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Friday, September 30, 2022

Major Easter rail upgrades complete between London and Scotland

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

Between Friday 15 and Tuesday 19 April, teams carried out vital work on the railway to improve passenger and freight services on the West Coast main line – the Backbone of Britain.

The £22m investment across the whole of Network Rail’s North West and Central region saw:

  • Track improvements to allow more train flexibility at Watford North junction into London Euston
  • 1km of track drainage replaced at Beechwood Tunnel between Birmingham International and Coventry
  • Bridge renewal works at Coventry South Junction and HS2 enabling works at Hampton-in-Arden
  • Rugby Road railway bridge in Leamington Spa replaced as part of a £2.4m investment
  • Signalling and track improvements on lines around Crewe station
  • Railway foundation stone upgrades on the West Coast main line at Carnforth
  • Track replacement on the West Coast main line in Carstairs in Scotland
  • Track maintenance around Liverpool South Parkway
B-ROLL footage of Leamington Spa bridge renewal
B-ROLL footage of Watford North Junction track renewals

Today as rail services returned to normal after the major upgrades, Network Rail is thanking passengers for their patience.

Tim Shoveller, managing director for Network Rail’s North West & Central region, 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 these major upgrades. This is just the start of 2022’s work to make the West Coast main line more reliable for our passengers and pave the way for HS2, Britain’s new zero-carbon railway.

“Now our attention turns to the Early May Bank Holiday when more essential railway improvements will take place. Once again Euston station will be closed so passengers are being urged to travel either side of the bank holiday on Friday 29 April and Tuesday 3 May.”

Over the Early May Bank Holiday a further £19.1m is being spent to improve passenger and freight journeys for the future.

This work means Euston station will be closed to main line train services between Saturday April 30 and Monday 2 May due to major track upgrades in Watford and Wembley, including work to build Britain’s new zero-carbon railway HS2.

Like over Easter, trains will start and finish at Milton Keynes.

Network Rail is advising that the best time to travel will be on Friday 29 April and Tuesday 3 May.

Passengers needing to travel on the days in between could have longer journeys, fewer available seats, and may need to use rail replacement buses.

To plan journeys and for the latest travel information visit: www.networkrail.co.uk/wcml.

Other essential work which will require the railway to be closed for periods between 30 April and 2 May are:

  • Major track upgrades at Watford and Wembley
  • Railway drainage improvements in Camden to protect tracks from future flooding
  • Demolition of an old railway bridge between Birmingham New Street and Coleshill
  • Signalling – the traffic lights of the railway – being upgraded in Macclesfield
  • Track foundation strengthening in Newton-le-Willows and Gretna
  • Track replacement on the West Coast main line in Carstairs in Scotland

Nationally Network Rail is investing £70m on 550 projects to upgrade the railway over the Early May Bank Holiday.

Passengers should plan ahead at www.networkrail.co.uk/wcml, check with their train operators or visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for the latest journey information.

Photo/video credit: Network Rail

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