Hundreds of trains cancelled as Covid hits UK railways

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oregon pioneer

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I hadn't even thought about a crew shortage from the Omicron wave, but it seems like more than a possibility. I see the total number of trains cancelled in the UK is only about 5%, but during the holidays, trains tend to run very full, and if it's YOUR train a cancellation can put quite a crimp in your plans.

I am still hoping to go on my EB/LSL trip in January, on-schedule, or at least within a day or two of the original schedule. I just ordered more N95 masks and I already have three packs of antigen tests. I hope all the EB staff are vaccinated and can manage to stay healthy.
 

JontyMort

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Rail services across the country are being cancelled in the run-up to Christmas as rising numbers of staff fall ill with Covid.
Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, LNER, Scotrail and West Midlands Railway have all reported cancellations.


Hundreds of trains cancelled as Covid hits railways
Yes, our son is supposed to be coming down from Glasgow on Thursday. He has very sensibly opted for an earlier train than originally planned, so he should get something. At least he doesn’t need to worry about getting Covid if the trains are packed - it’ll be his first day out of isolation, having tested positive ten days ago.
 

jiml

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Yes, our son is supposed to be coming down from Glasgow on Thursday. He has very sensibly opted for an earlier train than originally planned, so he should get something. At least he doesn’t need to worry about getting Covid if the trains are packed - it’ll be his first day out of isolation, having tested positive ten days ago.
The beauty of British passenger rail (and your son's good planning) is that if an early train is cancelled, there's a good chance another will be available even if via a different route. Try that here.
 

cirdan

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back in the glory days of BR there was a time when there were reserve staff who could be drafted in if there was a shortage. People otherwise in back office or maintenance jobs but who were qualified to check tickets for example.

But the fragmentation of the railways through privatization makes that impossible.

Yeah, but blame Omicron rather than incompetent structures.
 

Urban Sky

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UK strike, that is one way to get Christmas off.
What if I told you that (apart from track maintenance crews), no railroader in the UK has to go on strike to get Christmas off?

No trains will run on Christmas or Boxing Day as usual, while engineering work over the festive period will disrupt services into stations including Leeds, Bristol Parkway, London Victoria, and London St Pancras.


Christmas Day is the one day of the year where Americans enjoy better public transport service than the British:
 
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caravanman

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Christmas Day is the one day of the year where Americans enjoy better public transport service than the British:
We expect bus and train services to stop over Christmas, we call this event "a holiday", something rare in the US... :D

I don't know the reason for the strike, but I do support the right of anyone to withdraw their labour. (A pilot going on strike mid flight would leave me a bit conflicted, however...) :D
 

Urban Sky

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We expect bus and train services to stop over Christmas, we call this event "a holiday", something rare in the US... :D

I don't know the reason for the strike, but I do support the right of anyone to withdraw their labour. (A pilot going on strike mid flight would leave me a bit conflicted, however...) :D
The implicit assumption that nobody depends on public transportation, as everyone can afford car ownership or taking a taxi, sounds much more American than British to me - and it‘s just as shamefully incorrect in either country and on any day of the year (but especially on what is one of the two busiest days of the taxi industry)…
 
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caravanman

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The implicit assumption that nobody depends on public transportation, as everyone can afford car ownership or taking a taxi, sounds much more American than British to me - and it‘s just as shamefully incorrect in either country and on any day of the year (but especially on what is one of the two busiest days of the taxi industry)…
Interesting. I see your point, but I think the British view would not be that everyone owns cars or can afford taxi's, more that one travels earlier, or not at all if public transport is not available. After all, it is Christmas for train and bus crews too...
We tend to allow a lot more public holidays here than stateside, and accept that some services will be affected by them.
 

MARC Rider

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Interesting. I see your point, but I think the British view would not be that everyone owns cars or can afford taxi's, more that one travels earlier, or not at all if public transport is not available. After all, it is Christmas for train and bus crews too...
We tend to allow a lot more public holidays here than stateside, and accept that some services will be affected by them.
Actually, in the States, transportation services are cut back on holidays, too. However, even people observing the holidays may need to travel locally on the holiday, as I do to go to family for the Thanksgiving meal. Of course, it being America, I drive, but if I didn't have a car.....

Also, there's a significant minority of people, both in the States and in Britain, who don't observe Christmas, and might not mind working that day rather than be stuck with a day off when nothing is open. And why should they be stuck at home on a holiday they don't celebrate just because they don't have a car or can't afford a taxi?

Also, in the States, is customary to pay people a bonus if they work on a holiday, maybe time-and-a-half or even double pay, so there are even people who celebrate the holiday who might not mind working on the holiday for at least part of the day in order to make the extra money. At the very least some people in the armed forces, police forces, fire departments, Emergency Medical Services, hospitals, power plants and such have to work right through Christmas and other holidays. I would think that public transport would be another such essential service.
 

jis

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I thought we were discussing cancellation of trains primarily due to staff falling ill due to COVID here. Of course there are other reasons, some perennial (traditional of the country) and some occasional (strikes and such) too.

The issue at hand in this thread is cancellations due to health protocols chosen by the British Authorities and people who are actually ill and therefore unable to work.
 

anumberone

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The issue at hand in this thread is cancellations due to health protocols chosen by the British Authorities and people who are actually ill and therefore unable to work.

Rail companies may realize sick days always rise, perhaps conveniently around the holidays. with what is and what may happen, just as well cut things back.
 

jiml

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Rail companies may realize sick days always rise, perhaps conveniently around the holidays. with what is and what may happen, just as well cut things back.
That pretty much applies to all companies/organizations/public services that require Christmas/New Year's shifts. We used to have a terrible time replacing "sick" staff on holidays all year 'round, despite paying premium wages for holiday work.
 

Barb Stout

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I have a bus driving friend who says he actually likes to work on Xmas day as he wants to get away from the craziness of his family.
When I worked in a hospital lab, we used to fight over who worked Christmas Eve and Day, but like your bus driver friend, everybody wanted to work those days. I believe it was primarily to avoid all the work that the holidays involve, especially for women, and we were mostly women who worked there. It's nice to be able to say, "Oh, I can't host any Christmas events because my #K^% supervisor scheduled me to work that day!" I imagine that kind of plotting has changed with Covid19.
 
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