A major junction on the West Coast main line will close for 16 days from 20 July for vital engineering work in Warrington.
Acton Grange is a key section of the West Coast main line between Crewe and Preston and Network Rail will be upgrading track, cabling, overhead lines and signalling on the busy junction, which is used by more than 260 trains every day.
Train operators and Network Rail have agreed a plan to keep passengers moving throughout the work and many train services will be diverted via alternative routes.
This section of the West Coast main line helps connect Chester and Warrington to Manchester in the east and Wigan, Preston, the Lake District and Scotland to the West Midlands and London. The current upgrade will bring the outdated track and equipment up to modern standards and further improve the reliability of the economically important West Coast main line.
David Golding, Network Rail’s acting route managing director, said: “The West Coast main line is Europe’s busiest mixed-use railway. It is the economic backbone of Britain.
“With more than 260 trains using this junction every day, it is vital to keep it in good condition. We need to replace it and upgrade it to ensure a reliable railway for passengers for many years to come.
“To deliver work of this scale and magnitude, we must close the junction for 16 days this summer. The alternative would be many weekends of disruption to passengers and much higher cost.
“We have worked closely with our train and freight operator colleagues to minimise the disruption and to keep as many trains moving as possible.”