Wednesday 22 Jan 2020
West Coast main line spring railway improvement plan revealed
Network Rail today revealed its schedule of vital West Coast main line engineering upgrades this spring, to make the railway more reliable and improve future journeys.
To stay on the move, train passengers are advised to plan journeys in advance and to check before travelling at www.nationalrail.co.uk/westcoast.
The key weekends of Railway Upgrade Plan work, all agreed with train companies, are as follows:
- 10–13 April (Easter weekend)
- 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 the border in Scotland (Saturday 4 April – Sunday 7 June)
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. Network Rail has also reorganised our Railway Upgrade Plan improvements to keep trains running for this year’s very special VE Day."
Susie Homan, director for planning, engineering and operations at the Rail Delivery Group, representing the rail industry, said: “Although there is a never a good time for improvement work, it’s essential to make journeys more punctual, maintain a safe railway and support our plans to run 11,300 more services by the mid-2020s. We are asking passengers to check before they travel to ensure they can still have a smooth journey.”
Passengers can plan their journeys at www.nationalrail.co.uk.
Notes to Editors
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.
A large programme of work is planned to be delivered over each weekend, including:
- A major track overhaul on Euxton Junction, located on the West Coast main line near Chorley
- Signalling improvements in Ditton, Liverpool City Region
- The removal of a railway bridge near Stockport station
- Bridge work in Aylesbury Vale area, alignment of railway sidings in West Ruislip areas and improvement work on platforms 12 - 16 at Euston station to help prepare the way for HS2
- Renewal of over 17km of track at over 20 locations between Carstairs and the border.
- A bridge renewal, embankment strengthening and drainage work near Beattock, Scotland.
- Track improvements between Coseley and Wolverhampton and between Currock and Carlisle
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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.