With just five days until major engineering work on the West Coast main line, Network Rail is urging passengers to check before they travel this late May bank holiday.
To help keep thousands of passengers and products moving every day on a safe, reliable railway, work will take place to replace sections of track and overhead electric cables and maintain bridges, tunnels and trackside equipment on the route between London Euston and Cumbria.
The West Coast main line is Europe’s busiest mixed-use (freight and passenger) railway line and is used by millions of passengers every year.
Martin Frobisher, managing director of Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: “We recognise there is never an ideal time to shut the railway for our must-do work. Bank holidays are the least disruptive time to do it, when fewer passengers use the railway compared to the working week. That way we can do the maximum amount of work while impacting the fewest people. Sometimes a closure is the only way we can carry out major work like replacing track or improvements to overhead electric lines.
“Train companies and Network Rail have worked together to minimise disruption for customers by doing a lot of work over the recent bank holidays. The alternative would have been closing the line over multiple weekends throughout the summer.”
Ahead of the 25-27 May Whitsun bank holiday, passengers are being advised to plan their journeys at www.nationalrail.co.uk, when sections of the West Coast main line will be closed between London Euston and Milton Keynes, and Warrington and Cumbria.
Where the line is open trains will be running but customers will have longer journeys, fewer available seats, and may need to use rail replacement buses.
Robert Nisbet, regional director for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the railway, said: “This vital engineering work is part of the rail industry’s plan to add more services, improve punctuality and make journeys better, and as fewer people travel on bank holidays than on a normal weekday, we’re keeping disruption to a minimum. We encourage people who are planning to take the train over the May bank holidays to check before they travel by visiting nationalrail.co.uk or speaking to their train operator.”
Notes to editors:
Whitsun May bank holiday engineering work: Saturday 25 May to Monday 27 May
Passengers are being advised to plan ahead and check the best days to travel when this essential planned work takes place on the West Coast main line between Saturday 25 and Monday 27 May.
This will have a major impact including alternative routes, longer journey times and less chance of a seat.
Over the bank holiday weekend work includes:
- Track work between Camden and Wembley
- Railway track replacement between Tring and Milton Keynes
- Track foundation improvements in Milton Keynes
- Signalling and telecommunications work at Acton Grange junction in Warrington
- Track renewal at Acton Bridge station in Northwich
- Improvements to overhead electric lines in Cumbria
- Track foundation cleaning in Carlisle
To plan journeys and for the latest travel information visit: www.nationalrail.co.uk
Look ahead to work at Acton Grange in Warrington between 20 July and 4 August
The West Coast main line will close for 16 days for vital engineering work in Warrington between 20 July and 4 August.
Network Rail will be upgrading track, cabling, overhead lines and signalling on the busy Acton Grange junction, which is used by more than 260 trains every day.
Acton Grange is a key section of the West Coast main line between Crewe and Preston.
While the £27 million Great North Rail Project scheme takes place, many train services will be diverted via alternative routes.
Train operators and Network Rail have agreed a plan to keep passengers moving throughout the work.
The plan may mean passengers have to change onto different trains or buses for sections of their journeys.
For more information on the work and its impact visit www.networkrail.co.uk/WCMLActonGrange