What’s happening about social distancing on your trains?
You can travel with confidence on our trains - and increasing numbers of people are doing just that. But please be aware that it may not always be possible to socially distance on our services.
As more shops, businesses, attractions and leisure facilities have opened up, so more people are travelling on our trains to get to them. Our passenger numbers are now on average about 45-50 per cent of pre pandemic levels, although some trains are busier than this and some are much quieter. On most services there is still plenty of space, especially if you use the full length of the train. We’re running a slightly reduced timetable – with over 85 per cent of the usual services now running. If you haven’t travelled with us since last March, you’ll notice our new longer trains on many of our routes – which means more space for everyone.
What can I do if I can’t socially distance on the train?
First of all, please be assured that we’re still carrying out enhanced cleaning and sanitisation of all our trains. Our train cleaners are hopping on after every journey to wipe down touch points with virucide. It’s great that so many customers are taking their litter off the train so that our cleaners can concentrate on sanitising rather than litter picking – so thank you from us. An independent company has been carrying out random Covid tests on train surfaces – and all of them have come back negative. We’re also carrying out our own "biological residue" tests to make sure that our cleaning regime is working as efficiently and effectively as possible.
We’re really pleased with the high numbers of people obeying the law and wearing face coverings on our trains and stations– we’ve all got used to wearing face coverings whenever we go out now, haven’t we? Anything that helps us to all keep safe is a good thing, so let’s all keep wearing them, although of course some people are exempt.
All our new trains and some of our older ones have air conditioning, which sucks in fresh air every six to nine minutes. Our older trains have opening windows – and doors on all trains open at stations to let more air in as people get on and off the train.
But if you still don’t feel comfortable enough to travel on a busier train, then we’re continuing to monitor passenger numbers so that we can update our "less busy trains tool" on our website which gives trains a red, amber or green rating depending how busy it is. If you have the flexibility to travel at a different time, you could take a less busy train where there is more opportunity to sit away from other passengers. If you’re an employer – could you offer your staff more flexible start and finish times so they can stagger their journeys?
If you’re at the station and you don’t feel comfortable about getting onto a busier train, a member of staff will be able to advise you about a quieter alternative. And if you’re at an unstaffed station just press the help button on the ticket machine and one of our customer service staff at Norwich will be able to assist you. It may be that you just need to walk down to the end of the train and you’ll find it quieter there – that's often the case.
We’re all pulling together
There’s plenty we can all do to make journeys safer for everyone – and it’s fantastic that East Anglia is doing so well in the vaccination programme, which gives us all added protection. But on a day-to-day level, this is what we all need to while travelling on our trains.
- If you’ve got Covid-19 symptoms, please stay at home – the train’s not the right place for you.
- Keep on washing your hands and using hand sanitiser.
- Stand back and let people off the train before you get on.
- Use the full length of the platform and trains. It’s great to see customers spread out along the platform, guided by our distance markings on the ground.
- Sit in a window seat wherever possible.
- It’s tempting to walk to the end of the train just before it reaches a station like Liverpool Street or Norwich so you can be the first off the train – but people are getting used to staying in their seats until the train arrives now.
- And thank you to the large number of customers following the law and wearing face coverings over their mouth and nose while at our trains and stations, please keep wearing them – but don’t forget some people are exempt.