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Network Rail prepares for Easter improvement works

26 February 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review

Network Rail prepares for one of the biggest investment programmes ever carried out on Britain’s rail network over the Easter period.

Network Rail prepares for Easter improvement works

Over 15,000 members of Network Rail’s orange army will be working over the four-day Easter weekend to deliver a £60m slice of the company’s £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to tremendous growth on Britain’s railways.

The programme, beginning late on Thursday 24th March, will deliver new station facilities, longer platforms, extra tracks, new junctions and thousands of pieces of new, more reliable equipment.

15,000 Network Rail workers to work on £60m Easter improvement works

Over 450 separate improvement projects will be carried out by Network Rail and its team of contractors across Britain over the Easter Period, during a relatively quieter time of year.

Mark Carne, Network Rail chief executive, said “This Easter, our 15,000-strong army of rail workers will be working round the clock to deliver our Railway Upgrade Plan, providing better, more reliable journeys for passengers and businesses across Britain.

“I’m acutely conscious that many people want to use the railway during the Easter holidays, but with fewer people traveling by train over this four-day weekend, it is a good time to undertake these massive improvement projects. The vast majority of services will be unaffected by this programme with over 95% of the network open as normal.

“Passengers have shown themselves to be incredibly understanding of planned improvement work and I’d like to thank them in advance for their support and understanding as we deliver the big improvements that the travelling public want to see.

“The number of people travelling by rail continues to grow to record levels. Our work this Easter forms a key part of our Railway Upgrade Plan to meet surging demand and improve and expand our congested railway network.”

The Easter Railway Upgrade Plan includes:

In and around London:

  • Overhead line renewals and Crossrail work on the Great Eastern main line near Brentwood and Gidea Park affecting services out of London Liverpool Street
  • Major renewals at Battersea means no Southern services from Victoria and much reduced services on Brighton main line
  • Thameslink work continues in the London Bridge area with Cannon Street closed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • East Kent resignalling sees the Chatham main line closed between Swanley and Faversham
  • Crossrail and Western electrification work between Paddington and Reading will see reduced train services (two of four lines closed)

 Long distance:

  • One of two lines closed south of Peterborough on the East Coast main line means changes to services on Saturday and Sunday. Direct long-distance trains continue but local and some long-distance services are diverted via Cambridge 
  • The Stafford area improvement programme comes to a major milestone bringing into use a huge new flyover. Most long-distance services are being diverted via Stoke, which adds little extra time, but other services see significant changes

 Elsewhere:

  • A major nine-day closure of Manchester Victoria for Northern Hub remodelling work kicks off on Good Friday with the station and railway reopening on Monday 4 April
  • Glasgow Queen Street station (high level) will close for 20 weeks from 20 March with services diverted to the low-level station or other Glasgow stations in many cases

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