West Coast main line journeys better protected from flooding: Sunset over Kilsby drainage work on West Coast main line Jan 2022

Thursday 13 Jan 2022

West Coast main line journeys better protected from flooding

Region & Route:
North West & Central
| North West & Central: West Coast Mainline South

Major work on the West Coast main line to prevent tracks from flooding between Rugby and Milton Keynes is now complete.

The railway reopened today (Thursday 13 January) after a £2m investment to make future journeys through Northamptonshire more reliable for passengers and freight.

During a nine-day closure of the West Coast main line, four kilometres of railway was improved.

This involved drainage channels being installed and railway stone - called ballast - being cleaned, to stop heavy rain from flooding the economically important railway link.

A huge ballast cleaning train was used to clear debris from the stone beneath the railway.

Cleaning the stones allows rainwater to drain away faster and makes the track more stable.

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

James Dean, route director for Network Rail’s West Coast South route, said: “We know this work has meant longer journeys for some passengers, so I’d like to thank everyone impacted for bearing with us while we carried out this important work.

“We worked closely with train operators to keep people on the move and now this work is done this vital section of the West Coast main line is better protected from adverse weather for passengers and freight services.”

Lawrence Bowman, customer experience director for London Northwestern Railway, said: “I would like to thank our passengers for their patience while Network Rail carried out these important upgrades to the railway.

“We know weather-related delays are frustrating for passengers, which makes this work to prevent future disruption caused by flooding very welcome.”

Gus Dunster, executive director of operations and safety at Avanti West Coast, said: “We would like to thank customers for their patience while Network Rail carried out vital works between Rugby and Milton Keynes. These improvements will help to better protect the railway from floods, helping to make journeys more reliable for our customers on the West Coast main line.”

To read more about how Network Rail is combating adverse weather visit: www.networkrail.co.uk/responding-to-weather-impacts-on-the-railway/

Meanwhile, passengers are reminded that to combat Covid-19, people must wear a face covering in train stations, on train services and any replacement bus services. Those who fail to do so face a fine of £200.

For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Enhanced cleaning procedures will remain in place to stop the spread of coronavirus, with hand sanitiser on station concourses.

To find out more about what Network Rail is doing to stop the spread of Covid-19 visit: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/coronavirus/.

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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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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