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More frequent usages get closer on the West Coast

09/04/2008 AT 06:04

Over 4,000 engineers will be working to build a bigger, better railway at seven major locations covering over 130 miles of the west coast main line. They will be installing new track, new points, a new subway, new platforms, new signalling and refurbishing a 450m flyover.

Peter Strachan, Network Rail route director, said: "Next year will see a massive increase in services along the west coast main line and a dramatic cut in journey times. Our work continues over the August bank holiday weekend, and the days that follow, and it is vital for the successful conclusion of the improvement programme.

"There is a huge prize to be had come New Year when passengers will enjoy over a 30% increase in services. Our task is to try and keep disruption to a minimum but there will be significant changes to timetables over the coming two weeks."

The seven locations of major improvement work are:
- Stoke - new track and overhead line and signalling work,
- Lichfield - new signalling, lengthening platforms and overhead line work,
- Nuneaton - new signalling, new track and new points,
- Rugby - opening two new platforms, new subway (involving use of a massive crane), refurbishment of 450m flyover, new track, new points and signalling and overhead line work,
- Milton Keynes - new track and extending a platform,
- Berkhamsted (nr Hemel Hempstead) - refurbishment of the subway,
- Harlesden (nr Willesden) - new track and new sets of points.

Andy Thomas, operations director at London Midland, said: "The latest rail improvement work are part of an almost £9bn investment to deliver better rail services.

"This investment will mean that London Midland is able to bring services back to the heart of the Trent Valley, giving local communities there a rail service for the first time in many years.

“In the meantime, our passengers may face some disruption to their journeys. We don't take this lightly, and are working in partnership with both Network Rail and other train operators to keep disruption to a minimum and keep passengers informed about changes to their journeys, along with the ultimate benefits of this work."

Chris Gibb, managing director, Virgin Trains, said: "I would like to apologise to all our customers who will experience disruption over the bank holiday weekend. We shall be doing everything possible to provide as much capacity and information as possible during this particularly difficult period. For anyone travelling between Saturday 23 August and Sunday 7 September I would ask that they re-check their journey details 24 hours before travelling with the Virgin Trains website.”

There is little other major disruptive work affecting main lines over the August bank holiday weekend as manpower and resources are concentrated on completing the improvements to the west coast main line.

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Route improvement work on the West Coast Main Line

An intensive programme of route improvement work at various locations over two weeks from Saturday 23 August through to Sunday 7 September will mean extensive alterations to Virgin Trains services and includes WEEKDAY schedules.

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Virgin to run West Coast Replacement Shuttle Train

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Route upgrade work at Rugby

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