Network Rail deploys 14,000 strong army over Easter to improve the railway: London Bridge - Christmas Day 2014

Sunday 15 Mar 2015

Network Rail deploys 14,000 strong army over Easter to improve the railway

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Hundreds of thousands of passengers and freight users will experience long term benefits from over £100m of investment in improving Britain’s rail network over the Easter period. However, in making these improvements, some lines will see disruption over the Easter holiday and passengers are advised to check before they travel using

New station facilities, new platforms, new junctions and thousands of pieces of new, more reliable, equipment will be installed and delivered in a continuing investment and improvement programme over the four days of Easter, when passenger numbers drop by 20% to 40% compared to normal.

Mark Carne, Network Rail chief executive, said: “Our improvement programme this Easter, delivered by a 14,000 strong army of rail workers, is focussed on delivering a better service for passengers.  We are acutely conscious that many people want to use the railway during the holidays to reunite with their friends and families, which is why the vast majority of the network is running normally over the holiday period but there will be disruption for some.

“I’d like to apologise to any passengers whose plans are affected by our improvement work, but I hope they will understand that this is a quieter time on the railway and we want to minimise the overall impact of these vital projects on passengers.”

The Highways Agency, Network Rail and other key transport providers are coordinating their transport provision to ensure Britain keeps moving this Easter and passengers should check with travel websites for details when planning their journeys

The major investment schemes this Easter includes:

  • London Bridge: Continuing our work to transform the station carrying out improvements to track, signalling and platforms as part of the £6.5bn programme to upgrade both the station and the entire route
  • Reading: New freight lines will be built under the Reading viaduct to completely separate passenger and freight services, enabling all those travelling on this route to experience smoother, faster journeys into and through Reading. An entire new signalling system is also being brought on-line replacing the existing one that has brought the route to a halt almost half a dozen times in the recent past
  •  Watford: Easter will provide a unique opportunity to replace a worn-out bridge, south of the station. The new bridge will enable line speeds to be increased. The team, as part of the £81m scheme will also be replacing old and tired track, signalling and junctions
  • London Liverpool Street: Essential improvements to provide a better, more reliable railway for passengers on the line from London Liverpool Street to Norwich will take place over Easter with new overhead lines installed at Chadwell Heath, Romford and Ilford on the main line


Mr Carne continued: “We have thoroughly reviewed our Easter improvement work and worked closely with the train operating companies. The industry has good contingency plans in place that will put passengers first.”

Mr Carne concluded: “Passenger numbers continue to grow and grow and this Easter's investment programme forms a key part of our £38bn railway upgrade plan that is aimed at meeting this surging demand and improve and expand our congested railway network.

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 - Kevin Groves
Head of Media
Network Rail
033 0854 3830 / 07887 896879

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.

Every day, there are more than 4.8 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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