Coronavirus travel update - GWR train services to be reduced

Friday 20th March 2020

Following discussions with Government and the wider rail industry, Great Western Railway is reducing services to reflect national advice against non-essential travel, while maintaining services critical to keeping key workers moving during the current situation.

The new timetable will operate from Monday 23 March, with some changes expected to advertised services over this weekend, and will operate until further notice.

The changes prioritise key routes essential for those people continuing to deliver vital services as the UK responds to the current situation.

GWR Interim Managing Director Matthew Golton said:

“The railway is a critical part of the UK’s infrastructure and, even though many people are remaining at home due to the latest Government advice, we will be relied upon to continue to help key workers in other sectors get to work so they can provide services critical to the day-to-day running of the country.

“Our responsibility is to run a service that can be relied upon at this time. We are taking sensible measures to make sure we are able to do so.”

Full details of the timetable will appear on industry websites shortly. Please check your journey at

Services between London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads, and between London Paddington and South Wales, will run hourly. Services between London Paddington and Plymouth will continue to operate every hour, and customers will be able to connect for services to/from Cornwall.

Services on regional lines and branch lines will operate to a revised timetable.

Pullman Dining will no longer be available and the Night Riviera service will be withdrawn after Friday 20 March.

Despite the reduction in services, GWR is reassuring those who do have to travel that demand remains low, and customers are able to distance themselves from others.

Measures already taken by GWR include:
  • Amending its refunds policy to make it easier for those not able to travel to alter their plans or to seek a refund on the cost of unused tickets
  • Continuing extensive cleaning and hygiene regimes to ensure services are fit for use. All trains are fully cleaned on arrival at a depot overnight and surfaces wiped down. The company has also doubled up on high contact areas, such as handles and doors, and has contingency plans in place for a deeper clean should a customer fall ill and a case be reported on board
  • Establishing a secondary Control Room and a Strategic Command Room with Network Rail to ensure they have another clean location to maintain vital rail services. As an essential public service, Control; Strategic Command; the Train Planning Unit and other essential functions have been quarantined, with access restricted to necessary personnel only.
The Government has advised people against non-essential travel. If people are travelling by train and need to cough or sneeze they should make sure they follow Public Health England advice to ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’.

Notes to editors

Great Western Railway (GWR) provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services. We help over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year - across South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, and large parts of Southern England.