Friday 15 Aug 2003


Region & Route:
Major engineering work will be taking place on the railway line between Hemel Hempstead and Milton Keynes this weekend, 16th and 17th August, as well as from 23rd until 31st August.T This is part of the intensive multi billion pound programme of works taking place on the West Coast Main Line to renew and upgrade the route and deliver a safer, faster and more reliable railway, with a 125mph tilting train service by September 2004.   Engineers have already installed eight crossovers last year at Ledburn Junction (south of Leighton Buzzard), during 19 weekends and are now preparing to bring these into service during these latest works. The additional weekend of 16th and 17th August will also allow them to carry out essential additional track works. Explained Network Rail’s West Coast Project Director James Martin: ‘Once we have completed these extra works during this weekend, we can then complete the work necessary to bring those eight crossovers into operational use during the nine day closure from 23rd to 31st August.’ Crossovers allow a train to pass from one track to another, with the new ones at Ledburn Junction allowing trains to cross at 60 mph instead of 25 mph resulting in greater efficiency and capacity along this section of track. During the nine days, engineers will also be installing a further six crossovers at Bourne End, north of Hemel Hempstead, as well as installing new track, signalling and overhead line equipment. During the period of the closure,  passengers are advised to plan ahead, with some journey times extended by up to two hours. Passengers will be able to use the train between London Euston and Hemel Hempstead, from where a high quality coach replacement service will take them to Northampton to rejoin the railway.  Similar replacement services will operate from Hemel Hempstead to Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Wolverton, Northampton, Rugby and Coventry.  Passengers will be supported by additional Silverlink and Virgin trains staff who will provide help and information. Passengers travelling south from the Midlands have the alternative of using the Chiltern Railways service from Birmingham Moor Street or Birmingham Snow Hill stations into London Marylebone.operate between affected stations, with additional staff providing help and support for passengers.  Freight services will be able to operate as per normal on diversionary routes.

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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.

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