Will I be safe to travel on your trains to get to school or college?

Published on: Tuesday, 2 March 2021
Last updated: Tuesday, 2 March 2021

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Yes you will. We’re doing a lot to keep you safe and we need you to play your part too, by following some very simple rules. You may not have been in school or college for several months and you probably haven’t caught a train since then either, but don’t worry, we’re doing everything possible to make your journey with us as safe as it can be.

Check before you travel because we’ve made some changes to the timetable

We’ve changed our timetable during the current lockdown, so it’s possible that your usual trains aren’t running, so please check before you travel. You can find revised train timetables on our website or app. From Monday 8 March, we’re reinstating some services after 3pm so that you’ll be able to get home more quickly, so there will be hourly services from 3pm Monday to Friday on the following routes:

  • Between Norwich and Cambridge, Lowestoft, Sheringham and Great Yarmouth
  • Between Ipswich and Cambridge, Felixstowe and Lowestoft
  • Marks Tey – Sudbury
  • Wickford – Southminster
  • Colchester – Walton-on-the-Naze
  • Manningtree – Harwich

We’ve got people at stations to help you

We’re deploying extra people to help out at some of our busier stations. They’ll help you with social distancing and they’ll remind you to wear your face covering. Please listen to what they say and follow they’re instructions. They’re there to keep you safe.

Travel advice

Wear a face covering on our stations and trains

Remember your face covering. You need to wear it for the whole journey – on the station and on trains. This can be a mask, or bandana - as long as it covers your nose and mouth we don’t mind which it is. It’s the law to wear a face covering on our stations and trains. If you’ve left yours at home, tell a member of staff and they might be able to give you a mask for your journey. Wearing a face covering helps us to protect one another, so please be sure to wear yours There are some exemptions if you’re under 11, disabled or have certain medical conditions. You can download an exemption badge for your phone or to print out from the government's website to show you’re exempt so that people don’t keep asking you why you’re not wearing a face covering.

Person wearing a face covering whilst using a phone

I use a wheelchair – will someone still be able to help me, if I need it?

Yes, of course, we’ll be happy to help you. If you need assistance, we will still help you, although it’s a little bit different since pre-Covid as we must make sure we keep you and our staff safe. Our staff will discuss with you what assistance you require and how they’ll do it maintaining social distance until the assistance is required. Our staff will wear a face covering while they assist you, but if you’re having difficulty hearing them or you need to lip read, they’ll remove it. If you need staff to push your wheelchair or handle your luggage, they’ll sanitise the handles first.

If you need sighted guiding, please sanitise your hands before making physical contact. We don’t expect you to wear gloves. Please wear a face covering, unless you’re exempt, and maintain a safe social distance until the member of staff is ready to help.

If possible, please pre-book your assistance to give us time to prepare.

While you’ve been away, we’ve been busy cleaning and disinfecting

We’ve got some very powerful new cleaning equipment to help us to disinfect our trains including “fogging guns” which we’re using on every single carriage we have as well as at some stations. We’ve also got new vacuum cleaners which clean the air as well as the carpet. We’ve taken on on new cleaners as we’ve stepped up our cleaning, paying particular attention to high touch areas such as door buttons, tables and grab rails. Please make sure you put your rubbish in the bin or take it away with you so we can spend the most time cleaning, rather than litter picking.

There’s lots of signs at stations to help you to socially distance

Our stations have plenty of floor markings and signs to help you to socially distance from other rail passengers as much as possible. Our passenger numbers are still much lower than normal, although with schools going back, we’re expecting more people on our trains. Some of our stations now have one way systems as well – so look out for those too.

There are some things you can do to help with social distancing on the trains

  • Don’t travel in a large group of friends, as it makes social distancing difficult for other passengers.
  • Perhaps you could consider travelling with other people who are in the same bubble as you at school, so that you and other passengers can keep social distancing as much as possible.
  • Look at where other passengers are sitting and if you can sit further away from them, then please take that option, maybe even try a different carriage.
  • Avoid loud talking, shouting and singing to minimise the spread of any infection.
  • If you’re by yourself, you could sit in the window seat so there’s more space between you and anyone walking down the aisle.
  • Please step back and let people off the train – giving them plenty of room – before you get on the train.
  • Stay in your seat until the train arrives – don’t huddle around the doors, as it makes it difficult for everyone to socially distance.

View government guidance on using public transport on their website.

We’ve got people at stations to help you

We’re taking on extra people to help out at some of our busier stations. They’ll help you with social distancing and they’ll remind you to wear your face covering. Please listen to what they say and follow they’re instructions. They’re there to keep you safe.

Wash your hands

The best advice to keep safe remains to wash your hands as often as possible or use hand sanitiser. We have hand sanitiser available at all of our staffed stations, but it might be an idea to pop a bottle in your school bag or blazer pocket so that you’ve always got some to use.

Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough and please don’t leave dirty tissues on the floor, seats or tables – put them in a bin or take them away with you.

Please don’t travel if you have any Covid-19 symptoms.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you back.