Passengers are now benefiting from a more reliable railway after the completion of multiple upgrades across the country this Christmas.

Thousands of Network Rail staff worked round the clock between Christmas Eve and 27 of December as part of Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan.

The work in the North West and Central region – which runs from Euston and Marylebone in London, to Scotland via the West Midlands and North West, included:

  • Work in and around Euston station in preparation for HS2
  • Work on overhead wire stanchions at Bletchley ahead of a new flyover being built across the West Coast main line to carry East West Rail between Oxford and Bedford
  • Track being replaced in Tring and Crewe stations
  • Railway drainage improvements between Preston and Lancaster
  • Ballast, the stone foundation of the railway, being replaced in Wolverhampton
  • Ongoing preparation work for the full resignalling of Birmingham New Street in 2022.

Tim Shoveller, managing director of Network Rail’s North West and Central region, said: “While people enjoyed time with their friends and families over Christmas, thousands of Network Rail staff worked tirelessly to maintain and improve the railway to provide passengers with better, more reliable journeys. I thank passengers and our lineside neighbours for their patience while we carried out this vital work to secure the future of our network as part of our multi-billion-pound Railway Upgrade Plan.”

With the Christmas work now complete, passengers are being advised to check before they travel as more work will take place before and during the New Year break.

Chiltern services will be impacted by work to replace track near Haddenham and Thame Parkway on 29 and 30 December. A bus replacement service will be provided with more information available at https://www.chilternrailways.co.uk/tickets-and-times/changes.

In the North West, track will also be replaced, and a foot crossing renewed near Warrington between 1 and 2 January.

Tim added: “I know there is never a good time to disrupt journeys while we carry out large pieces of work but whenever possible we do this at times when there are significantly fewer people travelling by train, such as over Christmas and the New Year. I appreciate people have important plans so I urge them to please plan ahead and check before they travel for the latest journey information.”

Passengers whose journeys could be affected are being urged to plan ahead and check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk or with their train operator.

Nationally, more than 20,000 railway staff will deliver around 380 separate projects over the festive period.

A breakdown of how journeys will be affected can be found by visiting National Rail Enquiries and following #XmasRailWorks on Twitter.