Train services on the West Coast main line between Euston and Carlisle resumed as normal today after major engineering work over Easter.
Sections of track on Europe’s busiest mixed-use (freight and passenger) railway line were replaced.
Overhead electric cables in several areas were upgraded, as well as vital improvements to bridges, tunnels and trackside equipment.
These must-do upgrades and repairs help keep thousands of passengers and products moving every day on a safe, reliable railway.
Passengers returning to Euston station today will also notice improvements carried out while the station was closed over the bank holiday.
Work is continuing to improve passenger flow through the station. Some retail units are being removed. Platform access ramps are being widened.
Work has also started on a new external entrance to the Euston Underground station – part of the preparations for the new HS2 railway.
Martin Frobisher, managing director of Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: ‘I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carried out our vital Railway Upgrade Plan work over the Easter break. Thousands of Network Rail staff worked around the clock, so services could get back to normal this morning. This has laid a solid foundation for more railway upgrades during the early May bank holiday (4-6 May).’
Significant planned upgrades will take place on the railway over the two May bank holidays.
Ahead of the 4-6 May bank holiday, passengers are being advised to plan their journeys at www.nationalrail.co.uk:
- Euston station will be closed to main line train services.
- Sections of the West Coast main line will be closed between London Euston and Milton Keynes, and Crewe and Cumbria.
- The best time to travel will be on days before and after the early May bank holiday weekend.
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.
Network Rail has been running a marketing campaign since early February warning train customers of the impacts of Railway Upgrade Plan work over the Easter and early May bank holiday.
Martin added: ‘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. Sometimes a closure is the only way we can carry out major work like replacing track or the improvements at Euston station.
‘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.’
Robert Nisbet, Regional Director for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the railway, said: ‘This vital engineering work is part of the rail industry’s plan to add more services, improve punctuality and make journeys better and as fewer people travel on bank holidays than on a normal weekday, we’re keeping disruption to a minimum. We encourage people who are planning to take the train over the May bank holidays to check before they travel by visiting nationalrail.co.uk or speaking to their train operator.’
Passengers can plan their journeys and check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk.