Passengers informed about weekend rail upgrades in Cheshire: Sandbach-aerial-2

Wednesday 21 Jul 2021

Passengers informed about weekend rail upgrades in Cheshire

Region & Route:
North West & Central
| North West & Central: North West

West Coast main line journeys for passengers and freight in Cheshire will be smoother and more reliable thanks to track upgrade work next month.

Network Rail is carrying out essential maintenance on the track foundation stone - or ballast - in Sandbach.

Special trains called ‘tamping machines’ will pass over sections of track to vibrate the stones to pack them tightly together.

This provides a firm foundation for the railway track and sleepers to sit on.

The work on two Sundays in August will mean changes to some Avanti West Coast, Northern and Transport for Wales train services and people are being advised to plan their journeys in advance.

Passengers travelling between Crewe and Manchester on Sundays 1 and 8 August should check before travelling.

Chris Pye, North West infrastructure director for Network Rail, said: “I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out our essential maintenance in the Cheshire area.

“The work will help to keep this important section of the busy West Coast main line safe and reliable and we’re asking passengers to plan their journeys in advance.”

Gus Dunster, executive director of operations and safety at Avanti West Coast, said: “There’ll be changes to our services between London and Manchester while Network Rail carry out essential improvement works on these dates. We strongly recommend you make a reservation, plan your journey in advance as well as check the National Rail Enquiries website before travelling.”

Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “This important work at Sandbach will help provide our customers with better, smoother journeys and is part of the industry’s drive to give all rail users a better overall experience.

“There will be some disruption while the work is carried out and I’d like to thank our customers in advance for their understanding and patience.”

Alexia Course, transport operations director for TfW, said: “This is a popular and important route for Transport for Wales, and we fully support Network Rail’s upgrade work to make the line more reliable.

“We would also reinforce the importance of planning ahead and checking for the latest updates before travelling, and would like to thank customers for their patience while this work is taking place.”

For more information on how Network Rail maintains the track visit:

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
0330 854 0100

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