Rail passengers are being advised of changes to journeys over nine days this month while essential engineering work takes place at Water Orton in North Warwickshire and Duddeston in Birmingham.
Major alterations to track and lineside drainage will take place between 19 and 27 February as part of long-term improvements to the network, including preparations for HS2 – Britain’s new zero carbon, high-speed railway.
Every effort is being made during construction to reduce the impact on passengers’ journeys, but the scale of this phase of work means the railway must be closed to trains over the nine days.
Passengers are being advised that journeys will take longer, could involve rail replacement bus services and that timetables will be different. The routes affected include services between:
· Birmingham New Street and Leicester, Peterborough, Cambridge and Stansted Airport.
· Cardiff Central and Birmingham New Street to Nottingham
· Scotland, the North East to Birmingham New Street and the South West
To keep passengers on the move, CrossCountry’s long distance trains will be diverted around the work but this will mean longer journey times. Meanwhile the train operator’s regional services linking the East Midlands and Anglia with Birmingham will start and finish at Coleshill Parkway.
Replacement buses will operate between Coleshill Parkway, Water Orton and Birmingham New Street. To make space for the rail replacement buses which will help to keep passengers moving during the work, Coleshill Parkway station’s car park will be closed from Friday 18 to 10am on Monday 28 February.
Preparatory work will also be taking place affecting CrossCountry services this weekend (12-13 February). People are urged to check www.nationalrail.co.uk if they are planning to travel on those routes during the essential work, or visit CrossCountry’s dedicated webpage.
Patrick Cawley, director for ‘On Network Works’ for Network Rail and HS2, said: “We’re making great progress on HS2 and a key part of this is making sure it works in harmony with the existing railway.
“While this latest phase of work takes place I’d urge people to please check before they travel with CrossCountry or by using the National Rail Enquiries website or app, and I thank everyone in advance for their patience while we help build this railway for the future.”
Regional director East Midlands & East Anglia for CrossCountry, Richard Morris, said: “We are working collaboratively with our industry colleagues at Network Rail, HS2 and West Midlands Trains on detailed alternative arrangements for our customers to ensure the disruption to their journeys is kept to a minimum. There will be extended journey times for everyone travelling on the affected routes and on our regional services travel into and out of Birmingham New Street will involve transfer to and from a frequent rail replacement bus service at Coleshill Parkway.
“We are putting extra facilities and staffing in place to ensure passengers can interchange between trains and buses as smoothly as possible. I’d urge people to please check before they travel using the National Rail Enquiries website or app.”
Passengers who need extra help while travelling are advised to contact CrossCountry’s Passenger Assist team.