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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Network Rail investing over £100m to upgrade railway for passengers over Easter

  • Network Rail carrying out 600 upgrade projects worth £116m to significantly improve railway for passengers in future
  • Passengers should continue to follow Government guidelines over the use of public transport
  • Engineering works will affect some routes, so those who do need to travel by rail over Easter are urged to plan ahead

Network Rail is reminding passengers to continue to follow Government advice around the use of public transport as it prepares to carry out 600 projects over the Easter bank holiday weekend to upgrade the railway.

In line with Government guidance, passengers are urged to minimise travel over the Easter bank holiday. Those who do need to travel by rail over this period are urged to plan ahead and check whether their route is affected by the upgrade works taking place.

Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “Over the past year we have continued to invest billions of pounds in our railway to make sure we can play our part in a sustainable recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. This significant investment will continue over the Easter bank holiday weekend, with thousands of frontline workers out delivering vital upgrades to the network.

“While the majority of routes are unaffected, anybody who needs to travel by train over Easter should check their journey in advance.”

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “From vital works on the new HS2 terminus, remodelling work at Kings Cross and replacing signalling equipment from the 1970s, we are investing billions to upgrade our railways for when passengers return.

“By undertaking projects of this magnitude now we are making the most of our railways being quieter. I urge passengers to minimise travel over the Easter weekend, but for those that need to, remember to plan ahead and avoid the busiest routes.”

The major upgrade projects to be carried out over the Easter bank holiday weekend include:

  • A series of projects on the West Coast Main Line that will impact services in and out of London Euston. This includes early works on the new HS2 terminus, major track renewals between Euston and Milton Keynes, Rugby-Birmingham, Crewe-Wigan and Preston-Penrith, and signalling replacement in Greater Manchester, Preston and Warrington. These works will make the railway more reliable, with the HS2 works helping to add more capacity.
  • Overhead line maintenance and remodelling works, including vital improvements to the track layout, will continue at London King’s Cross over the bank holiday weekend. This work, which is the main stage of the £1.2bn East Coast Upgrade, will provide passengers with quicker and more reliable journeys. A temporary reduced timetable is in place for passengers making long distance journeys.
  • Upgrade of the overhead line equipment at Stratford and TfL’s platform reconfiguration and track realignment works at Liverpool Street station to prepare for the introduction of Elizabeth Line services and improve reliability. There will be no services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, while train services to/from Norwich, Ipswich and Clacton-on-Sea will terminate at Ingatestone over the Easter weekend.
  • Maintenance and structures works between Charing Cross and London Bridge/New Cross, meaning all Southeastern services will start/terminate from Cannon Street.
  • Signalling work in the Kingston, Richmond and Twickenham areas, replacing 1970s technology to improve reliability for passengers. Buses will replace trains between Barnes and Feltham and New Malden and Shepperton.
  • Track renewals and remodelling works between West Hampstead and Mill Hill Broadway to enable one of the platforms for the new Brent Cross station to be built. As a result, some Thameslink and East Midlands Railway services will be slightly reduced.

Passengers can find out how their Easter journeys will be affected with their train operator, via National Rail Enquiries, or by following #EasterRailWorks on Twitter.

Photo credit: Network Rail

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