Passengers advised to plan ahead of August bank holiday railway upgrades in Liverpool: Inside the Manchester Rail Operating Centre (ROC)

Tuesday 21 Jul 2020

Passengers advised to plan ahead of August bank holiday railway upgrades in Liverpool

Region & Route:
North West & Central
| North West & Central: North West
  • Railway upgrades are taking place in Liverpool between 29-31 August to improve the railway for passengers
  • Passengers are advised to plan ahead and check before they travel
  • Please continue following Government advice around the use of public transport – wear a face covering if not exempt, maintain a distance from others and avoid peak times where possible

Passengers are advised to check before they travel ahead of signalling upgrades in Liverpool this August bank holiday.

Signalling control is being moved from Ditton to the state-of-the-art Manchester Rail Operating Centre (ROC) between Saturday 29 and Monday 31 August 2020.

The multi-million-pound project* will make the railway more reliable for passengers, enabling signallers to rapidly respond to disruption and route trains faster – reducing future train delays.

During the work trains will be diverted onto different routes keeping services running in and out of Liverpool.

Some rail replacement buses will be in operation between Warrington, Runcorn, Crewe and Liverpool South Parkway.

Passengers planning to use these routes are being warned to expect changes to their usual journey and urged to check to see how their trip will be impacted.

They should continue to follow Government guidance on public transport – wear a face covering unless they are exempt and maintain a distance from other passengers where possible.

Phil James, director for Network Rail’s North west route, said: “We know there is never a good time to close the railway, but longer bank holiday weekends mean engineers can carry out complex work like this major upgrade to the signalling system in Ditton as part of the Great North Rail Project.

“I’d like to thank passengers in advance for their patience and encourage them to check National Rail Enquiries now in advance of the upcoming bank holiday weekend.”

Meanwhile, work is also being carried out near Coventry in the West Midlands over the August bank holiday and on Sunday 6 September.

This will mean no direct rail services between Birmingham and London Euston. Click here to find out more.

Passengers are advised to continue to follow government advice on the use of public transport in order to stop the spread of coronavirus.

People who have to travel by rail between 29-31 August should plan ahead and be prepared for changes to their usual journey, if travelling on the affected sections of the West Coast main line.

Social distancing measures will see queuing systems in place when boarding services in some stations.

There will also be less space on trains and replacement buses.

Those who do travel should wear a face covering during their journey unless they are exempt – for example young children, people will visible or hidden disabilities, and those with breathing difficulties.

Please check for the latest information.

Notes to Editors

*As part of the Great North Rail Project, signalling controls are being transferred from Ditton to Network Rail’s state-of-the-art rail operating centre in Manchester – making the railway more reliable for passengers.

Liverpool Lime Street, Halton, Runcorn, Allerton, Speke and Garston have been moved to the same system over the last couple of years.

It forms part of a £340m investment, by Network Rail and the Liverpool City Region (with schemes supported from the Government's Growth Deal) which will provide passengers with faster, more frequent and more reliable train services.

The work has included:

  • building new and longer platforms at Lime Street station to accommodate more services and longer trains;
  • renewing tracks on the underground loop on the Merseyrail network;
  • adding additional track between Huyton and Roby to allow faster trains to overtake local stopping services;
  • building a new station at Maghull North and redeveloping Newton-le-Willows station;
  • bringing an underused railway line, the ‘Halton Curve’ back into service to enable new regular services between Liverpool and Chester, and into North Wales longer term.

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 - North West & Central Region
07740 782954

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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