Network Rail engineers prepare for £90m investment over Easter bank holiday to improve journeys for passengers across the country: Track cutting taking place during engineering work

Tuesday 12 Mar 2024

Network Rail engineers prepare for £90m investment over Easter bank holiday to improve journeys for passengers across the country

Region & Route:

More than 95% of Britain’s 10,000 miles of railway will be open for business this Easter - with some exceptions - as Network Rail engineers gear up for a £90m programme of work over the long weekend aimed at improving the railway for passengers and freight businesses.

There’s never a good time to carry out these major pieces of work – such as replacing bridges or whole junctions – but unlike the roads, the railways are actually quieter over a long Bank Holiday weekend compared to a ‘normal long weekend, and gives us an opportunity to improve our railway whilst minimising disruption for passengers and freight users.

The majority of improvement work will actually be carried out overnight, but some bigger pieces of work need longer to complete and whilst most of the network will be open and unaffected, a handful of key routes will be impacted , and Network Rail is asking passengers to check their journey details before they travel.

Notable locations affected by work include:

  • Euston to Milton Keynes – this stretch of the West Coast Main Line will be closed over all four days for work to take place laying new track near Kensal Green tunnel and replacing a busy junction just south of Milton Keynes itself. Buses will run from Potters Bar to Watford Junction and Milton Keynes to London.
  • Glasgow – Work to renew tracks and points, which allow trains to cross from one track to another, will take place over a major junction between Glasgow Central and Cambuslang/Polmadie Depot. The work will mean changes to train times across the long weekend.
  • Huddersfield – Work continues on the Transpennine Route Upgrade, with new tracks being laid around the city and changes to trains on routes such as Sheffield to Leeds and all trains to Huddersfield itself.

Network Rail’s network strategy director, Lawrence Bowman, said: “We know how important Easter is for families and friends to catch up and we try to keep as much of the network open as possible. There’s never a good time to do the work we need to do but the four days of the bank holiday, when fewer people are travelling, give us the opportunity to do major work we couldn’t do in normal weekend. That’s projects such as renewing major junctions or relaying many miles of track.

“When we do close the railway, we do everything we can to get as much work into those closures as possible. We’ve got 493 different pieces of work taking place this Easter, most happening overnight,  including laying over 8,000 metres of new rail and putting down over 40,000 tonnes of new ballast to support the tracks.

“We couldn’t do this without the support of passengers, freight users and our lineside neighbours, whose patience we don’t take for granted. Thank you.”

For full details of engineering works this Easter, passengers are advised to check their journeys with their operators or at National Rail.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
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Network Rail press office - Chris Denham
Senior media relations manager
020 3357 7969
07515 626530

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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