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West Coast Main Line improvements

We’re working over Christmas and New Year to upgrade and maintain parts of the West Coast Main Line for a better, more reliable railway in 2024.

Our work has been carefully planned to impact your Christmas travel as little as possible. Wherever possible, improvements will take place from the end of service on Sunday 24 December until start of service on Wednesday 27 December. There will also be vital work taking place on New Year’s Day (Monday 1 January 2024).

What work is taking place?

  • Improving and maintaining track, overhead electrical wires and signalling equipment on the southern approach to Birmingham New Street Station.
  • Upgrading Platform 3 at Lichfield Trent Valley station, following work completed in the summer to remove the old platform. A replacement deck will be installed and reopened on the Cross City line in the new year.
  • Continuing with work to connect the Strategic Rail Freight Terminal at Northampton to the West Coast Mainline for freight trains to start using the terminal in 2024.
  • Improving and maintaining track, overhead electrical wires, signalling equipment and bridges from Euston to Crewe.
  • Vital repairs to the steelwork and drainage at Manchester Piccadilly station.
  • Maintenance work along the track at Oxenholme in the Lake District.

HS2 planned work

While improvements take place on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, HS2 will also carry out work to construct a new bridge between Birmingham and Derby, which will allow the new high speed railway to pass over existing lines.

How will this affect travel on New Year’s Day?

Our work will cause parts of the railway to close. This means busier trains, longer journey times and rail replacement buses to get you to your destination.

  • Cross Country and Avanti services through the West Midlands will divert around planned work, taking longer than usual.
  • Some services will terminate at Birmingham New Street requiring passengers to alight and board different trains.
  • There will be bus replacements for journeys between Crewe, Runcorn and Liverpool Lime Street, as well as between Lancaster, Carlisle and Glasgow.

Check before you travel

If you’re travelling this festive season, please plan ahead by checking National Rail or your train company’s website.

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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