Major Bakerloo line and London Overground upgrades this summer: London Overground train at London Euston station November 2022

Thursday 29 Jun 2023

Major Bakerloo line and London Overground upgrades this summer

Region & Route:
North West & Central
| North West & Central: North West

Bakerloo line and London Overground passengers are being advised of essential railway upgrades which will impact journeys over the school summer holidays. 

From Sunday 23 July to Friday 25 August 2023, Network Rail engineers will carry out major improvements to a 20-mile stretch of railway in north London. 

The improvements over the summer will include: 

  • Installing 18,000 modern concrete sleepers in place of wooden ones dating back to the 1950s 
  • Upgrading 1km of railway drainage between Harlesden and Stonebridge Park to prevent future flooding 
  • Replacing 48km of cabling for signals – traffic lights for trains 
  • Improvements to six stations including Watford High Street  
  • Station makeovers will include platform resurfacing and roof canopy maintenance 
  • Upgrading the power supply for Underground and Overground trains 

This will affect the Bakerloo line between Queen’s Park and Harrow & Wealdstone stations and the London Overground between Euston and Watford Junction stations, with the closures in four phases:

Phase 1 - Sunday 23 July - Sunday 30 July

  • Bakerloo line closed between Queen's Park and Harrow & Wealdstone 
  • London Overground closed between Euston and Watford Junction 

Phase 2: Monday 31 July - Thursday 10 August

  • Bakerloo line closed between Stonebridge Park and Harrow & Wealdstone 
  • London Overground closed between Willesden Junction and Watford Junction 

Phase 3: Friday 11 August - Thursday 17 August

  • Bakerloo line closed between Queen's Park and Harrow & Wealdstone 
  • London Overground closed between Euston and Watford Junction 

Phase 4: Friday 18 August - Friday 25 August

  • Bakerloo line fully open 
  • London Overground closed between Willesden Junction and Watford Junction 

With less than a month to go until the work starts, passengers are being advised to plan ahead by checking or the Transport for London (TfL) Go app

Closing sections of these two lines for five consecutive weeks means that maintenance teams can carry out multiple complex projects at once which would otherwise take years of weekend or overnight working. 

For instance, the sleeper replacements could have taken between seven and eight years of midweek overnight shifts to get done.

For the signal cable replacement, it’s estimated 10 years of work is being condensed into the five-week closure period, saving both time and taxpayers’ money. 

From Sunday 23 July to Friday 25 August, TfL customers affected by the upgrades can complete their journeys by using alternative rail lines, and existing or temporary bus routes*.

James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast South route director, said: “We know there’s never an ideal time to close the railway, so I’d like to thank passengers for their understanding in advance while we carry out these significant improvements to the Bakerloo line and London Overground. 

“I appreciate that doing this essential work over consecutive weeks will be disruptive for passengers so I’d urge people to keep in mind the line between Euston and Watford will be closed and to check National Rail Enquiries and TfL for alternative public transport options in and out of the capital.” 

Geoff Hobbs, director of public transport service planning for TfL, said: “We’re sorry for the disruption that Network Rail’s essential track renewal work will cause to our customers’ journeys and are working closely with them to minimise the impact. Closures of this type enable work to be carried out which will make customer journeys more reliable in future and are scheduled to take place, where possible, in school holidays when demand on our network is significantly reduced. 

“These closures will also be used to carry out improvement works at the stations that are temporarily closed. We advise our customers to use TfL’s Journey Planner or the TfL Go app to plan their journeys in advance during this period.” 

Passengers are reminded to check for further updates on how railway upgrades could impact on journeys.

Notes to Editors

Bakerloo line and London Overground customers are encouraged to use existing bus services to connect to alternative rail routes, including the nearby Central, Jubilee or Metropolitan lines, for fast services to / from central London 

Temporary bus routes 718, 719 and 720 will be available during the closure periods and will provide connections to the Bakerloo, Jubilee or Metropolitan lines 

These temporary routes will run between Watford Junction and Harrow & Wealdstone, and between Harrow & Wealdstone and Stonebridge Park / Queen’s Park and will cost the same as a standard bus fare. TfL’s Hopper fare gives customers unlimited bus journeys for £1.75, made within one hour of touching in.  For more information on timings, please visit 

Customers for central London should use London Northwestern Railway (West Midlands Trains) services from Watford Junction, Bushey, Harrow & Wealdstone or Wembley Central (weekdays only), which will operate as normal

There will be fewer services running on the rest of the Bakerloo line between Elephant & Castle and Queen’s Park during the closure periods as there will be no access to one of TfL’s depots meaning fewer trains are available. Service frequency on the remainder of the line is available on TfL Go and 

Improvement work will be carried out at the following six stations during the closure period: Harlesden, Headstone Lane, Kensal Green, North Wembley, South Kenton and Watford High Street 

Journalists needing more information about service provision during the upgrades are advised to contact the TfL press office on 0343 222 4141 

Contact information

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.

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