Passengers thanked after August bank holiday upgrades completed

The largest programme of August bank holiday works ever was delivered on time and as planned over the bank holiday weekend (Saturday 26 August to Monday 28 August), thanks to more than 17,000 members of the Orange Army working throughout the long weekend. 

Crucial milestones were delivered on projects across the railway, such as Crossrail, the Thameslink Programme, and the Waterloo and South West Upgrade project.

Here’s a summary of some of the key works that took place over the long weekend


Around 1,000 members of the Orange Army worked round-the-clock over the last three and a half weeks; works which will increase capacity at Waterloo by 30 per cent at morning and afternoon peaks from the end of next year.

Over the three and a half weeks there have been:

  • 180,000 hours worked
  • 1,270 metres of track laid
  • 230 metres of pre-cast concrete installed
  • 160 meters of new platform built
  • seven miles of cable laid.

 “The work we have completed in three and a half weeks this August will benefit passengers for decades to come. The longer platforms will create space for longer trains, making journeys more comfortable for passengers, particularly at the busiest times of day.”

 – Becky Lumlock, route managing director, Wessex


In Anglia, teams delivered part of the £250m programme to replace the overhead line system with tensioned wire that won’t sag in the heat – meaning fewer delays and cancellations and more reliable services for passengers.

London North Western (LNW)

While Euston was closed for HS2 work over the August bank holiday, Network Rail made the most of access to the railway to carry out improvement works – including a deep clean of the station itself!

Track renewals took place between Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted, as well as near Watford

Work continues to upgrade Bolton station as part of the Great North Rail Project and work is ongoing to electrify the Chase Line between Walsall and Rugeley.


A range of works were completed between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield on Sunday and Monday, and at Pudding Mill Lane more than 200m of track was renewed and lifted to connect the Great Eastern Main Line to the Elizabeth Line tunnels. New overhead line equipment and signalling infrastructure was installed in preparation for the Elizabeth Line.


As part of the scheme to electrify the railway in Wales, the Adamsdown footbridge spanning the South Wales Main Line (SWML), was ‘jacked’ – meaning it was raised to allow new overhead electrical wiring to be installed. Originally built in 1902, the steel structure was too low to accommodate the new overhead line equipment and needed to be raised in a way that was sensitive to its heritage.  The parapets were also modified to ensure they complied with the current needs of the railway.


The Splott Road bridge was demolished to be replaced with a new bridge with enough height to give clearance for trains running on electricity and strengthened to withstand road traffic.


Between today (Tuesday 29 August) and Friday 1 September there will be queuing systems in place at Cannon Street station during the busiest times, as colleagues continue to rebuild London Bridge and the surrounding railway, as part of the Thameslink Programme.

Starting on Saturday 26 August and until Saturday 2 September, there will be no Southeastern services to or from London Bridge, Waterloo East and Charing Cross. During this time, our Orange Army will be working to move the Charing Cross lines through London Bridge into a new position and open a newly rebuilt platform 6, which will mean that more Charing Cross trains can stop at London Bridge.

Thank you

We’d like to thank passengers for their understanding over this August bank holiday whilst work took place across Britain. The upgrade, maintenance and renewal work forms part of our ongoing Railway Upgrade Plan which is providing customers with a better railway.