Passengers thanked after West Coast main line track upgrade: Track removal machine taking out old sleepers during Beechwood Tunnel work October 2022

Monday 10 Oct 2022

Passengers thanked after West Coast main line track upgrade

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

Major work on the West Coast main line to keep trains running at full speed between Coventry and Birmingham International is now complete.

The railway reopened today (Monday 10 October) after a £1.4m investment to make future journeys between Birmingham and London more reliable for passengers and freight.

During the two-day closure near Berkswell, 650 metres of railway has been replaced through Beechwood tunnel.

This involved replacing rails, sleepers (the slabs on which the rails sit) and railway stone – known as ballast – to ensure trains can continue to travel through the tunnel at the full line speed of 110mph.

Today Network Rail has thanked passengers for their patience during the essential investment.

Neil Gaskin, route programme director for Network Rail’s Central route, said: “We know this work has meant longer journeys for passengers travelling over the weekend, so I’d like to thank everyone impacted for bearing with us while we carried out this essential work.

“We worked closely with train operators to keep people on the move despite ongoing industrial action, and now work is complete this vital section of the West Coast main line will continue to deliver safe, reliable journeys for passenger and freight services.”

Jonny Wiseman, customer experience director for West Midlands Trains, said: “I would like to thank our customers for their patience while these important upgrades were carried out.

“This section of railway between Birmingham and Coventry is one of the busiest in the West Midlands which makes it all the more important that the tracks are kept in good order.”

With work now complete, a normal timetable has resumed from the start of service this morning, Monday 10 October.

Passengers are encouraged to always plan their journeys and check before travelling at

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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.

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