The useful information section contains items which will be useful to Rugby rail users but which are not, or are no longer, news items. Items containing information such as station facilities, seat reservations, car parking, bus services and fares and ticketing are included in this section. The 'Useful information' section is accessible here.
The latest RRUG newsletter is dated March. You can find this on the Newsletter page of this website.
RRUG is also a member of Railfuture, whose latest newsletter can also be found on the same page.
You can join us by completing our new simpler
membership application form.
You can pay by Internet banking or by cheque. Please send the completed form the Membership Secretary (details on the form), enclosing your cheque if paying by this method.
The latest Passenger Voice Newsletter for Rail User Groups issued by the Passenger Focus watchdog is available here .
From Sunday 28 April phase one of the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street was commissioned. As a result, the existing concourse and all previous entrances to Birmingham New Street station have been closed. A new larger concourse has opened with entrances off Stephenson Street and Hill Street. There area also new escalators to the remaining part of the Pallisades shopping precinct, through which access to the Bull Ring shopping centre is still available. During this stage of the project, passengers interchanging between New Street and Moor Street stations will need to allow a few extra minutes for their journey due to the revised walking route.
For further details see the New Street bulletin.
HS2 Ltd have announced that the plans to totally rebuild Euston station for the proposed high speed line have been scrapped. Instead, 11 additional platforms will be built alongside the existing platforms 1 to 15, which will remain.
This will be a cheaper and less disruptive alternative than the previously proposed total rebuild. It should also be good news for Rugby commuters as there should be far less disruption to existing train services during the reconstruction phases.
For further details see the HS2 press release.
London Midland have announced the appointment of Tom Joyner as their new Operations & Safety Director. For further details see the LM announcement.
The Department for Transport (DfT) have published a revised programme for rail franchising. As a result, Virgin Trains will now be running train services on the West Coast Main Line until April 2017. This is instead of November 2014 as previously announced. London Midland have also had their franchise extended from September 2015 to June 2017.
This announcement is not expected to have any effect on Virgin's plans to run services to Shrewsbury and Blackpool, which are currently being negotiated with the DfT and ORR (see separate item).
However, it is unclear what effect the DfT's franchising announcement will have on proposed new train orders. It could mean that no new trains will be running on the West Coast Main Line until at least 2019 if new train orders have to await the award of the new franchise.
For further details see the DfT announcement and DfT statement , which includes the full timetable for re-letting of all rail franchises.
The Department for Transport (DfT), in conjunction with London Midland, previously announced that holders of monthly and longer period season tickets will be eligible for five days of free travel on London Midland services. This is to compensate for delays caused by cancelled trains which have plagued LM services for the past few months but which London Midland claim have now been resolved. Passengers will be able to either extend their season trickets for five days free of charge, or travel on LM services on lines not covered by their season tickets for five days. These free tickets can be ordered via an on-line form and the period for applications has now been extended to 30 April. Please note that the season ticket itself will not be accepted as authority for free travel.
There will also be an additional 500,000 cheap advance tickets made available over the next two years for travel on LM's inter-urban services such as London - Northampton, Northampton - Birmingham, Birmingham - Liverpool and London - Crewe.
As part of this deal, the DfT agreed to extend the London Midland franchise from November 2013 to September 2015. However, following the DfT's franchising announcement on 26 March, the LM franchise has been further extended to run until June 2017.
For further details see the LM news item and the DfT press release .
We understand that Virgin Trains intend to apply for new direct train services between London Euston and Shrewsbury, also between London Euston and Blackpool, starting in December 2013.
The Shrewsbury service would operate twice a day and call at Rugby, Stafford (where the trains would reverse), Telford, Wellington and Shrewsbury. There would be late morning and early evening departures from London, with early morning and mid-afternoon departures from Shrewsbury. There would also be one journey each way on Sundays. If the application is successful, journey times of under an hour and a half from Rugby to Shrewsbury are expected. The service would be operated with 5-car Voyager diesel trains.
The Blackpool service would also operate twice a day and call at Rugby, Stafford, Warrington, Wigan, Preston and Kirkham, with departures at similar times of day to the Shrewsbury service. Journey times between Rugby and Blackpool would be about 2 hours 15 minutes. Five car Voyager trains would again be used.
Virgin Trains are in discussion with the Department for Transport (DfT) about the inclusion of these services in their extended franchise. They are also applying to the Office of Rail Regulation for a Track Access Agreement which would enable them to run these services. To be successful in this application, they will have to demonstrate that suitable timings are available which will not cause delay to other trains, and that the new services would not be "primarily abstractive" of another operator's revenue.
If Virgin's application for a Track Access Agreement is successful, this would be good news for Rugby. Not only would there be four extra fast trains each way between Rugby and Euston on Mondays to Saturdays plus one on Sundays, but the Blackpool service would restore an albeit limited direct service between Rugby and the North West.
For further details including proposed timings see the SK Media news update.
Following consultation and discussions with the Department for Transport, London Midland changed ticket office opening hours at several of their stations from 31 March.
In a statement, London Midland said "Reductions in opening hours will be at times of the day when few passengers are using the station, as a result, the majority of passengers will see no changes at all. At four stations the ticket offices will close entirely. We believe that the changes strike the right balance; supporting our aim to control railway costs and continuing to meet the needs of our passengers in this challenging economic climate."
The only station served directly by trains from Rugby where the ticket office has closed entirely is Cheddington. At some other stations the opening hours have been reduced, but the ticket offices remain open.
A full list of revised opening times for ticket offices at London Midland stations is available here. Please note that Rugby station is not listed. This is because it is a Virgin Trains station, as are Coventry, Birmingham International and Birmingham New Street which are not shown either for the same reason. Ticket office opening hours at Virgin Trains stations will not change.
At present the class 350 London Midland trains that run at 110mph are restricted to 4 coaches (1 unit) in length. This is because of the way a second pantograph interacts with the overhead line equipment when running at high speed.
Modifications to the pantographs on the class 350/1 trains are now being made to overcome this problem, and tests are currently being carried out to establish the effectiveness of these changes. If the modifications prove to be satisfactory, it will enable longer trains to run on the 110mph services thereby reducing overcrowding on some heavily used services.
For further details see the LM news item.
The recent member survey revealed strong preferences for campaigning for better services to the North West and Scotland, and for later trains from London on Saturday evenings.
For full details of the survey results, see the news page of the members section.