Railway lines 'extremely busy' as the Queen's lying-in-state begins

Queues between Westminster Bridge and Lambeth Bridge on London's South Bank on Wednesday, September 14

Queues between Westminster Bridge and Lambeth Bridge on London's South Bank on Wednesday, September 14 for the Queen's lying-in-state - Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

Railways into London are set to be "extremely busy" during the Queen's lying-in-state.

Queen Elizabeth II's lying-in-state began on Wednesday, September 14 following her death on Thursday, September 8 after a 70-year reign.

The formal occasion will end on Monday, September 19 with a state funeral.

The lying-in-State queue in London following the death of Queen Elizabeth II

The lying-in-State queue in London following the death of Queen Elizabeth II - Credit: David Hughes/PA

Train operators in the East of England - including Thameslink, London Northwestern Railway and Greater Anglia - are urging passengers to plan their journeys carefully if they indent to commute into or visit London between Wednesday, September 14 and Monday, September 19.

What is the advice from National Rail?

National Rail: "We encourage people to leave as much time as possible when making their journey and check before they travel"

National Rail: "We encourage people to leave as much time as possible when making their journey and check before they travel" - Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA

A National Rail spokesperson said: "London is going to be extremely busy as people come from all over the United Kingdom and abroad to pay their respects to Her Majesty.

"We encourage people to leave as much time as possible when making their journey and check before they travel."

National Rail's journey checker is online: http://nre.co.uk/

Will off-peak ticket restrictions apply?

Off-peak and super off-peak ticket restrictions will not apply on Monday, September 19 (File picture)

Off-peak and super off-peak ticket restrictions will not apply on Monday, September 19 (File picture) - Credit: Lauren Hurley/PA

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Ordinary restrictions for off-peak ticket holders will apply throughout the period, except on the day of Queen Elizabeth II's funeral.

The Queen's funeral is expected to take place at Westminster Abbey. She will be buried at St George's Chapel in Windsor, where mourners are expected together.

A National Rail statement reads: "On the day of the funeral, off-peak restrictions will not apply and off-peak tickets can be used throughout the day.

"You should check before you travel on the day as London and Windsor are expected to be very busy."

Will planned strike action take place?

Strike action has been cancelled on Thursday, September 15

Strike action has been cancelled on Thursday, September 15 - Credit: Kirsty O'Connor/PA

RMT members will not strike on Thursday, September 15 and Saturday, September 17.

The walkout - over job security and pay - is "suspended".

Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary, said: "RMT joins the whole nation in paying its respects to Queen Elizabeth.

"We express our deepest condolences to her family, friends and the country."

Members of the train drivers' union Aslef have also postponed their strike - originally due on September 15.

An Aslef spokesperson said: "We express our deepest condolences to her family, her friends, and the country."

Will London Underground trains run as normal?

London Underground timetables are set to continue as normal

London Underground timetables are set to continue as normal - Credit: Yui Mok/PA

A Transport for London spokesperson said: "Tube, rail and walking will be the best way to get around central London at this time.

"Tube trains will run normally.

"Some stations will be busier than usual, and some short-term safety measures such as queuing, closures, non-stopping or changes to the way customers enter or exit a station may be necessary."

TfL has asked passengers who do not need step-free access to avoid Green Park station, so as to make space for people who do.

Which are the closest stations to Westminster Hall?

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Hall

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Hall - Credit: Dan Kitwood/PA

Westminster is the closest London Underground station to Westminster Hall - across Bridge Street - but the queue for the lying-in-state parade is expected to be lengthy.

Advice from the government reads: "To visit the lying-in-State, you need to join the back of the queue. The location of the back of the queue will move depending on how many people are queuing.

"Before you travel, check the current location of the back of the queue.

"Check DCMS social media channels for the latest updates on estimated queuing times and the location of the back of the queue."

It adds: "Please note that the queue is expected to be very long.

"You will need to stand for many hours, possibly overnight, with very little opportunity to sit down, as the queue will keep moving."

The DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) is on Twitter (https://twitter.com/dcms) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/dcmsgovuk).

The queue will start at the Palace of Westminster and stretch south-west towards Lambeth Bridge.

The line will cross Lambeth Bridge and double-back on itself along the South Bank past St Thomas' Hospital, the London Eye, the National Theatre, the Tate Modern, London Bridge station and - at maximum capacity - the Jamaica Road area near Southwark Park and Bermondsey London Underground station.

Blackfriars and London Bridge stations are both along the queue route with direct Thameslink trains into Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.

Is it possible to get a refund on rail tickets?

Fee-free refunds are on offer for some ticket types purchased before the Queen's death on Thursday, September 8

Fee-free refunds are on offer for some ticket types purchased before the Queen's death on Thursday, September 8 - Credit: Yui Mok/PA

Some visitors and commuters may have chosen to amend their journeys.

Anytime, off-peak and super off-Peak ticket holders will be able to claim a fee-free refund if they choose not to travel.

Is it possible to drive into London?

Motorway closures for roadworks have been suspended, including on the M11, according to National Highways

Motorway closures for roadworks have been suspended, including on the M11, according to National Highways - Credit: Will Durrant

Official advice from Transport for London reads: "Avoid driving in central London if you possibly can.

"There are road closures in place.

"Allow extra time for your journey and consider an alternative route.

"Road closures may be changed or extended during the mourning period."

National Highways has suspended roadwork road closures on motorways around London - including on the M11 at Bishop's Stortford, on the M25 around junction 28 near Brentwood, and on the M4 near Slough and Windsor.

Cones and temporary signals will be removed, where it is safe.