Monday 16 Jan 2017
Major investment planned for North Yorkshire railways
Network Rail will carry out vital improvements to the East Coast Main Line in North Yorkshire in a £6million investment project as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan
The 11-week upgrade will see the renewal of switches and crossings, more commonly known as ‘points’ - the equipment which allows trains to move from one piece of track to another.
The project affects passengers from Sunday, 26 February and then on consecutive weekends until Sunday, 14 May. Work will take place overnight at weekends in order to reduce the disruption to passengers, with changes to Saturday evening services between York and Newcastle/Middlesbrough as well as services calling at Thirsk.
Between Sunday 26 February and Sunday 14 May, passengers are advised to check with their train operator before they travel as services may run at earlier times or be replaced by bus services.
Rob McIntosh, route managing director at Network Rail said: “This investment in the East Coast Main Line at Thirsk is a vital aspect of our Railway Upgrade Plan, to provide a bigger and better railway for the millions of passengers who use this important north-south route. The completed project will provide a more reliable railway, something I know passengers want to see.
“We are doing this upgrade work overnight at weekends which is a time when fewer people use the railway, but there is never a good time to disrupt journeys and I apologise for any inconvenience caused during this essential piece of work.”
TransPennine Express’ (TPE) customer experience director, Kathryn O’Brien said: “These essential works will mean changes to train services between York and Newcastle/Middlesbrough on Saturday evenings and on Sundays starting from 4 March 2017.
“Some services will depart earlier than usual while others will be replaced by buses, such as the 20:16hrs York to Middlesbrough train on Saturdays.
“Some trains will not call at Thirsk on Saturday evenings and on Sundays and those travelling to or from this station should use Northallerton instead. A replacement bus service will be provided between these two stations.
“I would encourage those travelling between these locations to plan ahead and check before they travel at tpexpress.co.uk or use National Rail Enquires.”
Richard McClean, managing director at Grand Central added: “We welcome Network Rail’s investment in track improvements which will have long term benefits. However during the period of the improvements work we do recognise that it may have an impact on some of our customers travelling to and from Thirsk and on customers returning to the North East on Saturday evenings”
Ben Rule, production director at CrossCountry, said: “We would like to thank our customers affected by these works for their patience while they are undertaken. There is never a good time to not run trains to enable these important works to be completed, but by doing them at times when passenger numbers are much lower means we can keep this inconvenience to a minimum. Given the changes to our and other operators’ services, we would ask anyone travelling on these dates to check their journey details carefully.”
A spokesperson for Virgin Trains said: “On Saturday evenings between 4 March and 6 May, our last direct train service between London King’s Cross and Newcastle will depart earlier than usual at 17.30. Replacement coach services will be provided between York, Northallerton and Darlington on Saturday evenings during this period. On Sunday mornings between 5 March and 7 May, direct train services between Newcastle and King’s Cross will start later than normal.
“We would encourage customers travelling between these stations on these weekends to check before they travel at virgintrainseastcoast.com or via National Rail Enquiries.”
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.