Marston Vale Line Sign Image London Northwestern

London Northwestern Railway is making temporary changes to its timetables from Saturday (24 July 2021).

The train operator says the changes are necessary due COVID-19 and the ongoing impact of ‘Test and Trace’ notifications causing trains to be cancelled at short notice. In recent weeks the train company said it has seen the number of staff having to self-isolate quadruple resulting in trains being cancelled at short notice and fewer carriages being available on some services.

The changes affect services between Northampton and London, and on the Abbey and Marston Vale lines.

London Northwestern Railway’s customer experience director, Lawrence Bowman, said:

“No one wants to see trains being cancelled, particularly at short notice. But we are experiencing more of this, across all our services, as increasing numbers of staff are getting ‘pinged’ by the Test and Trace app.

“We are sorry that we have had to make the decision to alter some services. However, the changes will help us run a more reliable and consistent timetable for passengers across our network.”

The planned changes will be:

From 24 July 2021

On Saturdays, buses will run in place of trains on the Abbey Line (between Watford Junction – St. Albans Abbey) and the Marston Vale Line (Bedford – Bletchley).

From 26 July 2021

The following weekday services will no longer run:

07.53 Bletchley – Euston

17.05 Euston – Watford Junction

17.43 Watford Junction – Euston

18.24 Euston – Northampton


For more information on these services visit

Before the pandemic, the train operator recruited over 100 extra drivers but added that the training has been delayed due to COVID restrictions.

The company now estimates it will take up to a year before all of its new train crew are qualified.