Managing service disruption
During planned disruptions (route improvement works)
Sometimes we can't run to our regular timetable, or have to run a rail replacement service. We know it’s not ideal, and we haven’t met anyone yet who likes disruptions, but that mainline won’t maintain itself - if only it did.
To keep the hassle to a minimum, engineering or improvement work is planned for times when it will cause the least disruption, like weekends and bank holidays.
Maintenance and improvement work is planned well in advance, so summaries of planned engineering work are published 12 weeks in advance on our website and National Rail Enquiries, and are available 14 days in advance at stations.
We try to make full details available as early as possible, and never less than seven days before the work starts.
During short term or unplanned disruptions
Sometimes Network Rail has to carry out engineering work at short notice, and we can't give you much warning. We'll still let you know as far in advance as we can, and information will be available from our stations and staff, our Customer Solutions team, National Rail Enquiries, as well on our website.
For more information about delays what we're doing to reduce them, please see Delays Explained
We have a dedicated team that works 24/7 in the York Rail Operating Centre to look after you, you may never know they are there, but they are always working hard to keep an eye on our service and respond to any unexpected hiccups.
And of course, some disruptions and delays happen with no notice at all. If you're caught up in a delay, we'll always try and keep you well informed, and minimise the impact on your day. You can get the latest updates and advice:
- Automatically through this site, our mobile app and via our email and text alerts services.
- Via our Customer Relations team and our Twitter account @virgintrains_EC
- Through National Rail enquiries on nationalrail.co.uk, 08457 484950 or the text service TrainTrackerTM on 84950.
Our disruption plans
Our team works really hard to give all of our customers the best possible journey experience, and to get you where you need to be safely and on time.
And in case things don’t go to plan, we have clear contingency plans in place to make sure we get your journey back on track as quickly as possible.
Contingency plans are essential for when things don’t turn out the way we expected. We don’t live in a perfect world and not all infrastructure and trains work perfectly all of the time, despite regular maintenance and improvements. Equally nature isn’t always on our side, and people can do some unexpected things, so it makes sense to be prepared.
The excitingly named Virgin Trains East Coast Passenger Information During Disruption (PIDD) Delivery Plan (PDF, <1MB) tells you what you can expect from us when things do go wrong. Along with our fellow train operating companies in the UK, we follow the industry Passenger Information During Disruption (“PIDD”) principles, which help make sure we’re doing the right thing for our customers at all times
And if you want to know more about what guidelines we follow for this kind of thing, it's the Approved Code of Practice issued by The Rail Delivery Group (RDG). It’s around 11 pages long, and we’re not saying it’ll ever be a bestseller.
We keep our guidelines regularly reviewed and change them based on feedback. Speaking of which...
We always review how we managed each incident, what we can learn and what we can do differently from the future by listening to our customers.
So why not tell us your thoughts here.