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Our teams are preparing for lots of essential improvements to the busy West Coast Main Line this Easter.

Our Easter works around Britain will take place from Friday 2 to Monday 5 April 2021 and will involve 600 upgrades and routine maintenance projects around Britain.

We're reminding you to continue to follow Government advice around the use of public transport and minimise travel over the Easter bank holiday. If you do need to travel by rail over this period, please plan ahead and check whether the works will affect your journey.

You can find out how our improvement projects will affect your Easter journeys with your train operator, via National Rail Enquiries or by following #EasterRailWorks on Twitter.

Inside Birmingham New Street station, under the large glass roof, daytime
Birmingham New Street station sits on the busy West Coast Main Line from London to Scotland

What's happening on the West Coast Main Line this Easter?

The West Coast Main Line runs all the way from London to Scotland. It's the busiest mixed-use railway in Europe and serves London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

It sits in our North West and Central region, which spans London, the Midlands and the North West of England, and runs up to the border of Scotland.

This Easter, a string of works on the West Coast Main Line will give you better journeys in the long term – and contribute to our work on major construction projects.

Passengers on the concourse at London Euston station
London Euston station – home to the new HS2 terminus

HS2

They include early works on the new HS2 terminus at London Euston station to make more room for your journeys.

Preparatory work on the approach lines at Euston will mean we can carry out HS2 work over multiple weekends.

For Euston to be the London terminus for HS2 – two of the approach lines to the station, will be closed for a total of 12 weeks this spring and summer.

As well as being one of the biggest investments in Euston for decades, this is one of the most complex infrastructure changes ever to take place at the station.

Signalling improvements

In the North of England, we're making big improvements to signalling systems. Signals are essentially the traffic lights of the railway. They tell trains when it's safe to proceed by telling them there's nothing on the line ahead and are linked to the broader signalling system.

We're replacing signalling in Greater Manchester, Preston and Warrington to keep your journeys safe and make them more reliable.

Watch this animation to find out more about signals and how they keep the railway safe.

Red signals between tracks, daytime
We have about 40,000 signals across Britain and are always working to maintain and upgrade them for your journeys
A railway worker in orange PPE next to new track ready to be laid, daytime

Track renewals

Meanwhile, we'll carry out major track renewals between London Euston and Milton KeynesRugby and BirminghamCrewe and Wigan, and Preston and Penrith.

We’re responsible for looking after Britain’s rail network, including maintaining and renewing 20,000 miles of track.

When a track is ‘life-expired’ and maintenance is too expensive or ineffective, we come up with solutions to refurbish or renew the track. We typically carry them out at weekends or over bank holidays to minimise disruption to your journeys.

Find out more about track and how we look after it.

East West Rail

We're also preparing for more work in Bletchley, Milton Keynes, as part of the exciting East West Rail Project.

The East West Rail Alliance, a group of engineering organisations, including Network Rail, is building East West Rail, which East West Railway Company will ultimately deliver.

The team are carrying out more work at the site of the Bletchley flyover, which was a 1960s rail bridge that ran over the West Coast Main Line. Since last year, they've been dismantling the huge bridge, which needs rebuilding to make it last for decades to come.

Watch engineer Trackside Tara at the Bletchley flyover last summer and read more about the project here.

Trackside Tara and 300 tonnes of concrete at the Bletchley flyover

Tim Shoveller, managing director for our North West and Central region, said: “Our work will make the West Coast main line more reliable for our passengers and pave the way for HS2, which will bring much-needed extra railway capacity.

“There is no question such large scale improvements will mean changes for passengers, but we’re working with the industry to minimise disruption to passengers as much as possible.

“We’re letting people know in advance so none of this comes as a surprise and passengers can stay on the move while we do this vital work.”

Read more:

More than £100m of railway upgrades this Easter for better journeys

Why we carry out works over weekends and bank holidays

East Coast Upgrade

World Engineering Day: Trackside Tara and 300 tonnes of concrete

World Engineering Day 2021: six awesome projects on the railway

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