Christmas railway improvements

This Christmas we will deliver more than 330 projects to provide better services for passengers.

A 25,000-strong workforce will carry out more than £148m of vital upgrades across Britain. It’s part of the £50bn five-year Railway Upgrade Plan - the biggest sustained investment in the railway since Victorian times.

The works will lead to more reliable infrastructure, improved facilities and increased capacity after the number of people travelling on the rail network has doubled in the last 20 years.

The railway will remain open for ‘business as usual’ as most of the network will be unaffected by upgrade work.

However, we remind all passengers to check before they travel because there will be significant changes to services on some routes.

Some of our biggest projects this Christmas and New Year

We’re upgrading the overhead wiring system at Forest Gate junction in London as part of the £250m upgrade of the Great Eastern Main Line. The works will mean fewer delays and cancellations, particularly in hot weather. They will also enable more train services to support the growing number of passengers, new housing and the local economy, including a busy airport.

The broader Great Eastern Main Line project is replacing overhead wiring between Chelmsford and London Liverpool Street. It’s among the projects that make up the London Railway Upgrade Plan, which will create new connections and increase capacity in peak hour by 30%.

Elsewhere in London, we’re installing new track at Battersea Pier junction to modernise the infrastructure and improve reliability for the 240,000 passengers who pass through every day. The upgrade is part of an £8.2m investment in this section of the railway.

Meanwhile, we’re installing new track at Heathrow Airport junction to improve reliability.

For the Midland Main Line Upgrade we’re replacing old switches and crossings - the movable sections of track that guide trains from one track to another - with new kit. We’re also making changes to the track layout between Bedford and Kettering.  The Midland Main Line Upgrade will deliver more seats, quieter trains, and more reliable and quicker services for passengers.

As part of the Great North Rail Project we’re upgrading signalling. The Weaver to Wavetree resignalling project Merseyside, which will enable more reliable journeys and boost capacity in the area. Signalling areas in Allerton, Speke and Garston are being re-controlled to the Manchester Rail Operating Centre over the festive period.

Great North Rail Project is one of our biggest programmes. It will enable 2,000 extra services each week and allow 40,000 more passengers to travel daily. More trains with more seats, running more quickly and more reliably.

Local communities and the wider regional economy will feel the knock-on benefits of the Great North Rail Project as it creates new opportunities, including jobs, and businesses gain access to a greater pool of talent. This will boost growth regionally and nationally.