Passengers are being advised to check before they travel this August bank holiday as improvement work will be taking place at locations across the network. While more than 95% of the railway will be open as usual, over 15,000 members of Network Rail’s orange army will be working round the clock to improve the network for millions of passengers. As part of a £30m+ bank holiday investment in nearly 1,000 individual projects, Network Rail will be working on programmes along the West Coast main line route between Hertfordshire and Lancashire to help provide passengers with a better, more reliable railway.

Larger pieces of work are planned for bank holidays as they are generally quieter periods with fewer passengers travelling by rail.

In Lancashire the work to electrify the railway through Chorley moves on apace with a subway roof being replaced and upgrade work to platforms and track. This work will enable overhead power lines to be installed in the area which will help provide a better service for passengers from December 2017. The work will be carried out between the early hours of Saturday, 27 August and the start of services on Tuesday, 31 August and means buses will replace trains between Preston and Bolton during that time, however some services between Preston and Manchester via Wigan will continue.

Between Watford Junction and St Albans Abbey work will take place to improve drainage along the line and will see buses replace trains between the two stations on the Saturday (27th) and Sunday (28th).

Bridge improvement work on the A453 Tamworth Road between Four Oaks and Sutton Coldfield in Birmingham will mean buses replace trains between Lichfield and Aston on the Sunday until mid-afternoon.  

Elsewhere ballast – the stone that forms the foundation of the track – is being replaced in the Bletchley area, track is being replaced between Hanslope and Blisworth in Northamptonshire affecting services between Milton Keynes and Rugby. This may mean slightly longer journey times for passengers.

Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “We are advising passengers to check before they travel over the August bank holiday as we continue to invest in the network to provide passengers with a better railway.

“Work takes place 365 days a year as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan but we carry out larger upgrades over bank holidays when there are fewer passengers travelling

“There’s never a good time to impact on journeys and I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out this work.”