Improving services for the benefit of our customers

It’s been a while since our last full newsletter, but throughout this time we have been keeping stakeholders up to date with 23 bulletins focussing on operational issues and how we are dealing with challenges, including industrial action and engineering works. This follows feedback we have previously received from stakeholders on improving the timeliness of our information sharing on operational changes.


We know in the latter half of 2022 our customers were not getting the service they deserve. We are sorry for the enormous amount of frustration and inconvenience this caused and are grateful for the patience our passengers have shown. While we still have further to go to fully achieve our aims, especially with the continuing backdrop of industrial action across the whole network, we firmly believe we are taking a significant step on the way to recovery. We remain committed to improving rail services for the benefit of our customers.


In December, we introduced more services across our routes as part of a major timetable change. We now run 1,789 services each week, with the timetable change delivering a 40 percent increase in services each day. Manchester has returned to three trains per hour to and from London while services between London and Birmingham operate twice an hour, with a third service per hour during busy periods. North Wales has more direct services a day than in May 2022.


Two of our recent stakeholder bulletins have included detail on our May 2023 timetable and the Carstairs engineering works. You can read about these in more detail by clicking the links, but in summary:


  • Between March and June, Network Rail will be modernising Carstairs Junction in Scotland. This very significant project will upgrade a key section of the West Coast Main Line, which links Glasgow and Edinburgh to London. The work includes re-configuring and renewing the existing track, along with associated signals and overhead lines. Once complete, track, signalling and overhead electrification equipment will be more reliable, and easier to operate and maintain.
  • We will be operating a new timetable from 21st May. Minor service changes are needed to deliver the service resilience and flexibility that enable the introduction of our new Hitachi fleet – specifically on the Birmingham, North Wales, and Liverpool routes.


As we will cover in more detail below, we’ve also been continuing to make other improvements for the benefit of customers and our colleagues, including working with partners to deliver our new fleet and encouraging more female applicants through our driver recruitment campaign.


We always welcome your feedback on how we can enhance our communications with you. If you have any feedback or issues for us to consider, please email, or alternatively please do get in touch with our team of dedicated Regional Growth Managers if you want to discuss this or any other aspects of our business.