Passengers advised of August Bank Holiday railway upgrades in Liverpool

Inside the Manchester Rail Operating Centre
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Rail passengers are advised to check before they travel ahead of signalling upgrades in Liverpool this August Bank Holiday.

Signalling control is being moved from Ditton to the state-of-the-art Manchester Rail Operating Centre (ROC) between Saturday, August 29 and Monday, August 31.

The multimillion-pound project is designed to make the railway more reliable for passengers, enabling signallers to rapidly respond to disruption and route trains faster – reducing future train delays.

During the work trains will be diverted onto different routes keeping services running in and out of Liverpool.

Some rail replacement buses will be in operation between Warrington, Runcorn, Crewe and Liverpool South Parkway.

Passengers planning to use these routes are being warned to expect changes to their usual journey and urged to check to see how their trip will be impacted.

They should continue to follow government guidance on public transport – wear a face covering unless they are exempt and maintain a distance from other passengers where possible.

Phil James, director for Network Rail’s North west route, said: “We know there is never a good time to close the railway, but longer Bank Holiday weekends mean engineers can carry out complex work like this major upgrade to the signalling system in Ditton as part of the Great North Rail Project.

“I’d like to thank passengers in advance for their patience and encourage them to check National Rail Enquiries now in advance of the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend.”

Meanwhile, work is also being carried out near Coventry in the West Midlands over the August Bank Holiday and on Sunday, September 6.

This will affect all rail services between Birmingham New Street and London Euston.

Passengers are advised to continue to follow government advice on the use of public transport to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Travellers must wear a face covering on train services and any replacement bus services. Those who fail to do so risk being fined £100.

However, some people are exempt, including young children and people with hidden disabilities or breathing difficulties.

People who have to travel by rail between 29-31 August should plan ahead and be prepared for changes to their usual journey, if travelling on the affected sections of the West Coast main line.

Social distancing measures will see queueing systems in place when boarding services in some stations.

There will also be less space on trains and replacement buses.