‘Travel either side’ May bank holiday between London and Scotland: Avanti West Coast train passing Willesden track upgrade worksite March 2021

Tuesday 27 Apr 2021

‘Travel either side’ May bank holiday between London and Scotland

Region & Route:
North West & Central
  • West Coast main line passengers urged to travel either side of the May bank holiday (Friday 30 April and Tuesday 4 May)
  • Major work to improve future journeys for passengers and freight is taking place this weekend (Saturday 1 May to Monday 3 May)
  • On those days trains and stations will be busier with some rail replacement buses running
  • People should follow Government guidance and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible

Passengers travelling between London Euston and Scotland over the early May bank holiday are being urged to travel either side of the long weekend.

Millions of pounds is being invested to improve future journeys for passengers and freight on the West Coast main line and key routes in the Midlands and North West.

This weekend, between Saturday 1 and Monday 3 May, Euston station will be closed to main line train services due to major upgrades between London Euston and Milton Keynes. This means trains will start and finish at Milton Keynes.

Network Rail is advising that the best time to travel will be on Friday 30 April and Tuesday 4 May.

Passengers needing to travel on the days in between could have longer journeys, fewer available seats, and may need to use rail replacement buses.

People should continue to follow Government guidance around the use of public transport and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible.

To plan journeys and for the latest travel information visit: www.nationalrail.co.uk/westcoast.

Other essential work includes:

  • Track upgrades take place at various locations between Preston – Penrith, Euston – Milton Keynes and at Watford
  • Signalling upgrades continue in Trafford, Manchester.
  • Work at Euston station to prepare it for HS2, Britain’s new high-speed railway.

The early May bank holiday will also be a major milestone for the East West Rail project - as work continues to reinstate a rail route between Oxford and Bletchley for the first time in more than 50 years.

Huge steel beams will be lifted across all four lines of the West Coast main line as a flyover is rebuilt. It involves the dismantling of the 25,000 volt overhead line system which powers electric trains.

Tim Shoveller, managing director for Network Rail’s North West & Central region, said: “There is never an ideal time to shut the railway and we have worked hard to minimise disruption across the spring and summer – including moving work over the Easter and Spring bank holidays.

“It is fantastic to see more passengers return to the railway and we want to make journeys as easy as possible for those travelling over bank holidays. We are carefully balancing that with the need to carry out essential railway improvements and maintenance to provide a safe and reliable railway for the future.

“The scale of work planned between 1-3 May will mean changes for passengers, but we’re working with train companies to minimise disruption to passengers as much as possible.”

Where possible Network Rail has moved planned work to minimise disruption for passengers needing to travel and to take advantage of lockdown quiet time:

  • It re-scheduled our upgrades at Bletchley over Easter, affecting London to Birmingham journeys. This meant the work finished earlier, allowing more trains to run.
  • Essential work in North London and Northamptonshire was brought forward to be completed before Easter.
  • This meant Euston could stay open on the Easter and Spring bank holidays.
  • However, it was not possible to move the early May bank holiday work.
  • Reviews into other planned summer upgrade works are underway to reduce the impact on passengers as the country emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile passengers are urged to follow the latest government advice around the use of public transport, which is to minimise travel.

For more information visit www.nationalrail.co.uk.

Notes to Editors

Euston preparation work for HS2

Preparatory work on the approach lines at Euston to enable HS2 will be carried out over a number of weekends, resulting in platform and service alterations, including some being reduced between April and August.

For Euston to be the London terminus for HS2 - two of the approach lines to the station, will be closed for a combined total of 12 weeks this spring/summer. This will be split into two separate six-week closures:

  • 02 April to 17 May 2021
  • 17 July to 31 August 2021

Most services into and out of Euston will run during the work on the approach lines to prepare the way for high speed rails.

However, over the early May bank holiday weekend, no trains will run in or out of London Euston station*, affecting journeys south of Milton Keynes.

*Only Caledonian Sleeper services will run in/out of Euston over early May bank holiday.

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

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