Harbury tunnel aerial view, via Network Rail

Chiltern Main Line to see vital track upgrades

The Chiltern Main Line between Birmingham, Oxford and London is set to receive major upgrade works to the tracks at Harbury tunnel between Leamington Spa and Banbury throughout September.

This project comes as a £600,00 investment to ensure enhanced reliability for passenger journeys, seeing up to 550 metres of new track being installed. These works will occur over two weekends throughout September from Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September, accompanied by Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th September.

Works occurring on these weekends will result in some closures along the Chiltern Main Line that could lead to slight disruptions for passengers travelling during this period. Passengers have been advised to plan their journeys ahead and look out for the rail replacement buses that will be in operation throughout the improvements.

Denise Wetton, Network Rail’s Central route director, said:

“These major track improvements to the Chiltern Main Line will mean better, smoother, and more reliable journeys for passengers and freight in future.

“However, replacing track like this means we have no choice but to close sections of railway for old sections to be ripped up and replaced with new. I’d urge anyone planning to travel over the next two weekends in September to please check National Rail Enquiries to plan their journeys. I’d also like to thank passengers in advance for their patience.”

On the Chiltern Main Line situated Birmingham and London, trains will continue to operate between:

  • Birmingham Snow Hill and Leamington Spa
  • Banbury and London Marylebone

Jacqueline Dey, operations director at Chiltern Railways, said:

 "We will ensure that customers are well-informed about the short-term impact these significant improvements will have on their journeys and thank customers in advance for their patience while these vital works take place.

“Network Rail's track improvements on the Chiltern main line will improve customer experience and ensure that our railway is fit for purpose as passenger demand continues to increase post-pandemic."

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