Bank holiday upgrades complete between London and Manchester

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Network Rail has completed a range of essential upgrades to the railway between London Euston, the Midlands, and North West over the August bank holiday.

Between Saturday 26 and Tuesday 29 August, teams carried out vital work on the railway to improve passenger and freight services on the West Coast main line – the Backbone of Britain.

Today (29 August) trains restarted after some sections of track closed so engineers could quickly and safely carry out the major improvements over the long weekend.

The £15m investment across the whole of Network Rail’s North West and Central region saw:

  • Trackside drainage upgrades in Cheadle Hulme in Cheshire, and new track installed in Macclesfield
  • New railway lines installed in Altrincham
  • New West Coast main line track installed at Wolverton near Milton Keynes, and work above some of London Euston station’s platforms

While these improvements took place, HS2 also carried out work to construct a new bridge between Birmingham and Derby which will allow the new high speed railway to pass over existing lines.

Dave Penney, Network Rail’s North West & Central region interim managing director, said: “Hundreds of frontline staff worked throughout the bank holiday to improve journeys for passengers and freight in the North West and Central region and I’m immensely proud of them and our contractors who helped Network Rail deliver this vital programme of upgrades. 

“The £15m invested plays a huge part in our ongoing commitment to keep passenger and freight trains running reliably across our network. This will continue this weekend with more upgrades in Northampton and at Manchester Piccadilly stations which will mean changes to some journeys – so our advice as always is to use National Rail Enquiries to see how travel could be impacted.”

Passengers are being reminded of two projects starting this weekend (Saturday 2 September and Sunday 3 September) which will impact journeys in the North West and Central region.

From this Saturday, workers will begin connecting a huge new rail freight interchange to the West Coast main line which requires a section of railway to be closed for nine days between Milton Keynes and Northampton.

Between Saturday 2 and Sunday 10 September, there will be no direct services between North Wales and London, journeys will take longer on diversionary routes, could involve rail replacement buses and train timetables will be different.

Then on Sunday 3 September, work will continue on extensive upgrades to platforms 13 and 14 at Manchester Piccadilly station which will see bus replacement services run to and from Manchester Airport.

Ongoing industrial action impacting specific train operators will also see reduced services running in various parts of the country.

For those planning rail travel, people are advised to allow extra time for their journey, and to check before travelling at www.nationalrail.co.uk or with their individual train operator.

Image credit: Network Rail

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