• Network Rail carrying out £105m worth of investment to upgrade the railway and improve future passenger journeys over August Bank Holiday
  • Those who are travelling by rail should wear a face covering unless they are exempt. Passengers should also travel at quieter times and maintain a distance from other passengers wherever possible

Network Rail is urging passengers to plan ahead if they are travelling by rail over the August Bank Holiday weekend as it prepares to carry out 520 projects to maintain and upgrade the railway for passengers.

While the majority of the network will be open for business as usual, those planning to travel are advised to check in advance if their route will be affected by the improvement works taking place.

Passengers should wear a face covering during their journey unless they are exempt – for example young children, people with visible or hidden disabilities, and those with breathing difficulties.

Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “Throughout this pandemic, we’ve continued to work on the railway to make it more reliable and to improve journeys for passengers. This August Bank Holiday is no different, as we invest over £100m to upgrade the railway. That means some journeys may be different, so if you plan to travel please check your journey before leaving home.

“As lockdown continues to ease, and the nation turns towards recovering from this pandemic, I look forward to welcoming more people back to the railway. We have significantly stepped up cleaning regimes and made sure there are more staff on hand to help with information so you can travel safely.”

The major projects to be carried out over the August Bank Holiday weekend include:

  • Significant track replacement work in the Coventry area that will make journeys more reliable on the West Coast main line. A reduced timetable will be in place over the bank holiday weekend, with no direct services running between Birmingham and London Euston. Replacement bus services will be in operation.
  • Moving signalling control from Ditton to the state-of-the-art Manchester Rail Operating Centre between 29-31 August. This will make the railway more reliable for passengers, enabling signallers to rapidly respond to disruption and route trains faster, therefore reducing delays. During this work, trains will be diverted onto different routes to keep services running in and out of Liverpool, and some rail replacement buses will operate between Warrington-Runcorn and Crewe-Liverpool South Parkway.
  • Switches and crossings renewals, signalling commissioning and plan line track renewals in St Pancras area that will improve safety of the tracks and work towards the opening of Brent Cross station. This will affect EMR and Thameslink services on 29-31 August, and will see a significantly reduced service between St Pancras and London Bridge.
  • Major project works taking place at King’s Cross for the King’s Cross remodelling project, which will increase capacity and improve reliability on the East Coast Main Line. There will be no train service in operation to/from London King’s Cross before 07:10 on 30 August as a result of this work.
  • Switches and crossings renewals and heavy maintenance works at Clapton to improve track reliability. Will affect London Overground, Stansted Express and Greater Anglia on 30 August.
  • Bridge replacement works in Catford that will safeguard the future of the railway lines between Hayes and Lewisham, and Nunhead to Shortlands. Both of these lines will be closed while the works take place.

Passengers can check their journeys in advance with their train operator or via National Rail Enquiries. They can also find out how journeys will be affected by following #AugustBHWorks on Twitter.