Passengers are benefiting from a better, more reliable railway after a number of significant upgrades over the bank holiday weekend were successfully completed on time.
As part of the Railway Upgrade Plan, Network Rail‘s orange army worked round-the-clock over the August bank holiday to upgrade and improve the existing railway and prepare for future rail travel in Britain.
At London Euston, engineers rerouted a major power supply to the station on behalf of HS2 Ltd - an early step towards building Britain’s new high speed railway.
During the closure, Network Rail also took the opportunity to carry out extensive track and drainage work on sections of the West Coast main line, one of the most intensely used pieces of railway in Europe. Planning work to take place at different locations at the same time means there’s less disruption to passengers in the long term.
Work on the West Coast main line included:
- Track renewal between Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted
- Track renewal near Watford
- Track drainage improvements at Primrose Hill in north London
- Extensive ballast tamping (repacking and firming up of the foundation of the railway) at Bletchley
James Dean, director of asset management for the London North Western route at Network Rail, said: "I would like to thank passengers for their understanding over this August bank holiday whilst work took place at Euston station and elsewhere across the network. The upgrade, maintenance and renewal work forms part of our ongoing Railway Upgrade Plan which is providing customers with a better railway.
“There is never a good time to carry out work that affects services but we worked closely with the train operators for it to cause the least amount of disruption. I would like to thank passengers for their understanding while we completed these vital upgrades.”
London Midland's head of West Coast services, Steve Helfet, said: "We are so grateful to all our customers who heeded the message not to travel on Saturday and Sunday unless absolutely necessary. The works at Euston are all about building more capacity on our rail network as rail travel has never been more popular. A big thank you to everyone for their patience and understanding this weekend."
A Virgin Trains spokesperson said: “We understand that planned improvement works can impact on people’s plans. We would like to thank customers for their patience this weekend while Network Rail carried out preparatory works for HS2.”
The railway between Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley also fully reopened after a 16 day closure as part of a £100m investment to provide passengers with a better, more reliable and electric railway from December 2018.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
longer, faster more frequent trains;
better, more reliable infrastructure; and
better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.
Network Rail press office - London North Western route
0330 854 0100
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Since 2007, London Midland has been providing train services to and from London in the south, to Birmingham in the Midlands and Liverpool in the north-west. Over 70 million passenger journeys a year are made using on the network and London Midland manages 150 stations and operates 1,300 services a day.
London Midland is owned by Govia, the partnership between the Go-Ahead Group and Keolis. Govia is the UK’s busiest rail operator, responsible for nearly 30 per cent of UK passenger rail journeys through its three rail companies, GTR (which includes Gatwick Express services), Southeastern and London Midland. Further information on Govia is available at www.govia.info
London Midland has won a range of awards, including Best Local Transport Integration, five Rail Business Awards for marketing, public relations and customer information, five Golden Spanner Awards for Engineering, three IOIC awards for internal communication and three Railstaff Awards for Outstanding Customer Service, Lifesaving and Charity Work. In 2017 London Midland was named as Britain's most improved train company by the Institute of Rail Operators and the UK's most improved organisation for customer service in the UKCSI survey.
In 2017 London Midland was awarded the Investors in People (IiP) Gold Award and been awarded the 5 Star award by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) in 2014.