‘Travel either side’ of May Bank holiday in North West

  • Railway improvements on key routes in Cumbria, Greater Manchester and West Coast main line mean changes to early May bank holiday journeys
  • Passengers are advised to travel either side of the bank holiday on Friday 30 April and Tuesday 4 May
  • Further afield, London Euston railway station will be closed between 1-3 May – trains will start and finish at Milton Keynes
  • People should follow Government guidance and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible

Rail passengers are being urged to travel either side of the early May bank holiday as major improvements are made to key North West rail routes, including the West Coast main line to Scotland.

Millions of pounds is being invested to improve future journeys for passengers and freight on Network Rail’s North West route.

On days between Saturday 1 and Monday 3 May, West Coast main line track upgrades will take place on the railway from Preston to Lancaster, Oxenholme to Penrith and Crewe to Chester.

Sections of the Cumbrian Coast line will also be improved, while major resignalling work is happening at Trafford in Manchester.

Further afield, London Euston station will be closed for three days between 1-3 May, and north of Carlisle in Scotland resignalling work will also see the West Coast main line closed at Carstairs.

Due to the scale of the railway upgrades over the long weekend, people are being advised to travel before and after the bank holiday on Friday 30 April and Tuesday 4 May.

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

Those needing to travel during the railway improvements should plan ahead by visiting: www.nationalrail.co.uk/westcoast

People should continue to follow Government guidance around the use of public transport and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible.

Phil James, Network Rail’s North West route director, said: “There is never an ideal time to shut the railway and we have worked hard to minimise disruption across the spring and summer.

“It is fantastic to see more passengers return to the railway and we want to make journeys as easy as possible for those travelling over bank holidays. We are carefully balancing that with the need to carry out essential railway improvements and maintenance to provide a safe and reliable railway for the future.

“I’d urge people to follow Government advice and minimise travel. If you do need to make a journey, the least disruptive time will be before and after the work takes place on Friday 30 April and Tuesday 4 May.”

Elsewhere in Network Rail’s North West and Central region, further essential work taking place between 1-3 May includes:

  • Work at Euston station to prepare it for HS2, Britain’s new high-speed railway.
  • Work at Bletchley for the new East West Rail railway
  • Track upgrades at Watford and between London Euston and Milton Keynes

Robert Nisbet, director of nations and regions at the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Rail staff will be working hard to upgrade the network over the May bank holiday to make future journeys more reliable, so we’re asking anyone travelling between 1 and 3 May to check before they travel.

“While extra cleaning and better information will help people travel with confidence, we ask passengers to wear their face masks and to consider whether their journey is really necessary if it will be affected by engineering work.”

Reviews into other planned summer upgrade work is underway to reduce its impact on passengers as the country emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

For more information visit www.nationalrail.co.uk.

Photo credit: Network Rail

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