Monday 2 Mar 2020
West Coast main line benefits from national £113m railway upgrades this Easter
- £113m Railway Upgrade Plan investment to track, overhead lines and signalling will make Britain’s rail network more reliable for future journeys
- The investment means changes to journeys between Euston, the Midlands, North West and Scotland this Easter
- Passengers please plan ahead if travelling between 10-13 April
Rail passengers were today warned of changes to train journeys over the Easter bank holiday weekend when major railway improvements take place.
Network Rail is carrying out essential work between 10-13 April at London Euston, in the West Midlands, the North West, Cumbria and in Scotland as part of Britain’s £113m Railway Upgrade Plan this Easter.
This includes a major junction being replaced at Euxton near Preston, track renewal work in Wolverhampton, and between Carstairs in Scotland and Carlisle in Cumbria, as well as upgrades to overhead lines, signals and points.
Tim Shoveller, managing director for Network Rail’s North West and Central region, said: “There’s never a perfect time to close parts of the railway to make improvements, but bank holidays and weekends are the quietest times when the fewest people use the railway. We work closely with our industry colleagues to get as much work done as possible during the closures and minimise its impact on people’s journeys."
Sections of the line will be closed to trains with rail replacement buses running to keep people on the move.
Where the line is open, trains will be running but customers will experience service changes and have longer journeys with fewer available seats.
Passengers are advised to plan journeys in advance and to check before travelling at www.nationalrail.co.uk/westcoast.
Gus Dunster, executive director operations & safety for Avanti West Coast, said: “We know this will impact on customers’ travel plans, particularly over a Bank Holiday weekend. That’s why we have tried to give as much notice as possible. The best advice is to check before you travel and expect services to be busier than usual, with in some cases extended journey times.”
Following Easter, other key weekends of Railway Upgrade Plan work, agreed with the rail industry, are as follows:
- 2–3 May
- 9–10 May (after VE Day bank holiday Friday)
- 23–25 May (late May bank holiday)
- 10 weekends of work between Carstairs and Carlisle (Saturday 4 April – Sunday 7 June)
Parts of the West Coast main line will also be closed during these weekends with rail replacement buses in operation.
Passengers can check their journeys for those dates at www.nationalrail.co.uk.
Notes to Editors
The Railway Upgrade plan over Easter includes:
- Structural work between Lockerbie and Bodsbury
- Track replacement at Braidwood, Law and Garriongill
- Railway junction work at Gushetfaulds
On the North West route
- Drainage improvements between Crewe and Warrington
- Track replacement at Golbourne near Warrington
- Replacement of a major junction on the West Coast main line at Euxton near Preston
- Signalling improvements in the Ditton area in Liverpool
- Track maintenance at Edge Hill station in Liverpool
- Track renewals between Preston, Lancaster and Carlisle
On the Central route
- Track foundation work and railway junction replacement at Coseley near Wolverhampton
On the West Coast main line south route
- Work at Euston station to prepare for Britain’s new high-speed railway, HS2
Lookahead to changes to May bank holidays for VE Day
This year there will be no May Day bank holiday Monday.
Instead the bank holiday will be Friday 8 May so the country can come together to mark the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
Major engineering projects take years to plan, so Network Rail and the rail industry have carefully rearranged its work for 2020 to protect Friday 8 May. This means veterans and their families can use the railway to get to and from major commemorations around the country.
Passengers are advised that some work will resume along the West Coast main line on the Saturday and Sunday after VE Day (9 and 10 May) and so they should also check before they travel on those days to see if their journeys will be impacted.
Major upgrade work will also take place over the late May bank holiday weekend between 23-25 May.
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
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.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 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.