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West Coast Main Line improvements

We’re completing a £85 million investment into upgrading the signalling on the West Coast main line between Rugeley and Colwich to improve reliability for passengers and freight.

What work is taking place?

The section of the railway between Rugby and Stafford will be closed so engineers can connect the new signals that have been installed in stages since 2017. This includes:

  • 39 new signals
  • 124 axel counters (the system used to detect if a section of track is clear or unoccupied)
  • Combining and moving Colwich and Trent Valley workstations to be based from the Rugby Rail Operating Centre.

When is the work taking place?

This project will start on Sunday 14 January then run over the weekend from Saturday 20 January until Monday 22 January.

How will this work affect me?

On Sunday 14 January and between Saturday 20 to Monday 22 January, there will be changes to train services;

Avanti West Coast

Services will divert around the railway closure with an amended timetable in place. It will mean extended journey times for passengers travelling to and from London Euston. Services to and from Liverpool will operate every two hours between Crewe and Liverpool only. Some journeys may involve a change and rail replacement bus service.

London Northwestern Railway

  • Crewe – London Euston services will run between Rugby – London Euston only.
  • Buses replace trains between Rugby and Stafford and between Crewe and Stafford (via Stoke-on-Trent) calling at Alsager, Kidsgrove, Longport, Stoke-on-Trent and Stone.
  • Passengers are advised to use alternative services between Stafford and Crewe. 

West Midlands Railway

Buses replace trains between Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley.  

On Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 January, due to additional planned upgrade work taking place elsewhere on the West Coast main line, some journeys may take longer and involve a change and rail replacement bus service.

Why is the work needed?

The new signalling system will mean a more reliable services for passengers and freight in the future.

Get in touch

If you have any questions please call our dedicated 24-hour National Helpline on 03457 11 41 41 or visit our contact us page.

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