Explainer

Rail companies warn of extremely busy services during mourning period after Queen's death

A purple express train at a station
East Midlands Railway are one of the many Midlands train operators that have issued guidance Credit: PA

Rail companies operating routes to London have warned services are expected to be extremely busy during the mourning period as people travel to the capital to pay their respects to the Queen.

The Queen will lie in state at Westminster Hall from Wednesday 14 September, until the morning of her funeral on Monday 19 September.

Thousands of people are expected to travel to see the Queen's coffin, while many more will head to London on the day of the funeral.

While the commemorations taking place in Scotland on Monday and Tuesday will also see people heading to Edinburgh.


What is the latest travel advice?

- Trains linking the Midlands to London and Edinburgh are expected between to be busier than usual, despite operating a full timetable

- Urging passengers to plan ahead

- Check before you travel including on National Rail, which has train specific updates


Avanti West Coast say trains will be busy along its full route Credit: PA

Avanti West Coast

Avanti West Coast, which operates on the West Coast Mainline, says its services will be extremely busy on 12 and 13 September in and out of Edinburgh, with a similar expectation for London services from Wednesday.

"We recognise that many of our customers will make their way to London and other destinations around the country to pay their respects at Royal residences. This could lead to busy services and station closures over the mourning period as well as on the day of the funeral."

"Avanti West Coast, alongside our industry partners across the transport network, will work as hard as it can to enable people to pay their respects, either in London, or at commemorations along our route."

"We expect services to be very busy during this time so we ask people to check before they travel, plan ahead and leave plenty of time for your journey."

East Midlands Railway is expecting services to be busy Credit: East Midlands Railway

East Midlands Railway

East Midlands Railway says it will be operating a full timetable throughout the mourning period, but that trains to London are expected to be very busy.

It's urging people to plan ahead and leave plenty of time for their journeys.

Due to the date of the Queen's funeral being declared a bank holiday, EMR says peak time ticket restrictions will not apply.

West Midlands Railway says customers can change tickets if plans have changed Credit: PA

West Midlands Trains

West Midlands Railway is urging the same caution due to expected busy services.

The operator says changes have been put in place to make it easier for passengers to change plans if they decide not to travel due to the death of the Queen.

They say; "Anytime, Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak ticket holders will be able to get fee-free refunds on tickets which have been purchased before the announcement of Her Majesty the Queen’s death on 8 September. The usual £10 administration fee will be waived."

"Advance tickets will be refundable in line with the existing "Book with Confidence" scheme, meaning they can be changed or refunded for a voucher up to 6pm the evening before travel."

While in London, transport bosses have said there will be "unprecedented travel demand" as people visit.

The Queen opened the Elizabeth Line in May Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA

Commuters are being advised that the city will be "exceptionally busy" and they should expect Tube stations to temporarily close to avoid overcrowding.

London Underground passengers are urged to avoid Green Park station "if possible" due to "high numbers of customers passing through".

Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy said: "The transport industry is working hard to help people pay their respects in London and across the United Kingdom.

"Please make sure you check before you travel as we expect the road and transport networks to be busy."