Railway staff on nationally critical routes, including the West Coast main line and Chiltern main line, are continuing to keep vital supplies and people who cannot work from home moving during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the last week Network Rail maintenance teams and signallers delivered essential maintenance on the railway between London and the Scottish border through the Chilterns, the West Midlands, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Lancashire and Cumbria.

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

  • Renewing rails, sleepers and ballast (railway foundation stone) on the West Coast main line south of Lancaster
  • Repairing overhead electric wires in Primrose Hill tunnel, improving reliability of key passenger and freight services on the approach to London Euston
  • Replacing vital components of overhead electric wires on the West Coast main line south of Warrington to improve the power supply
  • Repair to a railway bridge  in the West Midlands after it was hit by a vehicle

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 people who cannot work from home, including NHS medics and emergency services. Last weekend we continued with essential maintenance work from Primrose Hill to Warrington. 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.