West Coast main line flood protection work starts this week

©Network Rail

Passengers are being advised to plan their journeys while major work to protect the West Coast main line from the risk of flooding takes place from this week.

Between 4-12 January, railway drainage upgrades will improve future journeys between Milton Keynes and Rugby.

The work will prevent heavy rain from flooding tracks, making the economically important rail route more reliable for passengers and freight.

During the improvements, trains will be diverted via Northampton to bypass the 4km long trackside drainage work.

This will add around 25 minutes onto West Coast main line journeys for Avanti West Coast customers.

London Northwestern Railway will run fewer services between Crewe and Euston and passengers will need to change trains at Rugby.

Passengers are urged to check www.nationalrail.co.uk and plan their journeys in advance.

James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast South route director, said: “This major work on the West Coast main line is vital to protect it from the risk of future flooding. We always try to do our work with the least disruption to passengers as possible, and during this project we can keep people on the move by using a diversionary route. However, there will be fewer services, longer journey times and some passengers may need to change trains, so I’d urge people to please check National Rail Enquiries before they travel.”

Lawrence Bowman, customer experience director for London Northwestern Railway, said: “This essential maintenance will improve the reliability of our rail infrastructure and reduce the likelihood of delays in the future. I urge customers to plan their rail travel in advance during the West Coast Main Line work near Milton Keynes in January when some journeys will take longer.”

Gus Dunster, executive director of operations and safety at Avanti West Coast, said: “As Network Rail carry out essential works near Milton Keynes in January, there’ll be changes to our services and extended journey times to and from London Euston. We strongly recommend you make a reservation, plan your journey in advance as well as check the National Rail Enquiries website before travelling.”

To combat Covid-19, passengers must wear a face covering in train stations, on train services and any replacement bus services. Those who fail to do so face a fine of £200.

For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Meanwhile, enhanced cleaning procedures will remain in place to stop the spread of coronavirus, with hand sanitiser on station concourses.

To find out more about what Network Rail is doing to stop the spread of Covid-19 visit: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/coronavirus/.

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