Updated 9.00am. Live updates for Saturday are now here.
It looks like there will be no trains through Ludlow today (Saturday). You can expect the same on Sunday. On Monday, trains are expected to be “highly impacted” first thing in the morning. Other than a few bus services last Wednesday, there have been no replacement buses and none are yet announced for today.
Arriva Trains Wales has announced at 8.45am the routes it is running today. The list doesn’t include trains through Ludlow on the Manchester to Cardiff line.
Arriva Train Wales is advising “Do not travel”.
National Rail Enquiries says:
“***Passengers are advised NOT TO TRAVEL***
A reduced service is expected to operate on most routes today. Arriva Trains Wales will be assessing the impact of weather overnight and will publish changes overnight.”
Arriva hasn’t updated its information overnight. livedepartureboards.co.uk seems to be the most informative website for trains at the moment. It shows no trains through Ludlow this morning. Arriva have yet to provide information on replacement buses.
Arriva Train Wales is facing two problems: the inclement weather and damaged rolling stock. Arriva are talking lots about the weather. It seems to have taken a vow of silence on the fitness of its train fleet after damage was identified overnight on Tuesday. Perhaps this has been resolved. If so, why hasn’t the company told us?
If the damage to wheels is not fixed, and it was reported at one point to have affected the entire fleet of Class 175 trains, we are not going to see resumption of a full service any time soon. We need to know that so that people know what to expect and can make alternative arrangements for next week.
One thing our local railway services are not doing well is telling people what is really going on. As late as 8pm last night, Arriva was saying it didn’t know whether trains would run today. It was still directing people to websites with out of date messages at 9am on Saturday.
We are also facing a problem with different information on different websites. Some sites have not been updated since 3pm yesterday. Arriva Train Wales will not resume its Twitter feed until 8am this morning, quite late in the day for many travellers.
Whether this current disruption is due to unprecedented circumstances, the combination of wheel damage and severe weather, the company is not saying. The weather is very bad but not unprecedented. We don’t have any information at all on the wheel damage.
Arriva Train Wales doesn’t seem to have any contingency plans – or replacement buses. It is very hard for workers, students and hospital patients to plan for Monday. It would be good, given the improving weather, if the company announced limited service for Monday so those who really do need to travel can do so.
Meanwhile, the drip feed of uncertain information from Arriva is not helpful. It would be better if the company announced there will no trains on our line through the weekend. Then at least people will know where they stand.
Meanwhile, why not enjoy the snow!