Thursday 24 Mar 2005


Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western
‘Large scale engineering work is essential to the future of the railway’ is Network Rail’s message today as it details this year’s Easter engineering programme. The work has been specifically programmed to ensure that this vital activity affects as few passengers as possible.  We appreciate that this causes inconvenience for some passengers, however the four-day Easter weekend represents one of the few times in the year when major engineering activity can take place and not impact on normal peak travel periods when, on average, twice as many people use the trains as compared to holiday travel time. Announcing the news, Chief Executive, John Armitt, said: “Large scale engineering work is essential to the future of the railway.  These projects are vital to deliver a more robust and reliable railway for passengers and ensure we have a railway fit for the future. “This Easter will be a busy time for the tens of thousands of dedicated railway staff who will be hard at work undertaking some massive engineering tasks that will help to deliver a better railway for everyone.” Where it has been necessary to carry out work over the entire holiday period, we have worked closely with the train operators to ensure passengers can complete their journeys using alternative travel arrangements. The largest pieces of engineering over the Easter weekend (Friday 25 March to Monday 28 March) are detailed below.  Full alternative travel arrangements can be obtained by calling National Rail Enquiries (08457 48 49 50) or logging on to                                                 LONDON & THE SOUTH EAST Southend to Shoeburyness (Saturday 26 and Sunday 27) Road transport will be provided between Southend and Shoeburyness over the weekend as major track renewals work takes place Sittingbourne to Sheerness-on-Sea (Friday 25 to Tuesday 29) Road transport will be provided between Sittingbourne and Sheerness as major re-signalling work is undertaken Finsbury Park to Welwyn Garden City (Saturday 26 to Monday 28) Main line services will be diverted via the Hertford loop with road transport provided at intermediate stations London Blackfriars to Herne Hill (Saturday 26 and Sunday 27) Thameslink services between Blackfriars and Tulse Hill will be replaced by road transport as work is undertaken on a crucial rail over road bridge MIDLANDS Birmingham to Leicester (Saturday 26 and Sunday 27) Services between Birmingham and Leicester will be replaced by road transport over the weekend as major renewals work takes place across this route Doncaster to Cleethorpes (Saturday 26 to Monday 28) Major track and signalling work will be taking place near Scunthorpe resulting in road transport replacing trains between Doncaster and Cleethorpes NORTH WEST West Coast Main Line (Saturday 26 and Sunday 27) Diversions will be in place between Preston and Carlisle as work continues on the £7.6 billion modernisation of the West Coast Main Line. Some trains will be diverted from Preston via an alternative route to Carlisle where journeys can continue to Scotland while others will be replaced with road transport NORTH EAST East Coast Main Line (Saturday 26 and Sunday 27) Services between London Kings Cross, York, the north east of England and Scotland will be affected by engineering work between York and Newcastle. Road transport will be provided between these points with train services provided south of York and north of Newcastle. Newcastle to Carlisle (Saturday 26 and Sunday 27) Major bridge work at Blaydon will result in road transport replacing trains across this line over the weekend WEST COUNTRY The West of England line (Reading to Taunton – Saturday 26 to Monday 28) Extensive work along various parts of this route will result in road transport replacing most services over the bank holiday weekend Bristol area (Saturday 26 and Sunday 27) Road transport will be replacing trains between Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway affecting local and longer distance cross country services. The service from Bristol to Gloucester will also be replaced by road transport during this period

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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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