Friday 15 Aug 2003


Region & Route:
Network Rail will continue its task of rebuilding the railway as it carries out an extensive programme of engineering work this August bank holiday.  Large scale maintenance and renewal work will be undertaken at sites across the country, as engineers work around the clock to complete these important projects which form part of the continued drive to deliver a more reliable rail network.           Peter Henderson, Projects and Engineering Director said: “Network Rail is continuing its task of rebuilding the railway as it carries out a large amount of work this bank holiday.  Thousands of on-track staff will be working hard over the holidays to upgrade and maintain the railway and bring real and tangible improvements to the rail network.” The majority of work has been specifically programmed to ensure that peak commuter travel periods remain unaffected when, on average, twice as many people use the trains even compared to peak holiday travel time. Where it has been necessary to carry out work over the entire holiday period, this has been planned well in advance to give train operating companies adequate time to plan alternative travel arrangements for passengers. Mr Henderson continued: “These windows of opportunity are essential to the continued maintenance and renewal needed on the nation’s infrastructure.  During these times, however, we will be doing our utmost to ensure disruption to passengers and those living beside the railway is kept to a minimum.” - more - August - 2 Details of the largest pieces of engineering work involving line closures over the period are detailed below. Full alternative travel arrangements can be obtained by calling National Rail Enquiries (08457 48 49 50) or logging on to West London and the West Country Great Western Main Line closed (Slough-Reading), Saturday 23rd– Monday 25th(inc):
  • Major track renewals work in the Slough area will close part of the Great Western Main Line. Paddington station will remain open with Heathrow Express and some local services operating.  Reading station will be open throughout with a train service direct to London via Waterloo.
  East Anglia Main line from London to Stansted closed on Sunday 24th & Monday 25th: ·        £184m West Anglia Route Modernisation project (WARM), which is upgrading the signalling system from Liverpool Street station to Stansted Airport, is in its final stage and the holidays mark essential periods of activity.  Buses will replace trains between Broxbourne and Stansted Airport and direct coaches will replace the Stansted Express. There will be a train service between Cambridge and Stansted Airport. West Coast Main Line  West Coast Main Line closed (Hemel to Milton Keynes)from Saturday 23rd- Sunday  31st (inc): ·        Large scale engineering works are planned during this period involving the installation of new sets of points, bridgeworks, overhead line equipment renewals and repairs and essential track maintenance work. Train services will be substituted by coach/bus services between Northampton / Milton Keynes and Hemel Hempstead with a mixture of fast point to point services, intermediate and all station services. A section of the West Coast Main Line closed (Stockport to Manchester Piccadilly) from Saturday 23rd- Monday 25th (inc) and also Saturday 30th - Sunday 31st August: ·        Replacement and modernisation of the signalling control equipment in this area as part of the West Coast project will result in alterations to local and long distance services to Manchester Piccadilly being disrupted. Passengers from London to Manchester Piccadilly are advised to use the St Pancras to Manchester direct service whilst people travelling to Crewe, Preston and northwards to Glasgow will be unaffected by this work. During all of the above West Coast works (until next summer), an alternative direct service from Manchester Piccadilly to London St Pancras is available via the East Midlands. August – 3 East Coast Main Line East Coast Main Line closed (Newark to Retford), Saturday 23rd- Monday 25th (inc): ·        Major track renewals work will take place north of Newark on the East Coast Main Line resulting in the line’s closure all day Saturday 23rd, Sunday 24thand Monday 25th. GNER and Hull Trains services will both be affected by the work with replacement coach services in operation.

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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.

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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