Network Rail to carry out upgrade projects over Christmas and New Year

Posted: 21 November 2022 | | No comments yet

Network Rail says more than 95 per cent of Britain’s rail network will be open over Christmas and New Year, despite planned upgrade work taking place to deliver 300 key investment projects.

Christmas tree at Waterlook train station

Credit: Network Rail

Network Rail has stated that most of its £120 million upgrade works are being planned for when passenger trains don’t run – such as on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and overnight – so that Britain’s railways can keep passengers moving over the upcoming holidays. It means that the vast majority of Britain’s rail network (more than 95 per cent according to Network Rail) will be open as usual over Christmas and New Year as around 300 key investment projects are delivered across the country.

Andrew Haines, Network Rail Chief Executive, has said: “Christmas is an important time for the railway as it gives us the opportunity to get a lot of work done to improve the railway when trains aren’t running, and therefore keep disruption for our passengers at a minimum. We’ve worked closely with our train operators to ensure the vast majority of the network is open for business over the festive period so people can travel by rail to spend time with their families and friends. However, some of these key upgrade projects will have an impact on services, so we’re asking passengers to plan their journeys before travelling. And a huge thank you to the thousands of rail workers who will be working over this period to keep services running and delivering upgrades to improve our railway, therefore bringing more reliable journeys to passengers in the future.”

Some of the projects being delivered by Network Rail over this Christmas and New Year period include:

  • Bridge reconstruction, switches and crossing refurbishment and track maintenance taking place around London Liverpool Street station from December 25 to January 2 to improve reliability and passenger experience. At Stratford and Forest Gate there will be auto transformer commissioning and track maintenance taking place to improve reliability
  • On the c2c lines, work is taking place in the Grays area to replace stretches of overhead wire, reducing the likelihood of equipment failures and power outages. Other maintenance is also being carried out
  • Resignalling and track work to improve safety and reliability will take place at Clapham Junction and Balham from Sunday 25 December to Monday 2 January
  • The final phase of the £700 million digital signalling programme at Birmingham New Street to enable faster, more reliable journeys for passengers will be completed when trains aren’t running on December 25 and 26
  • Long-distance services to Manchester Piccadilly, Birmingham New Street, Liverpool Lime Street, Birmingham International/Blackpool North/Scotland and Glasgow Central will run to a reduced timetable from London Euston between Saturday 24 and Friday 30 December as track renewals at Harlesden, platform work at Milton Keynes Central and bridge work at Camden and Wolverton take place to improve train performance
  • Signal and track renewals near Lewisham station to improve safety and performance will take place from Saturday 24 December to Monday 2 January
  • Bridge strengthening work at Queenstown Road and resignalling work at Earlsfield will mean a reduced suburban service from London Waterloo between Tuesday 27 December and Sunday 1 January.
  • Manchester Piccadilly station will be closed entirely between Christmas Day and Tuesday 27 December for roof repairs, and platforms 13 and 14 being closed to trains for 10 days between Sunday 25 December and Tuesday 3 January for resurfacing work.
  • Major bridge renewals on the West Coast main line in Camden and Milton Keynes between 27-28 December and 1 January.



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