Tuesday 6 Apr 2021
£31m Easter rail upgrades complete between London and Scotland
- Region & Route:
- North West & Central
Network Rail has completed a range of essential upgrades to the railway between Euston, the Midlands, North West and Scotland over Easter.
Between Friday 2 and Tuesday 6 April, teams carried out vital work on the railway to improve passenger and freight services on the West Coast main line – the Backbone of Britain.
The £31m investment across the whole of Network Rail's North West and Central region as part of Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan saw:
- ongoing work to upgrade Birmingham New Street station's signals – the complex system and traffic lights of the railway which keep trains running safely
- two new bridges installed at Warrington Bank Quay station
- two underpasses driven underneath the Chiltern main line in Bicester
- work to prepare Euston station for Britain’s new high-speed railway, HS2
Tim Shoveller, managing director for Network Rail’s North West & Central region, said: “Hundreds of frontline staff worked throughout the bank holiday to improve journeys for passengers and freight in the North West and Central region and I’m immensely proud of them and our contractors who helped Network Rail deliver these major upgrades. This is just the start of 2021’s work to 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 as the country builds back better from the pandemic.
“Now our attention turns to the early May bank holiday when more essential railway improvements will take place. Because of the amount of work being done, passengers are being urged to travel either side of the bank holiday on Friday 30 April and Tuesday 4 May.”
Meanwhile, travellers are reminded they must continue to follow government guidance to control the spread of coronavirus.
For more information visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers
Please check www.nationalrail.co.uk for the latest travel information.
Notes to Editors
Further upgrades look ahead for 2021
Other essential rail upgrades are planned:
- 1-3 May (Early May bank holiday)
- 29 -31 (Late May bank holiday)
- 28-30 August (Summer bank holiday)
Because of the amount of work being done over the early May bank holiday (Saturday 1- Monday 3 May), passengers are being urged to travel either side on Friday 30 April and Tuesday 4 May.
People are being advised to plan ahead by visiting www.nationalrail.co.uk/westcoast.
The work to improve future journeys for passengers and freight includes:
- Major track renewals between Euston – Milton Keynes, Rugby – Birmingham, Crewe – Wigan, Preston – Penrith
- Signalling replacement in Greater Manchester, Preston and Warrington
- Trackside drainage work between Wigan and Crewe
- Further Bletchley flyover work as part of the East West Rail project
The rail industry has worked closely to combine the Euston, West Coast main line, Chiltern main line, Midlands and North West railway upgrades as much as possible to minimise disruption to passengers.
People have been reminded about the railway improvements now so they can make informed choices about travelling over spring/summer.
West Coast main line train operators and Network Rail have worked together to develop a dedicated timetable to support customers during this period, which will also reflect potential and ongoing changes to travel demand due to Covid-19.
Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41
Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries
Network Rail press office - North West & Central Region
0330 854 0100
About Network Rail
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.