• Passengers making essential journeys thanked for their patience over Easter weekend
  • West Coast main line upgrades include work at Bletchley, Wolverhampton and Chorley to improve future journeys

Network Rail has completed a range of essential upgrades to the West Coast main line over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

From Friday 10 April until Monday 13 April, teams carried out vital work on the railway which will improve both passenger and freight services on the West Coast main line – the Backbone of Britain.

The essential upgrades include the replacement of a major railway junction linking the West Coast main line to the Manchester to Preston line at Euxton, near Chorley; track renewal work at Wolverhampton; and preparing to remove a railway flyover at Bletchley.

Meanwhile at Mossley Hill station in Liverpool, the passenger footbridge was replaced to ensure it remains safe and reliable for years to come.

The Easter work was carefully planned to ensure that key freight services were able to keep moving around the country, and that people who cannot work from home could still get to their jobs.

More than 34,000 tonnes of supermarket produce was diverted by more than 100 miles on its journey from Northamptonshire to North Lanarkshire – ensuring the vital supplies could still reach Scottish supermarket shelves.

Tim Shoveller, managing director for Network Rail’s North West & Central region, said: “The schemes we have undertaken this Easter weekend were all critical pieces work. We were able to plan it so as to minimise disruption to freight and essential journeys. This work will help to ensure the railway is at its best when Britain emerges from this coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m very proud of our mission-critical frontline colleagues, including railway upgrade engineers, signallers, maintenance, control room and operations staff, who are Britain’s hidden heroes keeping Britain connected in this time of need.”

To prioritise freight and essential journeys, a reduced timetable is already running on the railway network.

To help halt the spread of coronavirus, people are advised not to travel by train and, in line with Government advice, to stay at home, help protect the NHS and help save lives.    

People making essential journeys should visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for the latest information.