The past few months of life in lockdown have, in many ways, shown the railway at its best. As passenger numbers tumbled during March, timetables were rapidly rewritten to reflect the reduction in demand. The May 2018 saga, when there was insufficient time to plan driver rosters and the timetable collapsed, emphasised the need for long-term planning in devising schedules. Yet, in a situation where significant numbers of staff were self-isolating, the service has been broadly reliable.

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