We're reminding passengers to continue to follow Government advice around the use of public transport as we prepare engineering works over the late May bank holiday weekend.

Our teams will deliver 490 projects across Britain to maintain and upgrade the railway for passengers and freight operators. The latest bout of planned engineering projects is just some of the essential work we continue to carry out, in line with Government advice, to maintain a safe and operational railway.

The advice to passengers remains that they should only use public transport if they have to. If possible, they should use other methods such as walking, cycling or driving.

People who must travel by rail are urged to follow Government guidelines to keep themselves safe, such as adhering to social distancing guidelines and wearing face coverings.

People who do need to travel are asked to plan their journey in advance to check whether their route is affected by the works taking place.

Passengers should check their journeys with their train operator directly or via National Rail Enquiries.

Removing the Bletchley flyover in Milton Keynes over the early May bank holiday

Andrew Haines, chief executive of Network Rail, said: “While Britain tackles the coronavirus and social distancing is in place, the railway can carry a fraction of the usual number of passengers. So to make sure there is space for critical workers, please avoid travelling by train unless absolutely necessary. 

“This bank holiday, to make sure our railway is at its very best when we emerge from this pandemic, we are continuing to work on and invest in the rail network to make it more reliable for passengers. That means some journeys may be different, so if you have to travel please check your journey before leaving home.”

The major projects this late May bank holiday include:

  • A range of work in the Leeds area, including the ongoing construction of a new platform zero at Leeds station, installation of new switches and crossings at platforms one to five, and track improvement work between Leeds and Wakefield Westgate. This work at Leeds is part of a £161m investment to increase capacity and provide better connections for passengers in Yorkshire. There will be no direct rail service between Leeds and Harrogate over the Late May Bank Holiday weekend, and a reduced service will operate through Wakefield Westgate on Sunday 24 May.
  • The installation of almost a mile of new track between Fareham and Eastleigh to help improve train performance in the area. The line between Fareham and Eastleigh will be closed between 23 and 29 May, with replacement buses in operation.
  • Renewal of switches and crossings between London Victoria and Herne Hill/Peckham Rye, which will improve passenger safety and the reliability of the track. This will mean no Southern or Thameslink services running to or from London Victoria over the Bank Holiday weekend.
  • The testing of new trains in the Bethnal Green area, which will improve passenger safety. This will result in c2c services being diverted to Fenchurch Street.
  • Switches and crossings re-ballast works in the Wolverhampton area to improve the reliability of rail infrastructure. Avanti West Coast and CrossCountry services will not call at Wolverhampton on Sunday 24 May. Services in and out of London Euston will be affected by this and other works taking place on the West Coast Main Line, including track renewal at Cheddington and between Crewe and Warrington, to improve track quality.
  • Switches and crossings renewals at Carlisle, and earthworks between Preston and Lancaster, to mitigate against future extreme weather events. This will affect services between Manchester Airport/Liverpool Lime Street and Preston.

Read more:

Railway staff in routine works to keep railway running

Coronavirus – how we have responded so far