We have just delivered hundreds of essential bank holiday engineering works for passengers and freight operators.

Continuing maintenance and upgrades throughout the coronavirus pandemic is vital to running the railway safely – and provide better, more reliable train journeys.

The projects over the late May bank holiday weekend included track renewals, switches and crossings renewals and part of a £161m investment to increase capacity and provide better connections for passengers in Yorkshire. 

Here's a look at just some of our work:

Buckinghamshire

Laying foundations at Cheddington

Our team renewed track at Cheddington in Buckinghamshire, near Leighton Buzzard, to provide more reliable journeys.

It came as we worked to renew 540 yards of track between Ledburn junction and Bourne End junction.

This picture shows the team on the West Coast Main Line laying new foundations for the track.

Clacton-on-Sea branch line

We replaced hundreds of components on the overhead wires on the Clacton-on-Sea branch line as part of a package of work to increase reliability, reducing delays and cancellations.

Track maintenance also completed, along with the installation of bridge track supports between Thorpe-le-Soken and Clacton-on-Sea. We also installed new rails at Weeley.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for the Anglia route, said: “This work is vital to keep our network running safely and smoothly while reducing the risk of delays and cancellations for those who need to travel. The benefits of this work will remain for years to come, ready for when we welcome back more passengers in the future.”

Our team on the Clacton-on-Sea branch line

Greater Manchester

Watch this video of a footbridge replacement in Stockport:

Lancashire

Work continued to renew Euxton junction near Chorley, on the West Coast Main Line. Here we are using a tamping machine to pack ballast – the stones that make up the track bed – under the tracks:

Also at Euxton, we checked the overhead wires that power electric trains lined up properly with the renewed track:

Testing overhead wires at Euxton

In Preston, we replaced a gantry – the big frame that straddles the railway lines and holds signals to tell trains whether it's safe to proceed:

Sussex route

Our Sussex route spans Croydon, Kent and Surrey. Here, we carried out tunnel maintenance at Oxted, Edenbridge and Riddlesdown. We also renewed track at Oxted and upgraded switches and crossings at Lingfield and Woldingham.

Watch this video to find out how the improvements will help ensure a smoother ride for passengers:

Yorkshire

At Leeds, we worked on the track layout to support the new platform zero – the first new platform at the railway station in almost 20 years. It's part of a £161m investment to provide more train journeys in Yorkshire.

Building the new platform is complicated. As well as making changes to the track, we need to work on signalling and overhead power lines.

Read more:

Railway staff in routine works to keep railway running

Coronavirus – how we have responded so far