Major railway upgrades are taking place between the West Midlands and London this August bank holiday to make journeys more reliable for passengers and freight customers in future.
The multi-million-pound investment, part of Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan, will see Network Rail replace track, upgrade signalling and maintain bridges and other structures on the section of line known as the ‘Coventry corridor’.
To maximise the amount of work which can be done between Saturday 29 and Monday 31 August 2020, the railway will be entirely closed to trains between Rugby and Coventry.
With no direct services running between Birmingham and London during this time, passengers are being advised to travel before and after the railway closure, on or before Friday 28 August and on or after Tuesday 1 September.
The railway will be closed again on Sunday 6 September with the same travel advice for passengers.
For those who do choose to travel during the improvement work, a reduced timetable will be in place and replacement bus services will be in operation.
Passengers are being warned to expect changes to their usual journey and should check www.nationalrail.co.uk/westcoast to see how their trip will be impacted.
They should continue to follow Government guidance on public transport – wear a face covering unless they are exempt and maintain a distance from other passengers where possible.
Dave Penney, director for Network Rail’s Central route, said: ‘We know there is never a good time to close the railway, but when we do, we do as much work as possible to minimise disruption to passengers. This August bank holiday is no exception, particularly in the Coventry area, where multiple jobs will take place to help improve freight and passenger journeys.
‘I’d urge people to plan ahead and try to travel before and after the bank holiday weekend. Anyone who plans to travel through Coventry should be prepared for their journey to be different to how it is normally so please check National Rail Enquiries for the latest information.’
Those who do travel should wear a face covering during their journey unless they are exempt – for example young children, people with visible or hidden disabilities, and those with breathing difficulties.
Social distancing measures will see queuing systems in place when boarding services in some stations. There will also be less space on trains and replacement buses.
Please check www.nationalrail.co.uk for the latest information.