Network Rail has announced vital upgrades on the West Coast main line and at London Euston in spring/summer 2021.
The work, part of Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan and HS2 Phase One, will make passengers’ journeys more reliable and ease pressure on the West Coast main line by adding more railway capacity.
For Euston to be the London terminus for HS2, two of the approach lines to the station, will be closed for a combined total of 12 weeks, split across two six-week closures. The 2nd of April until the 17th of May 2021 and the 17th of July until the 31st of August.
Most train services will remain running while this work takes place, but there will be some timetable and platform changes.
Preliminary work on the approach lines at Euston to enable HS2 will be carried out over a number of weekends, resulting in platform and services alterations, including some being reduced between April and August next year.
As well as being one of the biggest investments in Euston for decades, this is also one of the most intricate infrastructure changes ever to take place at the station.
Though passenger demand is reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic, the rail industry is planning for an increase in passenger numbers next year.
The work has been announced early to give passengers plenty of notice so they can make informed choices when travelling over spring/summer.
Other essential rail upgrades are planned over the Easter, Early May, Spring and August bank holiday weekends, which in 2021 fall on:
- 2 – 5 April (Easter bank holiday)
- 1-3 May (Early May Bank Holiday)
- 29 -31 (Late May bank holiday)
- 28-30 August (Summer bank holiday)
This includes major track renewals between Rugby – Birmingham, Crewe – Warrington, Preston – Lancaster and Carstairs – Carlisle and further Bletchley flyover work as part of the East-West Rail project.
James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast South route director, said: “Our work will make the West Coast main line more reliable for our passengers and pave the way for HS2, which will bring much-needed extra railway capacity.
“There is no question such large scale improvements will mean changes for passengers, but we’re working with the industry to minimise disruption to passengers as much as possible next year.
“We’re letting people know many months in advance so none of this comes as a surprise and passengers can stay on the move while we do this vital work.”
Patrick Cawley, director of On Network Works for HS2 Ltd and Network Rail said: “Investing in HS2 will create additional rail capacity across the existing UK network, providing more local, regional and intercity services.
“Although some disruption to the current rail service is unavoidable in the short term, in preparation for this we have completed other service upgrades to minimise impact, such as increasing platform lengths at busy stations on the West Coast main line.”
Images: Network Rail