Major improvement work is progressing well along the West Coast main line with more to come over the early May Bank Holiday in four days’ time.

Hundreds of railway engineers carried out vital maintenance to track, tunnels and railway equipment in Lancashire, Wolverhampton, Daventry and Bletchley as part of Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan this weekend.

The work included:

  • The major overhaul of a railway junction at Euxton near Chorley
  • Renewal of switches and crossings, which help trains move from track to track, at Wolverhampton
  • Removal of a 1960s railway flyover at Bletchley as part of the East West Rail Project

Passengers are being thanked for their patience and reminded that more work is taking place this:

  • VE Day bank holiday weekend – Friday 8 to Sunday 10 May (Early Bank Holiday)
  • Spring bank holiday weekend – Saturday 23 to Monday 25 May (Late Bank Holiday)

Passengers are reminded to continue following Government advice regarding public transport.

Those who do need to travel over the affected weekends in May are being advised to check www.nationalrail.co.uk ahead of the engineering work.

Tim Shoveller, managing director for Network Rail’s North West & Central region, said: “The schemes we are carrying out over the weekends in May are all must-do work. We have planned it so as to minimise disruption to freight and those who do need to travel. It will help to ensure the railway is at its best when Britain emerges from this coronavirus pandemic.

“Our mission-critical frontline colleagues, including railway upgrade engineers, signallers, maintenance, control room and operations staff, are Britain’s hidden heroes, helping to keep Britain connected in this time of need. And I’m proud of them.”

Work also started on a two-week closure of the railway between Rugby and Milton Keynes where more than 150 different maintenance projects are taking place.

The largest job is to improve drainage and track inside the Victorian-built Kilsby Tunnel in Daventry so trains can run through at full speed after years of water leaks inside the historic structure.

All of May’s essential upgrades have been carefully planned to ensure vital freight can keep moving around the country and people who cannot work from home can still get to their jobs.

Passengers should continue following Government guidelines around the use of public transport, and only travel if they have to.

People making such journeys should visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for the latest information. ​