Monday 14 Aug 2017
Passenger services expected to be busier than usual ahead of record bank holiday investment
Passengers travelling on services between London and Yorkshire and the north east are being advised that trains will be busier than usual this August bank holiday as Network Rail invests record amounts across the network.
Around £133m will be spent across the national rail network over the weekend of August 26 and 27, including rerouting the power supply at London Euston in preparation for HS2. This work means that there will be fewer services on the West Coast Main Line – which runs between Glasgow, north west England and London Euston – with passengers along the route advised not to travel unless essential.
As a result, trains on the East Coast Main Line are expected to be extremely busy, particularly on services from Newcastle, York and Leeds bound for London. Services in South Yorkshire will also be very busy, including trains between Sheffield and Manchester.
The railway will also be busy due to a number of high profile events taking place across the north east over the bank holiday weekend, such as Leeds Festival and York races, in addition to passengers who are using the long weekend to get away and attend the Challenge Cup final in Wembley.
Passengers are therefore urged to allow additional time to travel and plan their journey ahead with National Rail Enquiries.
Rob McIntosh, managing director of the London North Eastern and East Midlands route said: “We are investing a record amount across the railway this August bank holiday. It is vital investment which will ensure that we can provide a network which meets the needs of the economies and communities our railway serves.
“We carry out major engineering projects at weekends and bank holidays where possible, as this is when fewer people travel. However, we do appreciate that there’s never an ideal time to work on the railway.
“We know that there are many events going on at this time of the year and that the railway will be busy, so if you do plan on travelling by train, please make sure you plan your journey and allow extra travelling time.”
Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience Director for TransPennine Express commented: “We are expecting all of our train services, particularly between Sheffield and Manchester to be extremely busy on the Saturday and Sunday of the August Bank Holiday weekend due to work affecting the West Coast Mainline.
“Customers travelling should allow extra time and check before they travel.”
Warrick Dent, Safety and Operations Director at Virgin Trains on the east coast, said: “Although these works don’t directly affect us, some passengers will be redirected onto the east coast route over the weekend and so some of our services are expected to be very busy. We would urge customers to book ahead, ensure they have a seat reservation and check before they travel.”
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.