Rail passengers are being reminded of major railway upgrades which will impact journeys between Aylesbury, Princes Risborough and Amersham from next month.

The first stage of work will see Network Rail engineers making permanent repairs to a Victorian drainage culvert which passes underneath the railway in Aylesbury.

Faults found in the structure earlier this year* have since led to repeated short-notice closures of the line causing disruption for passengers.

To fix the issue once and for all, a 12-day railway closure is needed to repair the culvert between Monday 7 and Friday 18 August.

This will impact all trains between Aylesbury Vale Parkway and Amersham and Aylesbury and Princes Risborough.

To keep passengers on the move during this time, rail replacement buses will be in operation between:

  • Amersham – Great Missenden – Wendover – Stoke Mandeville – Aylesbury – Aylesbury Vale Parkway (for connections to London Underground)
  • Princes Risborough – Monks Risborough – Little Kimble – Aylesbury

Immediately after that from 19 August until 29 October, work will take place to allow the new high-speed railway, HS2, to pass under the existing railway**.

This will mean no train services for 10 weeks between Aylesbury and Princes Risborough, with rail replacement buses continuing to operate between:

  • Princes Risborough – Monks Risborough – Little Kimble – Aylesbury

While rail replacement bus service details are finalised, some of the changes may not be currently showing in online journey planners.

Passengers are advised to check again closer to the date of travel for more detailed information about rail replacement bus services by using www.chilternrailways.co.uk/pra.

In addition to the railway closures between August and October 2023, Marsh Lane level crossing will be closed to road users from 10pm on Friday 18 August until spring 2024 to allow the major improvement work to take place, as well as a project to upgrade the level crossing in 2024 which will bring it up to modern safety standards.

Patrick Cawley, director for ‘On Network Works’ for Network Rail and HS2, said: “Our major upgrades in Buckinghamshire will help to improve reliability for passengers who have been disrupted this year as well as preparing for HS2 which will transform journeys between London, the Midlands and the North, by making space on the existing railway network for more freight and local services.

“Before work begins in August, we are urging passengers to familiarise themselves with the alternative travel arrangements in place, and planning their journeys in advance by visiting the Chiltern Railways website.”

Jacqueline Dey, operations director for Chiltern Railways, said: “Local customers will know all too well that the damaged culvert has led to numerous short-notice cancellations this year, and we are pleased that a permanent fix will be implemented this summer. Customers should be aware that Network Rail and HS2 works will close the railway for a further ten weeks after these repairs. Rail replacement buses will be in operation during this time, and customers should check before they travel.

“We’d like to thank customers for their patience while these works take place, and we remain heavily committed to working with our industry partners to keep local residents informed before and throughout the closure.”

Network Rail is writing to residents who live near the railway to make them aware of the planned work and information events.

For more information, please visit www.networkrail.co.uk/pra.