- Major work means major changes to journeys on the West Coast main line
- London Euston railway station will be closed on 4-6 May
- Passengers advised to travel either side of the bank holiday weekend
Time-lapse footage showing recent improvements at Euston has been released ahead of a further full station closure in three days time for the May bank holiday.
Euston will be closed between 4-6 May at the same time as other major work takes place up and down the West Coast main line, as part of Britain's Railway Upgrade Plan.
Passengers are being advised to check the best days to travel and plan their journeys at www.nationalrail.co.uk.
As well as Euston station being closed to main line train services to prepare for Britain’s new high-speed railway, HS2, sections of the West Coast main line will be closed between Euston and Milton Keynes, and Crewe and Cumbria.
The best time to travel will be on days before and after the early May bank holiday weekend.
Where the line is open customers will have longer journeys, fewer available seats, and may need to use rail replacement buses.
Network Rail has been running a marketing campaign since early February warning train customers of the impacts of Railway Upgrade Plan work over the Easter and two May bank holidays.
Martin Frobisher, managing director of Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: “We recognise there is never an ideal time to shut the railway for our must-do work. Bank holidays are the least disruptive time to do it, when fewer passengers use the railway compared to the working week. That way we can do the maximum amount of work while impacting the fewest number of people. Sometimes a closure is the only way we can carry out major work like replacing track or the improvements at Euston station.
“Train companies and Network Rail have worked together to minimise disruption for customers by doing a lot of work over the Easter and early May bank holidays. The alternative would have been closing the line and Euston station over multiple weekends throughout the summer.”
Robert Nisbet, regional director for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the railway, said: “This vital engineering work is part of the rail industry’s plan to add more services, improve punctuality and make journeys better and as fewer people travel on bank holidays than on a normal weekday, we’re keeping disruption to a minimum. We encourage people who are planning to take the train over the May bank holidays to check before they travel by visiting nationalrail.co.uk or speaking to their train operator.”
Peter Broadley, executive director for customer, operations and safety at Virgin Trains, said: “With no services into or out of Euston we strongly advise our customers to avoid travelling to and from London on the days affected. We know this will impact on people’s travel plans, but with the removal of the Friday peak restrictions from London, customers who are able to do so can make an earlier start to the weekend.”
Significant planned upgrades will also take place on the railway over the Whitsun bank holiday weekend between 25-27 May.
Passengers can plan their journeys and check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk/westcoast.
Notes to editors:
Work over the May Day bank holiday weekend between 4 – 6 May
Best days to travel: Friday 3 May and Tuesday 7 May.
Work on the West Coast main line between London Euston, Watford and Milton Keynes:
- Ongoing upgrades to Euston station's platforms and concourse to make more space for passengers
- Work on power supplies at Euston to prepare for HS2
- Primrose Hill tunnel strengthening
- Upgrades to trackside equipment between Willesden & Watford
- Track replacement in Wembley
- Track foundation improvements in Milton Keynes
Work on the West Coast main line between Runcorn, Carlisle and Glasgow includes:
- Railway track replacement on sections of line between Preston and Carnforth
- Renewal of overhead electric lines at Acton Grange in Warrington
- Upgrades to trackside equipment between Runcorn and Halewood, Carnforth and Oxenholme and at Carlisle station
- Bridge renovation and strengthening work at Coppull Moor Lane in Chorley
- Track foundation cleaning in Crewe and between Tebay and Carlisle
- Removal of old signal box and equipment between Halewood and Wavertree
Look ahead to Whitsun May bank holiday engineering work: Saturday 25 May to Monday 27 May
Some of the work carried out between Saturday 4 and Monday 6 May will need to be continued between Saturday 25 and Monday 27 May.
Passengers are being advised to plan ahead and check the best days to travel when this essential planned work takes place on the West Coast main line.
This will have a major impact including alternative routes, longer journey times and less chance of a seat.
Over the bank holiday weekend work includes:
- Track replacement between Tring and Milton Keynes
- Continued track foundation improvements in Milton Keynes
- Track renewal at Acton Bridge station in Northwich
- Improvements to overhead electric lines in Cumbria
- Track foundation cleaning in Carlisle
To plan journeys and for the latest travel information visit: www.nationalrail.co.uk/westcoast