Do not travel on West Coast main line this bank holiday weekend, Network Rail warns

London Euston station re-opened yesterday (Monday 20 August) after the first stage of work to replace North Wembley junction was completed.
London Euston station re-opened yesterday (Monday 20 August) after the first stage of work to replace North Wembley junction was completed.

Northampton train passengers intending to use the West Coast main line are being urged not to travel to and from London this weekend and next when Euston station will be closed.

Customers are instead being advised to plan their journeys on dates other than 25-27 August and 1-2 September – or risk far longer, busier and less comfortable journeys than normal.

As part of 'Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan', Network Rail is replacing North Wembley junction - a major intersection on Europe’s busiest mixed-use railway.

The junction is old and replacing it will mean passenger and freight users will benefit from better, more reliable journeys in future but unfortunately doing this job requires shutting the line.

The least disruptive time to do this work, jointly agreed by rail industry chiefs, is over the following weekends on 25-27 August (bank holiday weekend) and 1-2 September.

Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail’s London North Western route said: “Our message to West Coast train customers this August bank holiday (25-27 August) and on 1-2 September is: ‘do not travel’ - instead please plan your journeys on other days.

“If you absolutely cannot avoid travel on these dates, expect a very different journey to what you’re used to – busier trains, less chance of a seat, diverted routes taking far longer than usual.

“There is never an ideal time to shut the railway but these weekends are the least disruptive times to do it."

The first stage of the work was completed last weekend and the West Coast main line fully reopened on Monday (20 August) on time, as planned, with services running to a normal timetable.

He added: “We have worked together for the past three years with train operators to carefully plan this closure of the railway in a way that minimises impact on customers.

“It’s vital the track at north Wembley is replaced to continue to safely meet the huge demand of passenger and freight rail services on the West Coast main line. This work will result in better, more reliable journeys in future.”

Andrew Conroy, customer experience director for London Northwestern Railway said: “Our aim is to keep people moving if they have to travel on these dates. Improvement works are never convenient for anyone, but we have a tried and tested plan for operating buses to connect with alternative routes to and from London when Euston is closed.

"We still advise customers to travel on alternative days as these options will take significantly longer.”

Euston’s shops and access to London Underground will remain available throughout the three weekends.

All customers are urged to check www.nationalrail.co.uk/westcoast for the very latest travel information.