Rail passengers advised to expect extremely busy services over the Easter weekend

Rail passengers travelling between the Midlands and London are being advised that train services are expected to be extremely busy over the upcoming Easter bank holiday weekend due to essential engineering works. Chiltern Railways and Network Rail are advising people to travel either side of the bank holiday weekend (Thursday 14 April and Tuesday 19 April) before and after the essential upgrades.

Customers are warned that all services are likely to be extremely busy and that some passengers may need to stand for substantial parts of their journey. It is anticipated that trains will be so busy that not all customers will be able to board their chosen service. There will be queuing systems in place at London Marylebone and Birmingham Moor Street Stations and those queues could be lengthy, depending on the time of day.

London Euston station will be closed and the only available route between Birmingham and London will be on Chiltern Railways services between Birmingham and London Marylebone. The engineering works are part of Network Rail’s £22m improvement of the mainline between London and Scotland.

This will mean that all trains will be much busier than normal between the bank holidays of Good Friday and Easter Monday (Friday 15th April – Monday 18th April). Birmingham Moor Street, Birmingham Snow Hill and London Marylebone stations are also expected to be significantly busier than normal.

The F.A. Cup Semi Finals are taking place on Saturday and Sunday and football fans should seek alternative transport options (away from rail services) to get to and from Wembley stadium.

Customers should expect very busy services, queuing systems to board trains and longer waiting times than usual.

To support customers Chiltern Railways will be:

  • operating an amended timetable on all routes
  • adding extra carriages and longer trains to as many services as possible
  • implementing queuing systems at a number of stations
  • enhancing customer communications and announcements

Customers are asked to consider the necessity of their journey and if possible travel either side of the bank holiday weekend. Customers are reminded to check the details of their journey beforehand, book tickets early through the Chiltern website or app and allow extra time for their journey.

Eleni Jordan, Commercial and Customer Strategy Director for Chiltern Railways said:

“The rail network is going to be extremely busy over the Easter weekend and we want to give customers as much notice as possible.

“Network Rail are carrying out essential engineering and London Euston will be closed.

“Our services between Birmingham (Moor Street and Snow Hill) and London Marylebone will be operating and we are working extremely hard to add as much additional capacity as possible.

“We are asking customers to consider their journey and if they do need to travel to check the timetable beforehand and allow extra time.”

Dave Penney, Network Rail passenger director for the North West and Central region, said: 

“There is never an ideal time to shut the railway and we have to carefully balance the best time to do this essential work with the needs of our passengers. Long bank holiday weekends continue to give our engineers the time they need to close the railway for complex jobs like track replacements and bridge overhauls while disrupting the fewest number of people.

“Our advice this Easter is to travel either side of the bank holiday on Thursday 14 and Tuesday 19 April, and to plan ahead by checking National Rail Enquiries to see how your journey could be impacted by our essential £22m upgrades to improve the railway for the future.”

As longer trains and extra carriages will be used, services will not be able to run on the below routes and bus replacement will be in operation.

  • Bicester North – Kings Sutton – Banbury
  • Warwick Parkway – Hatton – Lapworth – Dorridge

On Saturday and Sunday there are additional engineering work between Stoke Mandeville and Great Missenden and so train services will not run between Aylesbury Vale Parkway and London Marylebone. Replacement buses will operate between Aylesbury Vale Parkway and Amersham and then across to Beaconsfield to connect into alternative train services to / from London Marylebone. Customers can use London Underground Metropolitan line services between Amersham and central London.

Photo credit: Chiltern Railways

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