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Countdown to August bank holiday upgrades 2019

This August bank holiday we’re investing almost £100m to improve the railway for passengers.

A 10,500 strong workforce will work around the clock between Saturday 24 and Monday 26 August inclusive to deliver more reliable infrastructure and better facilities services. In total, they will carry out 448 projects across Britain. 

The railway is up to 50% quieter than usual over bank holidays so doing work at this time of year minimises our impact on passengers.

Why we carry out major works over weekends and bank holidays

Most of the country’s services will remain unaffected but there will be significant changes to some routes’ normal services so we advise passengers plan ahead.  

Major projects include:

Significant work between Peterborough and Cambridge and London King’s Cross, London St Pancras International and Moorgate stations. 

It’s part of the East Coast Upgrade – the biggest investment into the route in a generation. It will provide more seats, quicker journey times and a more reliable service.

We’re upgrading the East Coast Main Line to enable an extra two long-distance services an hour into and out of London and improve reliability.

The line carries more than 20 million passengers a year. It connects London and Edinburgh via Peterborough, Doncaster, York, Darlington, Durham and Newcastle.

Watch this video explaining a substantial part of the East Coast Upgrade:

This August bank holiday we’ll also upgrade the overhead wiring system and renew the track on the Southend Victoria branch line as part of a £46m investment.

The current wiring system was installed in the 1950s and needs replacing to prevent frequent failures that cause delays.

It’s part of improving rail services for passengers travelling through Southend over the next two years. This means a bigger and better railway, including:

  • fewer delays and cancellations, especially in hot weather
  • allowing for more train services to support the growing number of passengers, new housing and the local economy, including the busy airport
  • supporting the introduction of Greater Anglia’s new trains, which will start to come into service from 2019 with fast, free wifi, air conditioning, and plug and USB sockets.

Watch this video to find out more:

Andrew Haines, chief executive of Network Rail, said: “There is never a convenient time to close parts of the railway. We are very aware that bank holiday engineering work affects many people who will have wanted to make the most of the long weekend.  But the only reasons we do the work then is because it affects far fewer people than a closure on a normal working day. 

“We plan to use every minute of the closures to work towards delivering a service that our passengers deserve. And most of the railway network will be open as usual, only some routes will be closed, so if you are thinking about travelling please plan ahead.”

A breakdown of how some journeys will be affected can be found by visiting and following #AugustBHworks on Twitter.

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