Greater Anglia trains are making some changes (see website) to the timetable to reflect the current situation with the pandemic.
They are taking some weekday services out of the timetable from Tuesday 4th January 2022. This is due to falling passenger numbers as people follow advice to work from home.
They also have to plan for their staff being affected by the omicron variant, especially as they are already starting to see the early signs of its impact, to ensure they can continue to provide a reliable service.
Brentwood station closing early
The BBARUA Rail Officer, Richard Enever, wrote to TfL customer services early in 2021 objecting to cuts in Brentwood Station ticket office opening hours and TfL agreed to a review by the management team after 17th May 2021.
The station ticket office was to be open all day except for a lunch break of 40 minutes.
Recently platform 4 exit to Alexandra Road has been closed at 11pm as there are no staff at that time, meaning that wheelchair users and others with restricted mobility are unable to leave the platform as there is no lift from the platform.
The staffing of the entrance hall at Warley Hill has been unpredictable.
Richard has again written to Transport for London asking for action to be taken.
Richard is compiling a list of times that the barriers have been closed when they were supposed to be open. If you have found the barriers closed, please contact Richard on 01277 229899 and let him know the date and time that it occurred - thanks.
Rail works and bus replacements September 2021
Notices of disruption of services from TfL:
TFL RAIL: Sunday 5 September, no service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. Use Central line connections between Liverpool Street and Stratford / Newbury Park. Replacement buses operate.
TFL RAIL: Sunday 12 September, between 1000 and 2200, a reduced service operates between Liverpool Street and Gidea Park. Trains towards Shenfield will not stop at Harold Wood and Brentwood at these times. Please use local bus connections between Gidea Park and Harold Wood, and travel via Shenfield for Brentwood.
TFL RAIL: Sunday 19 September, between 1000 and 2200, a reduced service operates between Liverpool Street and Gidea Park. Trains towards Shenfield will not stop at Harold Wood and Brentwood at these times. Please use local bus connections between Gidea Park and Harold Wood, and travel via Shenfield for Brentwood.
Current train timetables and information.
Lift to platforms 2&3 now working
15/7/21 The lift to platform 2&3 was out of order earlier today but has now been repaired.
Senior Citzens Railcard
Senior Citizens railcards are now available from the Brentwood rail station ticket office.
From Greater Anglia (29th October 2021):
Here’s the latest update from Greater Anglia (GA), with information on performance, travel advice and other recent developments
It’s generally been an excellent week for performance with punctuality averaging 94.4% across our network.
The only exceptions were disruption following a fatality near Romford (on the Great Eastern Main Line) on Wednesday morning and a tree blown onto the line near Newport (on the West Anglia route) on Wednesday afternoon.
Overall performance levels continue to be at historically high levels with the Greater Anglia moving annual average public performance measure figure at 94.57%.
Notable service group results include an all-time high intercity service (Norwich – Ipswich - Colchester - London) annual average at 94.2%, Great Eastern services (including the mainline and Southend services) at 94.4%, West Anglia services at 94.2% and rural services at 95.9%.
The latter regional route annual results include some really impressive individual line figures, such as Norwich to Great Yarmouth at 98.2%, Norwich to Sheringham at 97.5%, Norwich to Lowestoft at 97.4%, Marks Tey to Sudbury at 97.2% and Norwich to Cambridge/Stansted at 95.9%.
They are all a real credit to the sustained efforts of our teams and colleagues at Network Rail, Alstom and Stadler and other rail industry partners.
We are putting in place plans designed to maintain and, wherever practical, improve on these high levels of reliability in the months and years ahead.
There have been no changes to travel advice this week. All train operators are operating in line with government guidance which states that it “…..expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas, such as public transport.”
We are therefore asking customers to wear face coverings on busy stations and on busy trains (unless they are exempt). The majority of customers are continuing to follow the prevailing guidance.
Of course, customers can also choose to wear a face covering throughout their journey if they wish, not just on busy stations and trains.
Full details of the current coronavirus advice and guidance are available on the government website.
Please also note that face coverings remain mandatory on public transport in London, in Wales and in Scotland.
Across the entire rail network customers who are travelling by train can travel with confidence, knowing that we are taking all the appropriate steps to make their journey safe, clean and straight forward.
We remain fully focused on maintaining an excellent standard of service for everyone taking the train. Our actions are in line with our safer travel pledge, which includes providing appropriate services and capacity, additional cleaning, making it easier to keep your hands clean and providing information to help you travel safely.
There is still plenty of space on the vast majority of services but, as previously highlighted, at busier times we are encouraging customers to use the full capacity of the train, as most of the services which might be busy in one or two carriages have more space further down the train.
Some routes, especially at peak times, may also have convenient alternative services with more capacity available, either not long before or not long after the train you were originally planning.
On our website we have our less busy trains tool, which we’ve recently revised and updated to make it even more user-friendly, which lists services with fewer passengers(https://www.greateranglia.co.uk/travel-information/less-busy-trains) . If you can be flexible, you can then adjust your journey accordingly, if that works for you.
We continue to monitor to all services on a daily basis and review service frequency and capacity on the basis of the emerging trends, in line with the prevailing government guidance. The government is also encouraging everyone to use the Covid-19 Test and Trace App as part of the wider efforts to prevent the spread of the virus and encouraging everyone who is currently eligible to get their vaccinations.
We will continue to deliver our additional cleaning measures - including more train cleaners, new PacVac equipment for turnaround train cleaning during the day and special testing equipment to carry out random hygiene tests on trains (to help us raise standards even further) - as well as cleaning every single carriage with fogging guns (which disinfect all surfaces, including seats, arm rests, grab handles and windows) to supplement the extra cleaning already being implemented in these high contact areas. We have also been carrying our random checks for coronavirus on our trains, with no traces found on any test to date, and extra cleaning at stations, where the fogging guns come in handy for larger indoor areas, such as waiting rooms.
Other recent developments have included :
We’re restarting our programme of Meet the Manager sessions on our West Anglia route between Cambridge and London Liverpool Street, with a series of events between 07.00 and 09.00 at three key stations one the line. Managers will be on hand for chats with customers at Bishops Stortford on Tuesday 2 November; Cambridge station on Tuesday 9 November, Tuesday 30 November and Tuesday 7 December; and at Cheshunt on Wednesday 17 November. These sessions provide a valuable opportunity for customers to ask questions and provide feedback about all aspects of the service, thereby helping inform priorities for improvement.
We’ve made more tickets available as e-tickets. A number of “walk-up” tickets, including Super Off-peak, Off-peak, Single, Anytime Return and Anytime Day Return tickets are now all available as e-tickets, which means customers can either print them at home or show them on their mobile phones independent of the Greater Anglia app – although they can still be loaded onto the Greater Anglia app. This upgrade provides customers with more flexibility in how they wish to present their ticket for travel. E-tickets include a QR code which customers can automatically scan at the ticket barrier – eliminating the need to get out a paper ticket and insert and remove it from the ticket barrier. As well as providing more flexibility, this initiative will save paper, enable passengers to move through the barriers quicker and save them time, as they won’t need to collect tickets from the ticket office or machines at the station – making travel easier, greener and more convenient.
Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership, with support from Greater Anglia, recently organised a walk starting and finishing at Bures rail station – taking in a view of the Bures dragon along the way. A group of about 20 people met at Bures station earlier this month for a free guided walk led by enthusiastic local volunteers Hugh and Caro Turner. During this family event, participants learnt about the history of Bures, on the Essex/Suffolk border, while taking a walk in beautiful scenery including the opportunity to socialise with a coffee in front of an open fire in a local pub. The walk is included in Essex and South Suffolk’s Railway Walks volume 2 which is available online fromhttps://esscrp.org.uk/things-to-do/bures-dragon-walk-walk-5-in-volume-2-in-our-essex-and-south-suffolk-railway-walks/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a hard copy.
Signal boxes were in focus on the Hertford East line this week. At St. Margarets a great art project, involving a series of artworks mounted on the now disused signal box was launched (pictured), providing an attractive welcome to the area. Meanwhile at Hertford East the signal box was being painstakingly dismantled to be transported north and reassembled for a new life on a preserved railway. The out-of-use grade II-listed structure will be moved to the Wensleydale Railway in Yorkshire, where it will be rebuilt and restored to operational use. Removing the signal box enables us to lengthen platforms at the station to make room for the our new five-carriage Alstom-built suburban trains, which are planned to run coupled together as 10 carriage formations at peak times.
We’ve launched our great new “Life on rails” podcast. Produced by Juliette Maxam and Lucy Wright from our Corporate Affairs team, it is a magazine-style programme offering a behind the scenes look at the railway, featuring a variety of people who help keep the railway running. The first of what is planned to be a quarterly series of podcasts includes topics such as building new trains, keeping trains clean and bargain fares, plus special guest Geoff Marshall (the popular railway YouTuber) with his “travel surgery” culminating in his recommendation and choice for the best destination to visit on the Greater Anglia network. The link for the podcast is https://smarturl.it/lifeonrailspodcast And finally…..
Our annual stakeholder survey is now underway. It’s a great way of getting your feedback on how we engage with our stakeholders and how we can improve. The results from previous surveys have been invaluable in helping us develop our partnerships across the region and prioritise elements of both our stakeholder strategy and our wider service improvement plans. The survey will once again be carried out by Jungle Green on our behalf and the email invitation will come from Jungle Green’s secure webhost facility SNAPWebhost. If you are able to complete the survey we’d appreciate it – there are only 20 questions and it doesn’t take long.
Thanks, as ever, to colleagues across Greater Anglia for providing a very good service for our customers and communities across East Anglia, with valuable support from colleagues at Network Rail, Stadler, Alstom and our other rail industry partners.
Have a good weekend.
Head of Corporate Affairs
T: +44 (0) 7767 644267
One Stratford Place
Crossrail's Elizabeth Line was due to be running in 2018.
The central section from Paddington to Abbey Wood is now projected to open in the first half of 2022. Trains now run between Shenfield and Liverpool Street, between Paddington and Reading and also from Paddington to Heathrow.
The delay has has been blamed on the Coronavirus epidemic but there are also said to be delays due to the complexity of the new signalling system.
These problems are impacting on the already strained finances of TfL.
TfL have published a video (link) about the Elizabeth Line
An update on Crossrail from the September 2021 edition of Modern Railways magazine states that the earliest opening date is Feb 2022 with a 50/50 chance of opening by April 2022 and an 80% chance by June 2022.
There is a final remark about the possibility that Ilford and Romford stations may not be ready in time.
It does not appear that there will be a lift to platform 4 on Brentwood Station.
Crossrail fares in use now see video
Latest TfL video (September 2021)
Link to TfL
Reopening of entrance/exit to platform 4 and new help point
The level access entrance to platform 4 at Brentwood Rail Station is now open all day.
Members of BBARUA had noticed that the gate was closed and found that it was only open around the morning and evening rush hours.
BBARUA contacted Jim Hoare of the Brentwood Access Group who in turn contacted MTR who are responsible for running the station.
MTR reopened the gate on 23 July 2020.
A new help point has been installed between platforms 2 and 3.
TfL’s Brentwood Station Help Point U-turn
Transport for London has agreed to locate a help point on platform four at Brentwood station,
reversing its earlier view that one on a footbridge at the top of a steep flight of steps was sufficient.
The Brentwood Bus and Rail Users’ Association has been campaigning for the help point to be reinstated
on the Shenfield-bound platform for several months and had received a blank refusal until it wrote earlier this autumn to TfL Commissioner Mike Brown.
Now TfL is to install a temporary help point close to the barriers on platform four in the next few days,
and has committed to providing a permanent one within the next three months. The temporary point will remain in place until then.
BBARUA Vice-Chair Cllr David Jobbins said: “This is great news for all rail travellers using Brentwood station but especially for those with mobility issues,
or unable to tackle a flight of steps to the help point on the footbridge.
“Other platforms had a help point and it is unfortunate that platform four, which lacks a passenger lift to the footbridge and ticket office, was without one.
Now users will be able to obtain information about services and summon assistance if they feel threatened or vulnerable. In particular,
travellers with disabilities will be able to obtain help without having to make a lengthy trek to the booking hall via Station Parade and Kings Road.
“We know that the platform barrier is often not staffed in the evenings after the ticket office closes and TfL personnel cannot be everywhere on the station.
But it is at night that travellers are rightly concerned that they may encounter issues, while people with disabilities are completely
cut off from any way of seeking help because of the stairs.
“Welcome though this news from TfL is, the BBARUA will continue to campaign with Brentwood Access Group and others for a lift on
platform four so that all passengers can reach the ticket office and other platforms without undue difficulty.”
Currently 97 stations are scheduled for projects to improve access and the Department for Transport said in April that these would be completed by March 2024. Brentwood was not on the list, despite originally being due to have a lift on platform four when lifts were installed on the other two platforms some years ago.
In July the government announced a £20 million fund to improve stations for people with disabilities but it covers minor works and not projects such as the lift installation at Brentwood, which has proved more costly than anticipated.