Network Rail Deploys 14,000 Strong ARMY over May Day Bank Holiday to Improve the Railway

Thousands of engineers will be deployed to Britain’s rail network over the May Day bank holiday weekend as part of a £50m investment by Network Rail.

New station facilities, new platforms, new junctions and hundreds of pieces of new, more reliable, equipment will be installed and delivered as part of Network Rail’s railway upgrade plan. The work has been timed to minimise disruption to passengers, as over a bank holiday weekend passenger numbers can drop by 20 to 30%.

Mark Carne, chief executive, said: “Our improvement programme this bank holiday, delivered by a 14,000-strong army of rail workers, is focussed on delivering a better service for passengers.”

The major investment schemes this bank holiday includes:

Crossrail: Over the bank holiday weekend some substantial new track and junctions will be installed at Slough for future Crossrail services. This will have limited impact on services as two of the four lines from Paddington to Slough will remain open and available for services.

London Liverpool Street: On Sunday and Monday the Great Eastern main line from Liverpool Street to Ingatestone will see some significant investment work as a new bridge is built at Pudding Mill Lane (nr Stratford) for future Crossrail services and new overhead lines and track installed near Chadwell Heath leading to more reliable services. Passenger services will start and terminate at Ingatestone and a rail replacement road service will be in operation between Ingatestone, Wickford, Newbury Park (for connections to London Underground) and Liverpool Street.

London Waterloo: On Sunday and Monday a vital junction outside Waterloo station will be replaced that will see improvements to service reliability as a result. Amended timetables have been published as this will impact services on many routes serving the station
Thameslink programme: The £6.5bn investment programme to run many more, faster, better services, north-south, through the heart of London continues over the bank holiday weekend.

While not on the scale of the Easter work, there will be investment in track and signalling over the three days. The impact on services will be:
Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Waterloo East & London Bridge high level platforms 1-3 will be closed at various points over the weekend with no Southeastern services from Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Waterloo East and London Bridge and diversions into Victoria / Blackfriars or trains terminating at New Cross.

West Coast main line (WCML) to Scotland – work around Wolverhampton, Stafford and Crewe: Investment in Europe’s busiest mixed-use long distance main line continues over the weekend in three main areas all of which mean amended services for passengers using some Virgin Trains, London Midland, Cross Country, Transpennine Express and Arriva Train Wales services:
On Sunday and Monday a new, more reliable signalling system is being installed between Birmingham and Wolverhampton with buses replacing trains on this diversionary section of the WCML

As part of the £250m investment programme to remove a major bottleneck on the WCML leading to more reliable potentially faster and more frequent services, new track and overhead lines are being installed on Saturday and Sunday in and around Stafford.

Also on Saturday and Sunday, new track is being installed between Crewe and Wigan on the WCML leading to more reliable services

Major work around Glasgow: Work to the south and south east of Glasgow will see changes to Virgin Trains, ScotRail, Transpennine Express and Cross Country services over the weekend. Our investment schemes with see the demolition of a road bridge near Newton, a new footbridge installed near Motherwell and new track and junctions replaced near Carstairs.

Mark Carne, chief executive, added: “Passenger numbers continue to grow and grow and this bank holiday investment programme forms a key part of our £38bn railway upgrade plan that is aimed at meeting surging demand and improving and expanding our congested railway network.”

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