Page last updated Tuesday 26 May 2020 09:22

Here, we provide answers to some of the most common questions rail passengers might have about what Coronavirus means for them, their journey and the railway.

Travelling by train

What is your advice to passengers who are unwell and need to travel home?
If people have symptoms of Coronavirus, and need to travel home to self-isolate, they may do so but should try to keep away from other passengers and staff, and catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue.

I need assistance to complete my journey. Will this still be available? Even if I have symptoms of Coronavirus?
You should not be travelling if you have symptoms of Coronavirus, you should stay at home.

The government has advised people to travel only if necessary. If your journey is neccesary and you need assistance to go by National Rail, staff will continue to provide help so that you can get to your home station safely. This is a challenging time for the country and our staff may be affected by Coronavirus, so this may at times limit our ability to operate a full service, but we will do everything we can to help you complete your journey.

While it is not a requirement to book assistance ahead of time, we strongly recommend that you contact us to discuss your journey as soon as possible - See Assisted Travel page for details

Should rail passengers and staff wear facemasks? 
Keeping our passengers and staff safe while they travel or work is a top priority. The latest advise from government for passengers is to keep two metres apart from others and if you can, to wear a face covering on public transport.

We are also taking all necessary precautions to protect our staff and in the limited circumstances where our people have to work within two metres of each other, we are providing facemasks to reduce the risk of someone who has the virus from spreading it to others.

Rail industry preparations

If rail staff get sick will services be cancelled? 
Like everyone, our staff may be affected by Coronavirus and this will limit our ability to operate a full service. The reduced timetable balances significantly lower levels of demand with the need to reduce the number of staff required to run the network, which will help to ensure there are enough staff to keep services running in the future.

We cannot guarantee there will be no cancellations, but we will protect the most important routes and services so that vital freight and commuter trains keep moving. 

How can I find out if the train I want to travel on is still running?
You can search for your journey on the National Rail website ( or via the National Rail app. Alternatively, you can visit the website of the train operator you plan to travel with for more specific information about their new timetables.

How are you helping to minimise the spread of the virus for those that have to travel?
Rail companies are doing more to ensure our trains and stations are clean. This includes a greater focus on cleaning 'high-touch' areas on trains and at stations (such as handrails, open/close door buttons and door handles), increasing the use of antiviral cleaning products, and ensuring toilets are well stocked with hand washing facilities such as soap. 

We are also ensuring our people are kept aware of the latest advice to maintain good hand hygiene and putting up advice posters at stations and on trains. We’re asking passengers to support our efforts to further delay the spread of Coronavirus, by following public health advice for everyone to wash their hands regularly and when they cough or sneeze, to ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’.


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Last updated:   29 May 2020