19 Mar 2020
Chiltern Railways - Coronavirus update 19/03/2020
Chiltern Railways is taking active measures to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and ensure business resilience. Over recent days we have worked on developing and implementing detailed plans to ensure the continued operation of our rail services and to protect our staff and the travelling public. Our planning and response is based on the latest official advice, and we are working closely with the Department for Transport, the Rail Delivery Group, Network Rail, and the wider rail industry.
As of the present time we are providing a normal level of service. This may change as the situation continues to develop.
Protecting customers and staff
The safety of customers and staff is and will always remain our first priority. To protect our customers and staff we have already taken the following actions:
- We have increased train and station cleaning
- We have reviewed and enhanced our cleaning products
- We are providing hand sanitiser at key locations on our route
- We are ensuring additional supplies of soap and paper towels on our trains and in station toilets
- We have removed the charge for the toilets at Marylebone station
- We have acted to 'lock down' critical operational staff to ensure service continuity
- We have stopped checking tickets to minimise potential contacts
- Where possible we have separated shifts
- We have stepped up our crisis team
- We have kept staff updated on the latest government guidance and established a dedicated point of contact for internal enquiries and concerns.
We are also waiving fees for refunds and journey change fees for those customers who wish to cancel or change journeys.
The situation is evolving rapidly, and we will continue to update our advice based on the latest guidance from the relevant public authorities.
Potential service impact
Following updated government guidance on self-isolation and social distancing, we expect that staff availability issues may in due course have an impact on our ability to run a full railway service. We have modelled the impact of different levels of staff absence, and in each scenario we will always aim to continue to run services on the line; however, it is likely that service levels may have to be reduced overall.
Any decision to reduce service levels will be made in close consultation with the Department for Transport and the wider industry.