Rail travel

  1. Covid leads to cuts to East Midlands rail services

    Greig Watson

    Reporter, BBC News Online

    Nearly 40 East Midlands Railway (EMR) services are being withdrawn or reduced, with the company blaming "a steep rise in Covid-related absences".

    The new timetable will start on Monday with EMR saying the changes affect 37 services - about 10% of the total.

    EMR train

    Bosses said the reduction was "designed to safely reduce the number of staff required to deliver its services".

    Regional routes, such as Liverpool to Nottingham, Matlock to Newark Castle and Peterborough to Lincoln are most heavily hit, and some Nottingham to Leicester trains have also been cut.

    Will Rogers, managing director of East Midlands Railway, said: "We have taken the proactive step to make changes to our timetable to protect our most popular services, including those that are relied upon by key workers or those who use our services to travel to work, school or college."

    He said the changes will remain under review.

  2. 'Cockleshell Hero' has GWR train named in his honour

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    George Sheard's name on GWR train

    A "Cockleshell Hero" from Plymouth, who took part in a daring World War Two mission, has had a train named in his honour by Great Western Railway.

    Cpl George Sheard was among a group of 10 Royal Marines who volunteered for hazardous service planting mines on enemy ships off southwestern France.

    Their job was to the attack enemy German ships moored at the port of Bordeaux in occupied France.

    The 27-year-old drowned in the daring mission, which saw the troops in five two-man canoes trying to get almost 100 miles behind enemy lines, in December 1942.

    Their mission, Operation Frankton, was immortalised in film in 1955.

    Only two men survived to tell the tale - six were executed and two drowned - but the mission's significance reportedly led Winston Churchill to say he believed the raid could have shortened the war by six months.

    The Corporal George Sheard is Intercity Express Train number 802010, which travels on the Plymouth-London Paddington route.

    Five canoes with the names of each canoe and those in them also feature in the new graphic on the train.

    Sarah Holmes, great niece of George Sheard said the naming was "a great accolade".

    She said: "We hope that passengers will learn of the mission and that it may serve as an inspiration to others."

    The dedication comes after GWR named a train after Cornish D-Day veteran Harry Billinge MBE.

    George Sheard's name on GWR train