Watch: York Station turns into a ‘ghost town’ as coronavirus takes hold

A near deserted York Station. Photograph: Richard McDougall
21 Jul 2020 @ 8.12 pm
| Entertainment

The last episode of a TV documentary series shows how the coronavirus hit the railways – and York Station in particular.

In the sixth episode of The Railway 24/7, which charts the life of train company TransPennine Express, viewers see the dramatic changes brought about by the lockdown.

By Friday, 20 March, passenger numbers were down by 75%.

At York Station, train despatcher Jake witnesses the exodus at first hand.

He tells the programme: “It’s ten to six, Friday, peak hours. One of the busiest platforms at the station – and we have not got a soul on Platform 3.

“It’s like a ghost town.”

The episode will also show bosses call an emergency meeting at company HQ in Manchester, as even though passenger numbers are plummeting, they must keep services running for the sake of key workers.

With passenger numbers dropping by 95% during the pandemic and the UK being plunged into lockdown, the government is forced to step in.

An aerial view of York Station from The Railway 24/7

Liz Collins, Interim Managing Director at TransPennine Express, said: “The arrival of the coronavirus in the UK has had a huge impact on the country’s railways.

“At TransPennine Express we have taken unprecedented steps to ensure that our staff and passengers across our network are kept as safe as possible during the past few months.

“I’m extremely proud of all of our colleagues with how they have reacted and adapted to the situation, especially those on the frontline who have kept our services running for our amazing key workers.”

The final episode of The Railway 24/7, made by Blast! Films, will be aired on Wednesday 22nd July at 8pm on Channel 5