Passengers urged to plan ahead as Network Rail carries out £80m railway upgrades over Early May Bank Holiday

  • Network Rail carrying out 620 upgrade projects worth £80m to improve railway for passengers
  • People should continue to follow Government guidance around the use of public transport and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible
  • Those looking to travel by train over the Early May Bank Holiday are urged to plan their journeys in advance and travel at quieter times

Network Rail is advising those planning to travel by train over the Early May Bank Holiday to plan ahead as it prepares to carry out 620 projects to upgrade the railway.

While the majority of the network will be unaffected, some routes will be impacted by the upgrade works taking place.

With non-essential retail and hospitality businesses having opened from 12 April, and some overnight stays requiring long-distance travel permitted, the rail industry has been working together to ensure people can travel with confidence – for example by closely monitoring passenger numbers and adding services to create more space and support social distancing. Improved cleaning regimes in stations and on trains have also been in place throughout the pandemic.

Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “Throughout the pandemic we have invested billions into our railway to improve the network and make sure passengers return to a better service. This programme of work will continue over the Early May Bank Holiday, with £80m worth of upgrade work taking place.

“The majority of the railway will be open for business as usual for those travelling by train, but some routes will be affected by the works taking place, so we urge everyone to plan their journeys in advance.”

The major upgrade projects being delivered over the forthcoming bank holiday include:

  • As part of the East Coast Upgrade, enhancement works taking place between London King’s Cross and New Barnet/Belle Isle to improve passenger safety and boost capacity. A temporary reduced timetable will be in operation and platforms 7-11 at King’s Cross will be out of use.
  • Track renewals and HS2 preparatory works on the West Coast Mainline to improve track reliability. There will be no trains to/from London Euston from Saturday 1 to Monday 3 May.
  • Drainage works between Preston and Carnforth that will improve track quality. Northern services in the area will be impacted on Sunday 2 and Monday 3 May.
  • Track renewals, structures works, footbridge strengthening and platform remodelling between London Liverpool Street and Chelmsford and between Shenfield and Southend Victoria to improve infrastructure reliability and prepare for the introduction of Crossrail services. Greater Anglia, TfL Rail and London Overground services will be affected.
  • Resignalling and track upgrade work at London Victoria to improve passenger safety. As a result there will be no Southern trains running to/from London Victoria.
  • 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 journeys will be affected with their train operator, via National Rail Enquiries, or by following #MayBHWorks on Twitter.

Photo credit: Network Rail

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