Passengers reminded to check before travelling over bank holiday weekend as Network Rail deploys 14,000-strong army to improve the railway

Published on : Friday, May 22, 2015

Network RailRail passengers are reminded to check before travelling over the bank holiday weekend as Network Rail will be carrying out its full programme of investment work following the decision by the TSSA and RMT unions to suspend industrial action which had been planned for Monday and Tuesday next week.

 

 

Hundreds of thousands of passengers and freight users will experience long term benefits from almost £27m of investment in improving Britain’s rail network over the spring bank holiday weekend. Over 95% of the network will be unaffected by this work programme.

 

 

New station facilities, new platforms, new junctions and hundreds of pieces of new, more reliable, equipment will be installed and delivered as part of Network Rail’s railway upgrade plan. The work has been timed to minimise disruption to passenger numbers where, over a bank holiday weekend, passenger numbers can drop by 20 to 30%.

 

 

Mark Carne, Network Rail chief executive, said: “Our improvement programme this bank holiday, delivered by a 14,000-strong army of rail workers, is focussed on delivering a better service for passengers.

 

 

“We are acutely conscious that many people want to use the railway over the bank holiday to reunite with their friends and families, which is why the vast majority of the network is running normally over the long weekend.

 

 

“We’d like to apologise to any passengers whose plans are affected by our improvement work, but hope they will understand that this is a quieter time on the railway and we want to minimise the overall impact of these vital projects on passengers.”

 

 

The major investment schemes this bank holiday include:

Thameslink programme: The £6.5bn investment programme to run more, faster, better services through London continues over the bank holiday weekend. Track and signalling improvements at London Bridge will mean London Charing Cross, London Cannon Street and Waterloo East stations will be closed on Saturday 23, Sunday 24 and Monday 25 May. Southeastern services will also not serve London Bridge except for trains to and from Hastings. Trains will be diverted to either London Victoria or London Blackfriars with some trains starting their journey at New Cross.

 

 

London Liverpool Street to Stratford: On Sunday 24 and Monday 25 May, the London to Norwich line will be closed between Liverpool Street and Stratford stations as a new bridge is built at Pudding Mill Lane near Stratford for future Crossrail services. Passenger services will start and terminate at Stratford and tickets will be accepted on the London Underground Central Line between Stratford and Liverpool Street in both directions.

 

 

Swindon: The final stages of a major signalling upgrade around Swindon station are being carried out on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 May. No trains will be able to call at Swindon station over the weekend, with trains running via a diversionary route to destinations in south Wales, the west and south-west of England.

 

 

Midland Main Line: On Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 May trains will not run between Bedford and Leicester as we install new track south of Leicester and renew a key junction in Bedford. East Midlands Trains will be running an amended timetable, with a reduced service running between Bedford and London St Pancras International.  Replacement buses will run between Leicester, Market Harborough, Kettering, Wellingborough and Bedford to connect with trains. On Sunday only, buses will replace CrossCountry services between Nuneaton and Leicester.

 

 

On Sunday 24 May track renewal work is also being carried out between Kettering and Leicester.  East Midlands Trains will operate a reduced service and CrossCountry services will not run between Nuneaton and Leicester with buses replacing trains.

 

 

Scotland: We are delivering a range of projects across the West Coast Main Line and Lanarkshire commuter routes to renew and maintain track and drainage on the cross-border route and to replace a road-over-rail bridge near Newton in Lanarkshire. The work, which will take place between Saturday May 23 and the early hours of Tuesday May 26, represents an investment of over £5m in Scotland’s railway. The completion of these projects will impact on some ScotRail services and on cross-border operators using the West Coast Main Line.

 

 

West Coast Main Line: As part of the £250m investment programme to remove the last major bottleneck on the West Coast main line, we are installing new signals and changing the track layout at Stafford. We are also building a new rail-over-rail flyover at Norton Bridge to separate fast trains from slower freight trains. Buses will replace trains from Stafford to Wolverhampton and from Stafford to Stoke, and some long-distance train services will be diverted.

 

 

Also between Crewe and Wigan, we are renewing old track to make services more reliable, and clearing trees from the trackside to improve safety and performance on this line.

 

 

Mark Carne continued: “Passenger numbers continue to grow, with more people choosing to travel by train than ever before. Our investment programme this bank holiday forms a key part of our £38bn railway upgrade plan that is aimed at meeting surging demand and improving and expanding our congested railway network.”

 

 

Source:- Network Rail

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