Friday 19 July 2024
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Rail network ready to welcome huge crowds to London

Thousands of railway staff and hundreds of extra services stand ready to welcome huge numbers over the weekend and on Monday as the nation continues to gather to pay its last respects to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

All Network Rail managed stations in London – including King’s Cross, London Victoria, London Waterloo, London Liverpool Street, Charing Cross and Euston – will be open 24 hours a day to provide shelter so people can safely wait for their trains to get home. Many shops, restaurants and toilets will remain open to help passengers be as comfortable as possible throughout the night.

A small number of trains will also run from some of these stations* through the late evening and into the night to enable mourners to safely return home, with some stations stabling ‘welfare trains’ – empty passenger trains – to at least offer passengers shelter and a seat**.

The pressure on London’s transport system is expected to grow on Monday and passengers are being asked to plan ahead and check live information from National Rail, train operators and TfL throughout their journey – especially before their journey home. People are also encouraged to allow extra time to complete their journey.

While long distance services are expected to be busiest in the late afternoon and evening following the State Funeral and final procession, passengers travelling shorter distances are being encouraged not to rush home immediately afterwards to help ease pressure on tube and rail stations.

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Sir Peter Hendy CBE, Network Rail chair, said: “We are doing all we can to help people travel to commemorative events, pay their respects and celebrate the extraordinary life of Her Majesty the Queen.

“The railway is going to be extremely busy on Monday particularly on routes into London. This is the biggest public transport operation since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and we’re working closely with all train operators to run extra trains through the day and into the night.

“To help us provide the best possible experience and avoid lengthy queues at stations we’re asking people not to rush home after the funeral and the processions, but to take their time and experience London on this memorable day. Passengers should keep checking with their train operator on Twitter or National Rail Enquiries before travelling home for all the latest train service updates.”

Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “As the nation continues to mourn the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, we are working very closely with all our partners to help keep the transport network moving smoothly and safely during this exceptionally busy time.

“We have prepared for significant travel demand in the capital, particularly on Monday 19 September, as people attend events to mark Her Majesty’s State Funeral. I urge all our customers to check before they travel, both at the start of their journeys and on their way back, by using the TfL website or TfL Go app. We will be doing everything possible to provide a safe, reliable and frequent service in the coming days, and our services will run later into the evening on Monday to allow Londoners and visitors to the city to continue marking this historic day.”

On Monday, especially in the afternoon and evening, following the end of official events, queueing at tube and rail stations is possible and staff will be on hand to especially help elderly or vulnerable passengers.

Train operators are also taking a flexible approach on tickets to make sure that customers do not lose out if they choose to change their plan or decide not to travel because of the funeral of Her Majesty the Queen. Passengers who have purchased Anytime, Off-Peak, and Super Off-Peak tickets can get full refunds during the National Mourning period if they were bought before the death of Her Majesty the Queen was announced on 8 September.

With Monday 19 September being declared a bank holiday, peak restrictions will no longer apply.

Passengers who have booked in advance to travel on this day can get a fee-free refund if they choose not to travel or rebook to a cheaper fare with the administration fee being waived.

Passengers with Advance tickets can use the Book with Confidence arrangement to amend their journey fee free up until 6pm the day before travel.

Passengers travelling are advised:

  • To allow plenty of extra time for journeys and to avoid driving where possible.
  • To follow the instructions of staff, event stewards and the police.
  • To check journey planners before setting out, and plan a route back using or
  • To remain vigilant and while travelling on the rail network report any concerns to British Transport Police by texting 61016. In an emergency always dial 999.

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