You’re changing the timetable again, can I still catch my usual train?
We’re changing our weekday timetable from Monday 10 January, so you should check before you travel using our website or app to find out if your usual train is running. It is loosely based on a Sunday timetable, but includes more peak-time trains as needed by our customers to get to and from work/school/college on commuter services between Essex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and London Liverpool Street. We are running more morning and afternoon peak services on these routes than we would do on a Sunday, as well as earlier morning trains because we have more customers travelling at peak times on weekdays than we have on a usual Sunday. We’ll make sure you get to where you need to travel. We haven’t changed our weekend timetables.
If you’ve booked a ticket for a train which is no longer running, you can catch the service either side of the one you booked. Or if it’s no longer convenient for you to travel, you can request a refund from wherever you originally bought your ticket from free of charge.
Why do you keep changing the timetable?
Our new timetable better matches the number of passengers currently using our trains on weekday. The pandemic has changed our railway over the past 21 months. Working patterns have altered so we currently have fewer commuters and business travellers. At the moment in particular, while Government advice is to work from home where possible, we’re seeing peak time passenger numbers at just 30 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
Another major change to our railway since the pandemic is that we’re now entirely funded by the Government – and ultimately taxpayers. We want to make sure that we provide a reliable and punctual service for our customers which also represents the best possible value to taxpayers.
We don’t want to be running empty trains, but equally we’ll keep an eye on passenger numbers and if trains become too busy, we’ll see if we can make adjustments by either adding carriages or extra services. There is room for growth in this current timetable.
Is it safe to travel on your trains?
We’ve provided a safe, reliable and punctual service throughout the pandemic and we’ll continue with that so you can travel with confidence on our trains.
We have spent extra money on new equipment and staff to clean and sanitise our trains to keep you safe. We have fogging guns which spray a fine mist of disinfectant, powerful vacuum cleaners - which clean the air as well as the upholstery - and biological testing equipment we use to double check our cleaning regime is effective. You can see them in action in this video.
We have even been carrying out random Covid tests on our trains and every single one of them has been negative.
We’ve got ventilation covered too. Our new and refurbished trains have air conditioning, which sucks in fresh air every six to nine minutes. Trains without air con have opening windows – and all trains have doors which open at stations, so while you’re travelling you’ll still get some fresh air.
If you’re still worried, and you’d rather travel on quieter trains and you have some flexibility about when you travel, you can use our less busy train tool on our website to find out which trains have fewer passengers on board. It’s really easy to use – just tap in which rush-hour journey to London Liverpool Street you want to make and we’ll show you at a glance how busy the train is at every station along the route.
On our new trains, you can check which carriages have more free seats by looking at the passenger information screens in every carriage. There is a diagram showing all the carriages and toilets on the train. If your carriage is full, head for a green carriage where there will be fewer people.
What can I do to keep myself safe on the trains?
Please wear your face covering, which is compulsory unless you’re exempt. We’re really grateful to the high numbers of passengers wearing face coverings. It’s a simple way we can all keep each other safe – but only if it covers your face and nose! Remember also to keep up the good habit of washing or sanitising your hands. We’ve got hand sanitiser available at all our staffed stations, but it’s a good idea to pop a little bottle of hand sanitiser and a face covering in your pocket or bag when you travel in case you need them.
Use the full length of the train and platforms. Please stand back and let people off the train before you board. There’s more room for everyone to walk to the ticket gates on the platform than through the train, so please don’t gather at the front of the train while you’re waiting for it to arrive.
You can also buy tickets online or via our app to minimise the time you have to spend at the station. It’s easy to do – you can find out how in this blog, which also explains how to get a great value fare How to save money while travelling with Greater Anglia | Greater Anglia.
And of course, if you have any Covid-19 symptoms, please stay at home and get a test.