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/.

5 minute read – West Coast main line flood repairs to impact London Euston trains

Rail passengers are being warned of changes to trains in and out of London Euston so urgent repairs can take place after severe flash flooding.

The deluge in the capital on Monday 12 July caused an electricity substation to catch fire disabling London Overground services to Watford.

Urgent repairs need to take place to pump away any remaining standing water and fix cables damaged in the electrical fire.

The work means all lines in and out of London Euston must be closed between 11pm on Wednesday 14 July and 6am on Thursday 15 July. Passengers are being asked to travel early on Wednesday night.

The urgent repairs will impact Avanti West Coast, London Northwestern Railway, Caledonian Sleeper and London Overground passengers at the end of tomorrow and first thing on Thursday morning.

Bus replacement services will be in place to keep passengers on the move and people are being urged to check www.nationalrail.co.uk for the latest information.

James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast South route director, said: “I’m sorry that your journeys have been disrupted this week. Our engineers will be making critical repairs on Wednesday night. 

“The floods made the railway look like a swimming pool, but with 750 volts of electricity running through it. We’ve had to make the site safe before going in and pumping away the remaining flood water and repairing the fire damage.”

For more information on how Network Rail deals with flooding visit: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/looking-after-the-railway/delays-explained/flooding/