Major Bank Holiday Railway Upgrades Completed
Passengers are benefiting from better, more reliable journeys on the West Coast main line between Euston and Carlisle, after May Day bank holiday engineering work was completed on time.
Sections of track on Europe’s busiest mixed-use (freight and passenger) railway line were replaced. Overhead electric cables were upgraded, as well as vital improvements to bridges, tunnels and trackside equipment at sites along the West Coast main line.
These must-do upgrades and repairs help keep thousands of passengers and products moving every day on a safe, reliable railway.
Passengers returning to Euston today will also notice improvements carried out while the station was closed over the last two bank holidays, to improve passenger flow by removing retail units and widening platform ramps.
A new external entrance for the London Underground is also being built as part of preparations for the new HS2 railway.
Martin Frobisher, managing director of Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: ‘I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carried out our vital Railway Upgrade Plan work over the May Day bank holiday. Thousands of Network Rail staff worked around the clock so services could get back to normal this morning. This has laid a solid foundation for more railway upgrades during the late May bank holiday (25-27 May).’
Ahead of the 25-27 May Whitsun bank holiday, passengers are being advised to plan their journeys at www.nationalrail.co.uk, when sections of the West Coast main line will be closed between London Euston and Milton Keynes, and Warrington and Cumbria.
Where the line is open trains will be running but customers will have longer journeys, fewer available seats, and may need to use rail replacement buses.
Martin added: ‘We recognise there is never an ideal time to shut the railway for our must-do work. Bank holidays are the least disruptive time to do it, when fewer passengers use the railway compared to the working week. That way we can do the maximum amount of work while impacting the fewest number of people. Sometimes a closure is the only way we can carry out major work like replacing track or improvements to overhead electric lines.
‘Train companies and Network Rail have worked together to minimise disruption for customers by doing a lot of work over the recent bank holidays. The alternative would have been closing the line and Euston station over multiple weekends throughout the summer.’
Robert Nisbet, regional director for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the railway, said: ‘This vital engineering work is part of the rail industry’s plan to add more services, improve punctuality and make journeys better and as fewer people travel on bank holidays than on a normal weekday, we’re keeping disruption to a minimum. We encourage people who are planning to take the train over the May bank holidays to check before they travel by visiting nationalrail.co.uk or speaking to their train operator.’