Network Rail investing £83m over Easter to improve train services for passengers

Photo: Network Rail

Network Rail is asking passengers to check before they travel this Easter as it prepares to invest £83m on 530 projects to upgrade the railway.

While the majority of the network – over 95% – will be unaffected by the engineering works taking place, there will be disruption on some routes, so passengers are urged to plan ahead.

The railway is vital to Britain’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and passengers can play a key role in boosting that recovery as they return to the network for both work and leisure.

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Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “The majority of the railway will be open as usual this Easter for people to take a short break or visit loved ones, but some routes will be affected by our upgrade works, so we’re asking passengers to plan ahead and check their journeys in advance.

“We’ll be carrying out hundreds of vital projects that will improve passengers’ journeys in future – for example by improving reliability and boosting capacity on the network.”

The major upgrade projects to be carried out over the Easter bank holiday weekend include:

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  • Resignalling and switches and crossings works at Clapham Junction to improve safety. This will mean no Southern trains will operate to/from London Victoria between 15-18 April, and a reduced SWR service will run to/from Vauxhall.
  • Plain line track renewals, switches and crossings and HS2 works at London Euston and Watford North Junction, to improve capacity and provide a safer railway for passengers. As a result, no trains will operate between London Euston and Milton Keynes Central over the Easter weekend.
  • Bridge renewal works at Coventry South Junction and HS2 enabling works at Hampton-in-Arden to improve reliability and future capacity. Services between Coventry and Birmingham will be diverted via Solihull, while there will be bus replacement services between Rugby and Birmingham International, and between Leamington Spa and Nuneaton/Coventry.
  • Switches and crossing renewals at Bishops Stortford and station upgrade works at Hertford East to improve performance and station capacity. Bus replacement services will operate between Waltham Cross and Stansted Airport, and between Waltham Cross and Hertford East.
  • Station enhancement works at Gatwick Airport to improve capacity. Some trains will not stop at Gatwick, with one train per hour running between Redhill and Gatwick Airport.
  • Track upgrade work in the Llanhilleth area to improve passenger journeys and boost capacity, as part of the multi-million-pound upgrade of the Ebbw Vale Line. As a result, rail replacement services will run between Cardiff Central and Ebbw Vale Town.

Passengers can find out how their Easter journeys will be affected with their train operator, via National Rail Enquiries, or by following #EasterRailWorks on Twitter.

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Shannon Butcher