Wednesday 6 Dec 2006


Region & Route:
| North West & Central
| Southern

Passengers travelling in the Milton Keynes area are set to benefit from more train services – and more reliable services - as Network Rail begins the early stages of work to remodel the tracks and upgrade the signalling in the area. The £200 million Milton Keynes project will increase capacity and improve rail links into the growing town. Improvements will include: - A third northbound fast line and platform, which will enable consecutive trains to call at Milton Keynes during peak times - A new platform capable of handling future services to and from Bedford – and the possibility of future trains from Oxford or Aylesbury - Better ‘turnback’ facilities for trains that will improve the reliability of London to Northampton services Network Rail’s West Coast Programme Director Tom McCarthy said: “The start of work on the site represents an important milestone in the Milton Keynes project. The extensive track and signalling improvements will improve reliability and allow for the future growth of services to the expanding town of Milton Keynes. This is an exciting first step towards delivering improved performance and increased capacity for thousands of passengers.” The early stages of the two year programme began on Monday 4 December and will involve clearing the land between the existing northbound fast line and the A5 motorway, which will provide the location for the new northbound tracks. Fencing will be used to enclose the clearance work and act as a barrier to members of the public. There will be no disruption to road traffic and all footpaths will remain open during this phase of the work which is scheduled to be completed by April 2007. Any vegetation removed during clearance work will be mulched and redistributed along the top of existing embankments. Once the track remodelling works have been completed at the end of 2008, replanting and landscaping will take place.

Notes to editors

- The £200 million Milton Keynes project includes funding of £23.6 million from the Department for Transport and £8.3 million funding from Milton Keynes Council (of which £5 million from the Milton Keynes infrastructure tariff and £3.3 million from section 106 from Milton Keynes Council) - Built in the 1800’s, the West Coast Main Line has developed into the UK’s busiest mixed traffic railway (responsible for 43% of Britain’s UK freight traffic) and is recognised as a leading European rail artery. Responsible for over 2,000 train movements each day, the route also caters for over 75 million passenger journeys per year - The West Coast Main Line comprises some 1,660 track miles, 2,800 signals including 13 major junctions and 10,000 bridge spans - The modernisation project is costing £7.6 billion and in September 2004 a 125mph railway with tilting train operation was introduced, with additional line speed improvements further north this year. The project is scheduled for completion 2008/2009

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 - South East route
020 3357 7969

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.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: