Network Rail is planning to carry out 600 projects on its infrastructure over the Easter bank holiday weekend, at a cost of around £110 million.
Major work is often carried out over bank holiday weekends, when commuter traffic is quiet. Although passenger numbers are down currently due to COVID-19 and lockdown, many jobs take years to plan so they are still aimed at the holiday weekends, even if that timing is not so necessary right now.
Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “Over the past year we have continued to invest billions of pounds in our railway to make sure we can play our part in a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This significant investment will continue over the Easter bank holiday weekend, with thousands of frontline workers out delivering vital upgrades to the network.
“While the majority of routes are unaffected, anybody who needs to travel by train over Easter should check their journey in advance.”
The major upgrades to be carried out over the Easter bank holiday weekend include:
- A series of projects on the West Coast Main Line that will impact services in and out of London Euston. This includes early works on the new HS2 terminus, major track renewals between Euston and Milton Keynes, Rugby-Birmingham, Crewe-Wigan and Preston-Penrith, and signalling replacement in Greater Manchester, Preston and Warrington.
- Overhead line maintenance and remodelling works, including vital improvements to the track layout, will continue at London King’s Cross over the bank holiday weekend as part of the £1.2 billion East Coast Upgrade.
- Upgrade of the overhead line equipment at Stratford, and Transport for London’s platform reconfiguration and track realignment works at Liverpool Street station, to prepare for the introduction of Elizabeth line services and improve reliability.
- Maintenance and structures works between Charing Cross and London Bridge/New Cross.
- Signalling work in the Kingston, Richmond and Twickenham areas, replacing 1970s technology to improve reliability.
- Track renewals and remodelling works between West Hampstead and Mill Hill Broadway, to enable one of the platforms for the new Brent Cross station to be built.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “From vital works on the new HS2 terminus, remodelling work at Kings Cross and replacing signalling equipment from the 1970s, we are investing billions to upgrade our railways for when passengers return.
“By undertaking projects of this magnitude now, we are making the most of our railways being quieter. I urge passengers to minimise travel over the Easter weekend, but for those that need to, remember to plan ahead and avoid the busiest routes.”