Passengers are being advised about changes to journeys this coming weekend while engineers improve key railway junctions in the North West.
Switches and crossings – the complex railway components which allow trains to change tracks – are being replaced by Network Rail between Preston, Manchester, Warrington, and Wigan on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 April.
The essential work will mean smoother and more reliable future journeys for passengers and freight on the West Coast main line and key rail routes across the North West.
However, sections of track must be closed for this work to take place and passengers are being urged to plan ahead at www.nationalrail.co.uk.
Rail replacement buses will be in operation for some services*, journeys will take longer and trains which are running could be busier this weekend.
Chris Pye, Network Rail’s North West route infrastructure director, said: “These important track improvements will mean more reliable journeys for passengers and freight in the future.
“I’d urge anyone planning to travel across the North West or between Euston and Glasgow this weekend to check National Rail Enquiries to plan their journeys. I’d also like to thank passengers and local people in advance for their patience.”
Train operators Avanti West Coast, Northern, and TransPennine Express are running amended timetables during the railway upgrades.
Trains from Glasgow to London Euston will start and terminate at Warrington Bank Quay.
RMT strike action is also planned to disrupt TransPennine Express (TPE) services on Sunday 3 April, with customers using TPE services advised to avoid travelling on this date and travel either side of it instead.
Gus Dunster, executive director of operations and safety at Avanti West Coast, said: “Due to planned improvement work by Network Rail there’ll be changes to our services on our Scotland route on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 April. As a result, we’ll have a limited service on Saturday morning and no trains north of Warrington Bank Quay for the rest of the weekend. We strongly advise customers making journeys over this weekend to plan ahead and check the Avanti West Coast website before travelling.”
Chris Jackson, regional director for Northern, said: “Improvements to infrastructure are always welcome. Whilst they might cause short term disruption, the long term benefits of modernisation in terms of reliability of service and customer experience are clear. Passengers should check before they travel to avoid inconvenience wherever possible.”
Kathryn O’Brien, customer experience director for TransPennine Express, said: “There will be changes for customers travelling on our services between Manchester and Preston on Saturday 2 April as a result of important track improvements, and customers should allow extra time and check before they travel.
“RMT strike action is planned to disrupt TPE services on Sunday 3 April and we are asking customers to avoid travel on this date and travel either side of the strike where possible.”
Looking further ahead, passengers are also being advised of major railway improvements over the Easter bank holiday between April 15 and 18.
Passengers are being urged to travel either side of Easter to avoid disruption to their journeys.
For more information visit: Passengers advised to ‘travel either side’ of Easter bank holiday
Notes to Editors
*Avanti West Coast:
On Saturday, there will be no train services between Warrington Bank Quay and Preston, with only three train services each way (in the morning) between Preston – Glasgow Central / Edinburgh.
On Sunday, there will be no train services between Warrington Bank Quay and Glasgow Central.
On Monday, 05:13 Lancaster to London Euston, and 04:28 Glasgow Central to London Euston, will both start from Preston at booked time.
Buses will replace trains between:
Preston and Blackburn
Blackpool North / Preston and St Helens Central
There will be no services between Manchester and Preston.
A rail replacement bus service will run between Manchester Piccadilly and Preston.
RMT strike action is planned to disrupt TPE services on Sunday 3 April and we are asking customers to avoid travel on this date and travel either side of the strike where possible.
Check before you travel:
You can plan your journey using the National Rail Enquiries Journey Planner
Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41
Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries