Passengers in Buckinghamshire are being advised to plan ahead as railway work later this year means major changes to journeys between August and October.
The first stage of work on the Chiltern Main line will see Network Rail engineers making permanent repairs to a Victorian drainage culvert which passes underneath the railway in Aylesbury.
Faults found in the structure earlier this year* have since led to repeated short-notice closures of the line causing disruption for passengers.
To fix the issue once and for all, a 10-day railway closure is needed to repair the culvert between Monday 7 and Friday 18 August.
This will impact all trains between Aylesbury and Princes Risborough and Aylesbury and Stoke Mandeville.
To keep passengers on the move during this time, rail replacement buses will be in operation between:
- Amersham – Great Missenden – Wendover – Stoke Mandeville – Aylesbury – Aylesbury Vale Parkway (for connections to London Underground)
Immediately after that from 19 August until 30 October, work will take place to allow the new high-speed, zero-carbon railway HS2, to pass under the existing railway**.
This will mean no train services for 10 weeks between between Aylesbury and Princes Risborough, with rail replacement buses laid on for passengers, between:
- Princes Risborough – Monks Risborough – Little Kimble – Aylesbury
People are being being made aware of the work so they can plan their journeys in advance by checking www.nationalrail.co.uk.
Denise Wetton, Network Rail’s Central route director, said: “We know there’s never a convenient time to close the railway and we’re sorry to passengers in Buckinghamshire who have already suffered from short-notice closures of the line between Princes Risborough and Aylesbury for several months.
“When completed, this vital work will mean more reliable journeys for passengers travelling between Aylesbury and Princes Risborough on a railway that’s fit for the future.”
Jacqueline Dey, Chiltern Railways’ operators director, said: “The damaged culvert has led to numerous short-notice cancellations this year, and we are pleased that a permanent fix will be in place before the end of the summer. Customers should be mindful that Network Rail and HS2 works will close the railway between Princes Risborough and Aylesbury for a further ten weeks after these repairs, with the line reopening again on Monday 30 October. Rail replacement buses will be in operation during this time, and customers should check before they travel.
“We know that this is a significant, long-term closure, but we are confident that the railway between Princes Risborough and Aylesbury will be more reliable as a result of these important works. We will be working with industry partners to keep residents informed before and throughout the closure, and thank customers for their patience while these works are completed.”
Patrick Cawley, director for ‘On Network Works’ for Network Rail and HS2, said: “I’d like to thank passengers in Buckinghamshire for their patience this year while we carry out this vital phase of work between Aylesbury and Princes Risborough to prepare for the new high speed railway. HS2 will transform journeys between London, the Midlands and the North, providing zero-carbon journeys from day one and also making space on the existing railway network for more freight and local services.
“To help reduce disruption we’ve worked with our rail industry partners to combine closures needed for two major pieces of work on this route. We’re asking passengers to plan ahead and check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk”
Passengers are advised to check before they travel at www.chilternrailways.co.uk and www.nationalrail.co.uk or for updates and details of alternative travel arrangements during the extended closure.
Photo credit: Network Rail