Passengers warned of weekend and bank holiday train disruptions as 'vital' work is planned for West Coast Mainline in Lancashire

Network Rail will be carrying out "essential upgrades" to the West Coast Mainline in the coming months, affecting passengers travelling to and from Lancashire.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 4:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 4:17 pm

Network Rail has announced that it will be completing maintenance and renewal work on the West Coast Mainline this spring "to make the railway more reliable."

A large programme of work is planned to be delivered over each weekend from April, including a major track overhaul on Euxton Junction, located on the West Coast main line near Chorley.

Tim Shoveller, managing director for Network Rail’s North West and Central region, said: “There’s never a perfect time to close parts of the railway to make improvements, but bank holidays and weekends are the quietest times when the fewest people use the railway.

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Network Rail will be carrying out "essential upgrades" in the coming months including a major track overhaul on Euxton Junction. (Credit: Northern Rail)

"We work closely with our industry colleagues to get as much work done as possible during the closures and minimise its impact on people’s journeys."

Trains running to and from London Euston and along the West Coast main line and the Chiltern line will change, and some will not be running as a result of the work.

National Rail warns that changes will depend on individual journeys, but that passengers may have to travel from different stations, by alternative routes, with different train companies or by using rail replacement buses.

Network Rail has not confirmed which individual services will be affected at this stage, but passengers are being asked to plan journeys in advance and to check before travelling.

Network Rail will be carrying out "essential upgrades" in the coming months including a major track overhaul on Euxton Junction. (Credit: Network Rail)

Passengers are also being warned that services and stations will be busier than usual, journeys may take longer, and that passengers may be less likely to get a seat.

Susie Homan, director for planning, engineering and operations at the Rail Delivery Group, representing the rail industry, said: “Although there is a never a good time for improvement work, it’s essential to make journeys more punctual, maintain a safe railway and support our plans to run 11,300 more services by the mid-2020s.

"We are asking passengers to check before they travel to ensure they can still have a smooth journey.”

The key weekends of the Railway Upgrade Plan work are as follows:

- 10-13 April (Easter weekend)

- 2-3 May

- 9-10 May (after VE Day bank holiday Friday)

- 23-25 May (late May bank holiday)

- 10 weekends of work between Carstairs and the border in Scotland (Saturday 4 April – Sunday 7 June)

Network Rail has been approached for further comment.

Passengers can plan their journeys by clicking HERE.

Remember, if you've been delayed by 15 minutes or more, hold on to your tickets and claim compensation by clicking HERE.