Railway staff on nationally critical routes, including the West Coast and Chiltern main lines, are keeping vital supplies and key workers moving during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the weekend, Network Rail maintenance teams and signallers delivered essential maintenance on the railway between London Euston and Marylebone through the Chilterns, West Midlands, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Lancashire and Cumbria.

The work to protect essential passenger journeys and freight supplies included:

  • 2km of track replaced at 172-year-old Upholland tunnel, near Wigan. 
  • West Coast main line signalling replaced between Gretna and Pitstone.
  • Bridge and sea wall strengthening work on the Cumbrian Coast line.
  • Wall replacement at Stalybridge between Leeds and Manchester.
  • 5.5km of new rail laid at Dog Kennel Bridge in Carnforth.
  • Signalling transfer work from Birmingham Power Signal Box to the West Midlands Signalling Control Centre.
  • Footbridge refurbishments at New Mills Newtown station in Derbyshire, and Arnside station in Cumbria.
  • Rail replacement outside of London Euston.

Tim Shoveller, managing director for Network Rail’s North West and Central region, said: “During this difficult time for Britain, our focus is on keeping the railway open for critical supplies – including food, fuel and medicine – and key workers, including NHS medics and emergency services. Last weekend we carried out crucial maintenance and refurb work from London Euston to Gretna. I am very proud of how our frontline colleagues are safely rising to this challenge.”

Network Rail is ensuring that its workers are being kept safe from the spread of coronavirus while being able to maintain and run the nation’s vitally important railway routes.

This includes deep-cleaning workplaces and working collaboratively with trade unions to practice social distancing in line with government health guidelines.

Meanwhile passengers are once again reminded to only travel if absolutely necessary and to check www.nationalrail.co.uk for revised train times.