Details have been released explaining why London Euston station must be closed during essential railway improvements over the Early May Bank Holiday.
Network Rail is investing millions of pounds upgrading sections of track in Watford and Wembley to improve future journeys on one of Europe’s busiest mixed-use passenger and freight rail routes.
Upgrades will also take place to switches and crossings – the equipment which lets trains move between lines.
Such complex and large projects can only be done during a full closure of the railway, with bank holidays being the least disruptive time to do them. As well as the track improvements, engineers are making the most of the full railway closure to carry out a wide range of other work, including drainage, fencing, station maintenance and bridge surveys.
At Easter Network Rail invested £22m to improve future journeys for passengers and freight on the West Coast main line and key routes in the Midlands and North West. Now a further £19.1m is being spent to complete or continue many of those major upgrades to improve passenger and freight journeys for the future.
This work means Euston station will be closed to main line train and London Overground services between Saturday April 30 and Monday 2 May due to major track upgrades in Watford and Wembley, including work to build Britain’s new zero-carbon railway HS2. Like over Easter, trains will start and finish at Milton Keynes.
Network Rail is advising that the best time to travel will be on Friday 29 April and Tuesday 3 May. Passengers needing to travel on the days in between could have longer journeys, fewer available seats, and may need to use rail replacement buses.
James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast South route director, said: “We made great progress on major railway improvements over Easter and I’d like to thank passengers for their continued patience while we carry out more must-do work between April 30 and 2 May.
“We know there is never an ideal time to shut the railway but bank holidays continue to be the least disruptive time for us to carry out this essential maintenance. With Euston closed our advice is once again to travel either side of the bank holiday on Friday 29 April and Tuesday 3 May where possible, and to plan ahead by checking National Rail Enquiries to see how your journey could be impacted.”
Elsewhere on the railway in Network Rail’s North West and Central region, other essential work which will require the railway to be closed at points over the bank holiday include:
· Railway drainage improvements in Camden to protect tracks from future flooding
· Demolition of an old railway bridge between Birmingham New Street and Coleshill
· Signalling – the traffic lights of the railway – being upgraded in Macclesfield
· Bridge upgrade work in Carlisle
· Track foundation strengthening in Warrington and Carlisle
· Track replacement on the West Coast main line in Carstairs in Scotland
Nationally Network Rail is investing £70m on 550 projects to upgrade the railway over the early May bank holiday.
Passengers are also being advised about RMT strike action which will affect TransPennine Express services across the north of England on both Saturday 30 April and Sunday 1 May. Passengers should plan ahead at www.networkrail.co.uk/wcml, check with their train operators or visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for the latest journey information.