Network Rail is warning passengers of major changes to train journeys over the Easter and early May bank holiday weekends.
With just 10 days until the work begins on Good Friday, people are being advised to plan ahead and check the best days to travel as engineers carry out essential planned work on the West Coast main line.
Euston will be closed over the Easter weekend (19-22 April) and the early May bank holiday weekend (4-6 May) with no trains in or out of the main line station on those days.
This will have a major impact on journeys including alternative routes, longer travel times and busier trains than normal.
The improvements at Euston are in preparation for HS2, Britain’s new high-speed railway and includes work to clear additional concourse space to help customers move more freely around the station.
The work as part of Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan will also see track renewal which means the line between Birmingham International and Coventry will be closed at Easter.
Elsewhere on the West Coast main line further sections of track will be completely replaced over both bank holidays, as well as upgrades to overhead lines, signals and points.
Network Rail and the wider industry has been running an awareness campaign since early February warning train customers of the impacts of Railway Upgrade Plan work both weekends.
Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: ‘We recognise there is never an ideal time to shut the railway for our must-do work. Bank holidays are the least disruptive time to do it, when fewer passengers use the railway compared to the working week. That way we can do the maximum amount of work while impacting the fewest number of people.
‘Train companies and Network Rail have worked together to minimise disruption for customers by doing a lot of work over the Easter and early May bank holidays. The alternative would have been closing the line and Euston station over multiple weekends throughout the summer.’
Passengers are being advised to plan their journeys at www.nationalrail.co.uk between 19-22 April and 4-6 May, when:
- Euston station will be closed to main line train services
- Sections of the West Coast main line will be closed between London Euston and Rugby, and Merseyside and Cumbria
- The best time to travel will be on days before and after the bank holiday weekends
Where the line is open trains will be running but customers will have longer journeys, fewer available seats, and may need to use rail replacement buses.
Martin added: ‘The purpose of our essential maintenance and upgrade work is to keep the railway safe and reliable for the hundreds of thousands of passengers who use it every week. To ensure they know what to expect, I would urge passengers to plan journeys in advance and to check the best days to travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk and with their train operators.’
Robert Nisbet, regional director for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the railway, said: ‘Train companies and Network Rail are working together to make big improvements to today’s railway to add more services, improve punctuality and make journeys better. There’s never a good time to carry out vital engineering work but fewer people travel on bank holidays than on a normal weekday. We’d encourage people to check before they travel by visiting National Rail Enquiries or speaking to their train operator.’
Peter Broadley, executive director for customer, operations and safety at Virgin Trains, said: ‘With no services into or out of Euston we strongly advise our customers to avoid travelling to and from London on the days affected. We know this will impact on people’s travel plans, so to make it easier we have removed afternoon peak time ticket restrictions from London on Maundy Thursday to allow customers to make an earlier start to their Easter weekend.’