A train company has explained to commuters what needs to happen before it can reopen a railway line.

London Northwestern Railway has not been operating the Abbey Line during the coronavirus pandemic, and although the number of train services across the country has increased in recent weeks, this particular track remains closed.

The rail company wrote to Abbey Line commuters last week to give them an update on the status of the line.

The letter said: "I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing patience during these challenging times. Just like everyone else, the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on our business including our workforce, meaning that many of our colleagues have been self-isolating or shielding.

"Since the beginning of the lockdown, we’ve worked really hard to provide a reliable train service for passengers across the network, but this has meant that we’ve had to adapt our timetable based on the level of demand and the availability of our own staff, who are not immune to the effects of coronavirus.

"We will continue to work towards the reintroduction of train services and will endeavour to do this as soon as possible.

"Although we don’t have a date when the trains will return to the Abbey Line, it remains a key priority. As soon as we do have a planned date for this re-introduction, I will be sure to communicate with you again.

"Our first steps to bringing back a train service will be introducing a reduced timetable during the morning and afternoon peaks which will be supplemented by rail replacement buses throughout the rest of the day."

The Abbey line runs on a single track between Watford and St Albans stopping in North Watford, Garston, Bricket Wood, How Wood, and Park Street.

While the line has been closed, rail replacement buses have been running instead.

Towards the end of May, the government announced funding of £50,000 to help progress the idea of introducing a passing loop on the railway line, opening up the opportunity of running two services at a time instead of one.

A passing loop would allow a train travelling towards St Albans to pull in to allow a train travelling towards Watford to pass through and vice versa.