Reminder: Network Rail engineers prepare for £90m investment over Easter bank holiday to improve journeys for passengers across the country

Over 95% of Britain’s 10,000 miles of railway will be open for business this Easter – with some exceptions – as Network Rail engineers gear up for a £90m programme of work over the long weekend aimed at improving the railway for passengers and freight businesses.

There’s never a good time to carry out these major pieces of work – such as replacing bridges or whole junctions – but unlike the roads, the railways are actually quieter over a long Bank Holiday weekend compared to a ‘normal long weekend, and gives us an opportunity to improve our railway whilst minimising disruption for passengers and freight users.

The majority of improvement work will actually be carried out overnight, but some bigger pieces of work need longer to complete and whilst most of the network will be open and unaffected, a handful of key routes will be impacted , and Network Rail is asking passengers to check their journey details before they travel.

Notable locations affected include:

  • Euston to Milton Keynes – this stretch of the West Coast Main Line will be closed over all four days for work to take place laying new track near Kensal Green tunnel, replacing a busy junction just south of Milton Keynes and preparing the railway for the opening of a massive new freight terminal at Northampton. All trains will start and finish at Milton Keynes between Good Friday (29 March) and Easter Monday (1 April) with rail replacement bus services connecting passengers with other main lines for onward travel from Bedford into London.
  • Glasgow – Work to renew tracks and points, which allow trains to cross from one track to another, will take place over a major junction between Glasgow Central and Cambuslang/Polmadie Depot. The work will mean changes to train times across the long weekend.
  • Huddersfield – Work continues on the Transpennine Route Upgrade, with new tracks being laid around the city and changes to trains on routes such as Sheffield to Leeds and all trains to Huddersfield itself.

Network Rail’s network strategy director, Lawrence Bowman, said: “We know how important Easter is for families and friends to catch up and we try to keep as much of the network open as possible. There’s never a good time to do the work we need to do but the four days of the bank holiday, when fewer people are travelling, give us the opportunity to do major work we couldn’t do in normal weekend. That’s projects such as renewing major junctions or relaying many miles of track.

“When we do close the railway, we do everything we can to get as much work into those closures as possible. We’ve got 493 different pieces of work taking place this Easter, most happening overnight,  including laying over 8,000 metres of new rail and putting down over 40,000 tonnes of new ballast to support the tracks.

“We couldn’t do this without the support of passengers, freight users and our lineside neighbours, whose patience we don’t take for granted. Thank you.”

For full details of engineering works this Easter, passengers are advised to check their journeys with their operators or at National Rail.