Network Rail is reminding passengers to continue following Government advice and only use public transport if they have to this weekend.

It comes as we prepare to carry out engineering work that will maintain and upgrade the railway to improve journeys for passengers in future.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the rail industry has operated a reduced number of services for passengers who absolutely need to travel -for example those who cannot work from home such as doctors and nurses.

The reduced timetable also means rail freight services can continue to move critical goods such as medicine and food to hospitals and supermarkets.

Passengers who don’t need to travel are asked to stay at home to protect the National Health Service and help save lives.

Passengers who do need to travel are advised to check their journeys in advance, either with their train operator directly or via National Rail Enquiries.

Gallery: The removal of a 1960s railway flyover at Bletchley, Buckinghamshire is one of the projects scheduled for this bank holiday weekend

Andrew Haines, chief executive of Network Rail, said: “The railway’s role throughout this challenging situation is to operate a safe and reliable railway so that people who can’t work from home can get to their jobs, and critical goods can be transported across the country.

“Please only travel if you have to, and if you do, check your journey ahead of time to see if it will be impacted by the work we are carrying out this weekend.

“Our rail workers – acknowledged by the Government to be critical workers – are doing a vital job in keeping Britain connected. It is important we continue with work where possible so that the railway is at its very best when we finally emerge from this pandemic.”

In line with Government advice, Network Rail continues to proceed with engineering work that is required to maintain a safe and operational railway. Indeed, over the Easter weekend (10 to 13 April), 419 projects were delivered to maintain and upgrade the railway.

Meanwhile, 10 of the 23 major projects originally planned were curtailed or delayed, because work was either not essential or couldn’t be carried out within public health guidelines.

The major projects to be carried out over this Early May Bank Holiday include:

  • HS2 preparatory works in the Euston area, including bridge works at Euston and plain line track renewals at Primrose Hill. Amended timetables will be in place on Saturday 9 May and the morning of Sunday 10 May, affecting passengers travelling around Northampton, Milton Keynes Central and Birmingham New Street. This work is necessary for the introduction of high-speed rail services in the future.
  • Overhead line improvement and maintenance works around Fenchurch Street that will increase reliability of the rail infrastructure. No trains will run to or from London Fenchurch Street. Trains will be diverted to London Liverpool Street.
  • Structures works in between Charing Cross and London Bridge, improving and maintaining passenger safety. This will mean no trains to or from London Charing Cross or Waterloo on Sunday 10 May.
  • Plain line track renewal between Leeds and Doncaster that will affect rail services on Sunday 10 May. This work will improve the reliability of our infrastructure.

Read more:

Putting passengers first

Improving our stations

Railway Upgrade Plan

Key projects