One month to go: Network Rail reminds passengers to plan journeys ahead of biggest August bank holiday yet: Thameslink programme December 2015-2

Wednesday 26 Jul 2017

One month to go: Network Rail reminds passengers to plan journeys ahead of biggest August bank holiday yet

  • Unprecedented investment – £133m – will be spent on upgrading the rail network across Britain this August bank holiday
  • Passengers should plan early as travel will be impacted in and out of London Bridge, Euston, Liverpool St, Waterloo, Paddington, Cannon Street, Charing Cross and Blackfriars
  • Services out of London Victoria, King’s Cross, St Pancras, Marylebone and Fenchurch Street are unaffected but are likely to be much busier
  • No services to or from London Euston on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 August
  • Services in and out of Waterloo station will be limited throughout August
  • Fewer trains into London Bridge station from 26 August – 2 September

With just one month to go, passengers intending to travel over the August Bank Holiday are being reminded to plan their journeys now to avoid unnecessary disruption.  

Major routes in and out of London will be impacted as more than 17,000 railway workers hit the tracks throughout the long weekend and through much of August and into September on some routes. This will help deliver crucial milestones on London projects such as Crossrail, the Thameslink Programme, and the Waterloo and South West Upgrade project. Euston Station will also need to close for two days over the bank holiday weekend to allow for significant enabling work ahead of Britain’s brand new high-speed railway – High Speed 2.

The record amount of rail investment work over the August bank holiday weekend will lead to new services, thousands of extra seats for passengers to help relieve over-crowding, and new, faster trains running on more reliable infrastructure.

Impact on London stations:

Blackfriars and Cannon Street

Summary: On Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 August there will be no Southeastern trains to or from Cannon Street and on Monday 28 August and Saturday 2 September there will be no Southeastern trains to or from Blackfriars, as Network Rail continues to rebuild the tracks around London Bridge as part of the Thameslink Programme. Once complete in 2018 this will mean longer north-south trains every two-three minutes through central London.
Travel advice: Plan ahead. There will be fewer trains running and alternative routes may be required. Trains that do run will be much busier than usual and will be diverted to an alternative London station. Passengers may need to queue at affected stations.


Summary: Euston station will be closed for train services on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 August while a major power supply to the station is rerouted by Network Rail on behalf of HS2 Ltd.
Travel advice: Plan your journeys on days other than the Saturday and Sunday of the bank holiday, and only travel on those days if absolutely essential. If you do travel, alternative routes will be available but will be busier than usual and journeys will take longer.

Liverpool Street

Summary: Crossrail work will be affecting services from Liverpool Street to Shenfield, Ingatestone and Billericay on Sunday 27 until Monday 28 August, while overhead wiring at Brentwood is replaced as part of a separate £250m project.
Travel advice: Plan ahead. Passengers will still be able to complete their journeys although some of it will be by rail replacement bus.

London Bridge, Charing Cross and Waterloo East

Summary: No Southeastern services to or from London Bridge, Charing Cross and Waterloo East from 26 August until 2 September, while the Thameslink Programme continues to rebuild London Bridge station and the surrounding railway. Trains will be significantly busier than usual and will be diverted to other London stations. There will also be a reduced Southern service to and from London Bridge on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 August.
Travel advice: Plan ahead. Some services will be running but will be diverted into Victoria, Blackfriars, Cannon Street or Waterloo and are likely to be significantly busier.


Summary: From 19 August to 15 September, services will be impacted on the Paddington to Wales route between Swindon and Bristol Parkway. This means that trains will not run between Swindon and Bristol Parkway; there will be a reduced service between London Paddington and Cardiff Central and Swansea, and some trains will call at Patchway instead of Bristol Parkway. This is due to a series of upgrades and electrification work at Bristol Parkway to pave the way for a new fleet of trains, as well as further electrification work and flood mitigation in South Gloucestershire.
Travel advice: Plan ahead. Trains will run but with diversions and rail replacement services in place, which could mean longer journey times.


Summary: From Saturday 5 August to Monday 28 August, platforms 1-10 will close while engineers extend platforms at Waterloo, the UK’s busiest railway station. This will enable longer trains to run, providing more space and more comfortable journeys for passengers. This £800m Waterloo and South West Upgrade is the largest investment for decades and will increase peak time capacity into Waterloo by 30 per cent. That’s room for an extra 45,000 people each morning and afternoon
Travel advice: Passengers should consider travelling at different times of day or working from home where possible.

Mark Carne, chief executive, at Network Rail, said: “These huge investment projects are now reaching their final stages and this bank holiday will see critical work completed that will transform journeys for the millions of passengers who travel in and out of the capital every day.

“After the bank holiday, passengers will be one step closer to experiencing real benefits in the months ahead with more to come in 2018 and 2019, including more than 170,000 new seats for the daily commute into London as new fleets of trains, running on new and upgraded infrastructure, are introduced.

“We know there is never a good time to disrupt services to get this work done, but it does make sense to do so when fewer people are travelling. Bank holidays and the summer months can see up to 50 percent fewer passengers using the railway. There will be major changes to services throughout August and the bank holiday weekend, so we strongly advise passengers to plan their journeys as early as possible.”

Passengers planning a bank holiday getaway will see normal services running to and from airports. A breakdown of how journeys may be affected can be found by visiting and following #AugustBHWorks on Twitter.

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 - National
020 3356 8700

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.

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