• Passengers should only travel if they have to over forthcoming Early May Bank Holiday
  • Network Rail’s engineering works will affect some routes, while a reduced timetable continues to be in operation for those who rely on rail services
  • Passengers who do have to travel should check before they travel

Network Rail is reminding passengers to continue following Government advice and only use public transport if they have to this weekend, as it carries out engineering work that will maintain and upgrade the railway to improve journeys for passengers in future.

Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, the rail industry has operated a reduced number of services for passengers who absolutely need to travel – for example those who cannot work from home such as doctors and nurses – as well as ensuring rail freight services can continue to move critical goods such as medicine and food to hospitals and supermarkets.

Passengers who don’t need to travel are asked to please stay at home, help protect the NHS and save lives.

Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “The railway’s role throughout this challenging situation is to operate a safe and reliable railway so that people who can’t work from home can get to their jobs, and critical goods can be transported across the country.

“Please only travel if you have to, and if you do, check your journey ahead of time to see if it will be impacted by the work we are carrying out this weekend.

“Our rail workers – acknowledged by the Government to be critical workers – are doing a vital job in keeping Britain connected. It is important we continue with work where possible so that the railway is at its very best when we finally emerge from this pandemic.”

In line with Government advice, Network Rail continues to proceed with engineering work that is required to maintain a safe and operational railway. Indeed, over the Easter weekend (10-13 April), 419 projects were delivered to maintain and upgrade the railway, while 10 of the 23 major projects originally planned were curtailed or delayed, because work was either not essential or couldn’t be carried out within public health guidelines.

The major projects to be carried out over this Early May Bank Holiday include:

  • HS2 preparatory works in the Euston area, including bridge works at Euston and plain line track renewals at Primrose Hill. Amended timetables will be in place on Saturday 9 May and the morning of Sunday 10 May, affecting passengers travelling around Northampton, Milton Keynes Central and Birmingham New Street. This work is necessary for the introduction of high-speed rail services in the future.
  • Overhead line improvement and maintenance works around Fenchurch Street that will increase reliability of the rail infrastructure. No trains will run to or from London Fenchurch Street. Trains will be diverted to London Liverpool Street.
  • Structures works in between Charing Cross and London Bridge, improving and maintaining passenger safety. This will mean no trains to or from London Charing Cross or Waterloo on Sunday 10 May.
  • Plain line track renewal between Leeds and Doncaster that will affect rail services on Sunday 10 May. This work will improve the reliability of our infrastructure.

Passengers who do need to travel are advised to check their journeys in advance, either with their train operator directly or via National Rail Enquiries.