standby and only run when a Pendolino is unavailable. This situation is likely to continue until the Pendolino is reinstated, which could take between 12 and 18 months.
Quiet coach on Virgin Pendolinos (posted 09.12.06)
The 'quiet coach' in standard class on Virgin Pendolino trains has been moved from coach B to coach A. If you want to travel in peace and quiet, you will now need to travel in the coach at the end of the train.
This change has been instigated so that passengers in the quiet coach are not distrubed by people from other parts of the train walking through to reach the shop.
The quiet coach in first class, however, remains as coach H.
Rugby to lose through trains to the North (updated 15.11.06)
The Department for Transport has released its proposals for the timetable from January 2009, by which time the West Coast Route Modernisation project should be completed.
This proposes a complete restructuring of the services which call at Rugby, including the withdrawal of through trains to Lancashire and Scotland. The basic pattern of train services calling at Rugby will be as follows:
Euston - Rugby - Coventry - Birmingham International - Birmingham New Street, hourly (Virgin Pendolinos)
Euston - Milton Keynes - Northampton - Long Buckby - Rugby - Trent Valley stations - Stafford - Stoke-on-Trent - Crewe, hourly. (new West Midlands franchise, Desiros)
Northampton - Long Buckby - Rugby - Coventry - stations to Birmingham International - Birmingham New Street, half-hourly. Some trains may be extended via Wolverhampton and Stafford to Manchester or Liverpool. (new West Midlands franchise, Desiros).
Additional trains will run on some routes at peak times, and we are assured that the peak hour service to and from London will be similar to the existing level of service.
These proposals will restore a regular through service to Milton Keynes (via Northampton) and provide three trains an hour to Birmingham. However, these improvements are tempered by the withdrawal of Virgin train services north of Rugby via the Trent Valley line. Such journeys will only be possible by taking a Desiro service to Crewe and changing there, or travelling via Birmingham New Street. However, access to the Euston - Preston - Glasgow Pendolinos will not be possible as these will not call at Stafford or Crewe, making journeys to Lancashire and Scotland particularly difficult.
We have now been advised that the Euston - Rugby - Trent Valley stations - Crewe service is to be diverted between Stafford and Crewe to run via Stoke-on-Trent, calling there and also at Stone, Kidsgrove and Alsager. This means that the journey time from Rugby to Crewe via this route will be about 1 hour 40 minutes, making it an unrealistic way of connecting into services going further north. As Virgin Train services to Lancashire and Scotland, both from London and Birmingham, will not be calling at Stafford it will not be possible to make the connection there instead. Furthermore, journey opportunities to North Wales and Manchester Airport will also be reduced as there will be no quick link to Crewe where connections are currently made.
RRUG is vigorously opposed to this downgrading of services, and is campaigning against it. We are currently pursuing the issue with Virgin Trains and the Department for Transport, and have also written to the Office of Rail Reglation (ORR) to see whether the reduced journey opportunities violate any franchise commitment. Our MP Jeremy Wright is also championing our cause. Please see the Correspondence section in the members' area of this website for copies of our correspondence with these parties.
We will keep this website updated as the situation develops.
Station reconstruction brings one-way traffic system (updated 15.11.06)
To provide space for the new station building, the road layout at the front of the station is being altered. This involves moving the usable section of the roadway further away from the existing station entrance.
In connection with this, a one-way traffic system has been introduced outside the main entrance. Traffic is permitted to travel from Railway Terrace to Murray Road, but not in the reverse direction. However, access from Murray Road to and from the car park opposite the main entrance will be maintained for traffic in both directions. Parking facilities for the disabled, mothers and toddlers and a drop off zone will be continue to be provided, as will the taxi rank. Short stay parking provision has already been moved to the other side of the road, and a little further from the station entrance.
The first phase of this work has now been completed, which is the reconstruction of the roadway outside the station. As of 15 November, traffic started using the 'new' section of carriageway furthest from the station entrance, and the new taxi rank, drop off zone and disabled parking areas have been commissioned. This is a semi-permanent arrangement and is expected to continue until April 2007.
For full details see Network Rail press release - Rugby station upgrade
Initial experience of this arrangement has shown that some motorists are attempting to enter the one-way system from the wrong direction, which could be dangerous. As a result, we have been in contact with Network Rail who advise that the signage will shortly be improved to address this. For details see the correpondence section in the Members' menu.
RRUG responds to West Midlands franchise consultation document (posted 08.08.06)
We have submitted a response to the Department for Transport on their consultation document for the new West Mildnads franchise, which is due to start in November 2007.
The main points we raised are:
* concern that Euston - Northampton and Northampton - Birmingham will continue as two separate services
Northampton - Rugby - Birmingham service
* welcome the re-introduction of two trains per hour on this route
* suggest there should be earlier and later trains to / from Birmingham
* suggest that the existing service of fast trains at peak times, as currently provided, should be specified in the franchise
Euston - Rugby - Trent Valley service
* welcome this new service and the increased journey opportunities it will bring
* suggest it would be more use to Rugby customers if it went via Weedon rather than Northampton, to provide a faster service to Milton Keynes.
The full response can be seen in the correspondence section of the members' page.
Rugby remodelling - first stage track alterations (revised 08.08.06)
The first stage of the Rugby remodelling project was completed over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend.
The Down (northbound) tracks used by passenger trains have been realigned between Rugby station and Trent Valley Junction (where the Coventry and Nuneaton lines diverge). To facilitate this, the 'Black Path' footbridge has been demolished (see separate item).
Because of the temporary removal of a connection at Trent Valley Junction, all Down (northbound) trains travelling towards Nuneaton now have to run through the platform track at Rugby station. This includes freight trains.
A further stage has now been implemented, in that the down goods line, which ran adjacent to the Murray Road car park, along with sidings 5 and 6 which connected to this line, have also been removed.
For details of the revised track layout, see Rugby remodelling stage one (revised) for details.
Going faster on the 'slow' lines
Train speeds on the 'slow' lines, i.e. those normally used by Silverlink and freight trains, have been increased from 90 mph to 100 mph where the track geometry is suitable for the higher speed. This applies between Hanslope Junction (26 miles south of Rugby) and North Wembley, in the London suburbs. The maximum speed on the Northampton lines between Hunsbury Hill tunnel (south of Northampton) and Hanslope Junction has also been increased to 100 mph. While there are no proposals to change the timetable, this change does mean that a late running Silverlink train will be able to travel faster and have a better chance of catching up lost time. Similarly, when the fast lines are blocked and Virgin trains are diverted onto the slow lines, the delays incurred should also be a little less due to the higher permitted speed. There is currently no plan to upgrade the lines between Northampton and Rugby, where the maximum speed will remain at 75 mph.
Decriminalisation of parking enforcement
At present parking enforcement in Rugby is the responsibility of the police. Because their resources do not permit them to pay much attention to this, Warwickshire County Council propose to transfer the responsibility for parking enforcement to their own sub-contractors. This will mean parking restrictions will be more rigorously enforced. At the same time, parking restrictions in residential areas will be increased. This will affect all of you who park in the streets around Rugby station.
The County Council is inviting comments via its website. For full details of the scheme, and your opportunity to comment, click here
Black Path footbridge closed for seven months (updated 03.11.06)
The Black Path footbridge, linking Wood Street to the GEC site, was demolished over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend. Following problems with the design of the replacement bridge, it will now be reinstated in April 2007. This work is necessary because the existing piers are in the way of the realigned tracks that will pass underneath, so the existing piers will have to be taken down and new piers erected. The new footbridge will be wider, have a separate cycle lane, and lighting. Unfortunately access to the bridge will still be by stairs - this is because Network Rail do not own the land on either side of the bridge. However, Rugby Borough Council is investigating the land ownership issue, to see whether anything can be done about this. See the planning application for more details.