Passengers reminded to ‘travel either side’ of Easter bank holiday

Photo: Network Rail

Passengers travelling between London Euston and Scotland over the Easter bank holiday are being urged to travel either side of the long weekend.

This Easter Network Rail is investing £22m to improve future journeys for passengers and freight on the West Coast main line and key routes in the Midlands and North West.

Between Good Friday (15 April) and Easter Monday (18 April), Euston station will be closed to main line train services due to major track upgrades in Watford, including work to build Britain’s new zero-carbon railway HS2.

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Instead trains will start and finish at Milton Keynes.

Network Rail is advising that the best time to travel will be on Thursday 14 and Tuesday 19 April.

Passengers needing to travel on the days in between could have longer journeys, fewer available seats, and may need to use rail replacement buses.

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To plan journeys and for the latest travel information visit: www.networkrail.co.uk/wcml.

Other essential work which will require the railway to be closed at points over the bank holiday include:

  • 1km of track drainage being replaced at Beechwood Tunnel between Birmingham International and Coventry
  • Bridge renewal works at Coventry South Junction and HS2 enabling works at Hampton-in-Arden
  • Rugby Road railway bridge in Leamington Spa being replaced as part of a £2.4m investment
  • Signalling and track improvements on lines around Crewe station
  • Railway foundation stone upgrades on the West Coast main line at Carnforth
  • Track replacement on the West Coast main line in Carstairs in Scotland
  • Changes to trains between Liverpool and Manchester due to track maintenance around Liverpool South Parkway

Manchester City and Liverpool football fans are being advised against travelling by rail to and from the FA Cup semi-final on Easter Saturday during the major railway improvements.

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Spectators risk not getting to the match for the 3.30 pm kick-off or being able to get home again if they use the railway.

Football fans should avoid alternative rail routes – such as CrossCountry services or the Chiltern Main Line – because they too will already be busy because of the engineering work.

Instead, people are urged to follow the FA’s alternative options to get to the game.

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Dave Penney, Network Rail passenger director for the North West and Central region, said: “There is never an ideal time to shut the railway and we have to carefully balance the best time to do this essential work with the needs of our passengers.

“Long bank holiday weekends continue to give our engineers the time they need to close the railway for complex jobs like track replacements and bridge overhauls while disrupting the fewest number of people.

“Our advice this Easter is to travel either side of the bank holiday on Thursday 14 and Tuesday 19 April, and to plan ahead by checking National Rail Enquiries to see how your journey could be impacted by our essential £22m upgrades to improve the railway for the future.”

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, or by following #EasterRailWorks on Twitter.

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Shannon Butcher