Passengers thanked after August bank holiday upgrades completed

An £84m programme of August bank holiday works was delivered on time and as planned over the bank holiday (Saturday 25 August to Monday 27 August)

Over 400 projects were delivered on time by our workforce of 9,600 including;

  • the replacement of a vital junction outside of London Euston station at North Wembley to improve reliability of services,
  • a complete renewal of Factory Junction, one of London's busiest rail junctions
  • the replacement of track near Coventry to improve the reliability of services through the area.

The programme of work was just part of Network Rail’s five-year railway upgrade plan – a multi-billion-pound investment in the rail network which will improve passenger journeys in the months and years ahead.

Here’s a summary of some of the key works that took place over the long weekend.


Over the long weekend, Network Rail’s engineers installed 120 metres of track, a set of points and a new buffer stop at Colchester station. Points are the moveable sections of track that allow trains to move from one line to another while a buffer stop prevents trains from going past the end of a section of track, preventing derailment.

Teams also renewed 1,200 tons of ballast - the stones on the track that cushion the railway - and renewed more than 2 miles of track between Manningtree and Ardleigh on the main line. This will improve safety and reliability for passengers using this busy line.

Elsewhere on the route, bridge strengthening works were completed at Lorne Road between South Tottenham and Woodgrange Park, improving reliability and reducing the potential for maintenance, speed restrictions and other disruption. Bridge timbers were also replaced in Camden to improve the reliability of a critical freight route onto the West Coast Main Line.

Track renewal works were also completed between Westerfield and Felixstowe, supporting the £60.4m programme to transform the single-track Felixstowe branch line that began last April. This work will allow the line to operate more effectively, giving the flexibility needed to run more freight trains as well as improve the reliability of existing passenger services – all part of the important developments in the pipeline for the Port of Felixstowe.

At Chalk Farm Road/Camden High Street junction in Camden we replaced 12 longitudinal timbers on the railway bridge. These extra long timbers form the track bed that the rails themselves sit on. These decay over time and usually need replacing every 4/5 years. We renewed these over the bank holiday to prevent future track issues at this bridge which is essential for the safe running of the railway.

London North Eastern and East Midlands

Works also continued on the £200 million investment to transform the track and signalling through the Derby station area. 79 days of engineering began on Sunday 22 July and will run until Sunday 7 October. The investment is a key part of the biggest upgrade of the Midland Main Line, which will support better journeys between Sheffield, Derby, Nottingham and London.

Pipworth Viaduct, five miles south east of Sheffield, is over 175 years old. This weekend, we carried out a range of essential works including reinforcing the structure, placing new ballast, sleepers and rail, and new waterproofing measures. These works will strengthen the bridge and decrease the potential for maintenance and speed restrictions to disrupt services, resulting in a safer and more reliable experience for passengers.

London North Western

Work continued on the essential renewals at North Wembley Junction, with teams completing the second in a series of three weekend closures on the West Coast Main Line. The junction at North Wembley is one of the busiest on the line and these renewals will ensure a more reliable service for freight and passenger services alike.

400m of track was renewed in Canley, Coventry and work continued on a £5m drainage project in Hampton-in-Arden, Solihull, to reduce the risk of flooding on the line between Birmingham International and Coventry.

Work continued over the weekend to complete the upgrade of the railway between Manchester and Preston via Bolton. The upgrade will provide passengers with better, more reliable electric services as part of a multi-billion pound investment across the North of England. The railway will remain closed until Sunday (2 September) when buses will replace trains.

See below for a gallery of the works at Wembley Junction


  • As part of the Motherwell North Signalling Renewal (MNSR) project in Lanarkshire, a major commissioning of signalling workstations was successfully carried out and re-controlled to the West of Scotland Signalling Centre. This work improves reliability and resilience of the railway and safety for passengers, and introduces greater capacity into the network so more trains can run.
  • As part of the Polmadie and Rutherglen Renewals (PARR) project, with much of the physical work delivered on the project to renew and upgrade track OLE and on one of Scotland’s busiest rail corridors, engineers have removed redundant equipment and cabling as the project moves towards completion.

Gallery below of images from the MNSR.

South East

On the South East route, teams completed switches and crossings (S&C) renewals at Factory Junction, Battersea. After almost three years of planning, colleagues worked on a complete rebuild of the junction, which serves routes into London Victoria, Clapham, Battersea Park and Shepherd’s Bush, and is one of the busiest in the area. Work also continued on the Lewes to Seaford route, as well as at Sevenoaks Tunnel.

Gallery below of pictures from Factory Junction

Thanks to all our passengers and partners for their patience as we delivered this latest phase of our Railway Upgrade Plan.