Wednesday 21 Jul 2021
Passengers informed about weekend rail upgrades in Cheshire
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 www.nationalrail.co.uk 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: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/looking-after-the-railway/track/
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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.