Network Rail invests £71m on around 500 projects across Britain

Network Rail

More than 7,500 metres of new rail and 2,400 sleepers will be installed whilst almost 15,000 tonnes of ballast will be laid over the long weekend.


Upgrading the railway to improve future passenger journeys remains crucial, and bank holidays are often the most productive time to carry out this work whilst minimising disruption.


Jake Kelly, Network Rail’s director of System Operator, said: “As always, we’ve carefully planned our engineering work to ensure the vast majority of the railway will be open for business as usual this bank holiday, so passengers can rely on the railway to get them where they need to be as they make the most of the long weekend.


“Disruptions to journeys on some routes is unavoidable when carrying out certain pieces of work however, so please make sure to check with National Rail Enquiries or your train operator before you travel.”


Major work includes:


  • Reliability-boosting track renewals and signalling upgrades mean a limited service will operate to and from London Euston from 8pm on Saturday (26th) evening until Tuesday (29th). Trains will still run but on a reduced basis, so checking before travelling is essential.


  • New equipment and technology is being installed between Welwyn Garden City and Hitchin, preparing the way for that section to begin using digital signalling from 2025. Upgrade work is also taking place in the Peterborough area, enabling a move of local signalling control to our modern operating centre in York.  Dynamic software is being introduced to efficiently move trains across junctions and reduce delays; the first such deployment on the East Coast Main Line. Between late evening Saturday 26 August and early morning Monday 28 August buses and coaches will replace trains on the East Coast Main Line between Grantham, Royston and Potters Bar/Hertford North.  During that time there will be no train services at Peterborough and buses will also replace trains on services between Grantham/Leicester and Ely.


  • Signal and crossings renewals and maintenance work at New Cross means no trains will operate out of London Charing Cross and Waterloo East on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th. Services will be diverted to start and terminate from London Victoria or Blackfriars. 


  • The final stages of a £116m resignalling scheme to boost reliability on the lines between London Waterloo and Windsor will go ahead at the end of August. The existing system is controlled by the Feltham Area Signalling Centre and the current signals and track circuits, which tell signallers where trains are on the network, date back to 1974 and need an upgrade as they have become less reliable and harder to maintain. Following the switch on of the newly installed signals, passengers will benefit from more reliable journeys and fewer delays on the Windsor Lines, which are a key route for commuters in and out of London. Bus replacements will be in place between Staines and Windsor and Eton Riverside on Saturday 26th August and between Barnes and Virginia Water, Twickenham and Virginia Water and Twickenham and Windsor & Eton Riverside from Sunday 27 August to Friday 1 September.


  • CrossCountry services between Birmingham New Street and Derby will be affected from Saturday 26th to Monday 28th while work takes place to prepare for HS2, Britain’s new high speed railway. Trains to/from Scotland and the North East will run on an alternative route, meaning journey times could be extended by up to an hour.  On Sunday 27th not all Services to/from Scotland and the North East will call at Tamworth.


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